A dose of culture in Paris

The last few days have been some of the most enjoyable I have had since moving to Paris. A friend of mine was over and with two days off work, we set out to do Paris as the Parisians do. On Sunday evening we went to see a film/docufilm called La Cours de Babel which followed a classroom of international students who all recently came to France for various reasons and showed their journey of learning French throughout the school year. This film was very like Entre les Murs in ways but as it was real life it was less dramatic but was just as compelling to watch as we saw students with real life problems such as making friends, dealing with learning difficulties and general cultural differences. 

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Yesterday my friend suggested that we take a walk along La Coulée Verte, which is a ‘secret garden’ style walk that goes along the old train line in Daumesnil (10eme) all the way to Bois de Vincennes. I had walked past these viaducts at least twice before. They now accomodate cool art and antique stores but I had never realised that there was a pathway above these viaducts which give an elevated view of the busy streets below whilst walking through rooftop gardens with arched trellises. 

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In the evening we went to a jazz show (hopefully the first of many) in a club called New Morning, near Chateau d’Eau, also in the 10th arrondissement. The artist was Mohamed Abozekry who plays Middle Eastern styled music with three other musicians on a mix of bass, guitar and percussion. My friend and I were completely mesmerised by the unique sound and raw talent of the group especially Abozekry who hails from Egypt and for such a young age has the skill of someone with years of experience.

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Today we wandered around St Michel, spending an hour or so in the Gibert bookshop. I forgot how great these bookshops are, they sell more books than I can handle and at very affordable prices (thanks to the abundance of second hand books for sale in very good condition). We then crossed the bridge to Hôtel de Ville where we went to the Brassai photo exhibition ‘Pour l’amour de Paris’ which showcased a variety of Brassai’s black and white stills of Paris, from the city of lights at night to couples getting close in the capital as well as images of the circus and female nudes. 

I would like to dedicate this particular post to my colleague and now good friend who I had an amazing few days in Paris with and who has been fantastic company and whose kind words and encouragement have motivated me to continue with this blog and other creative endeavours. Thank you! 🙂