Sunday, July 17, 2011

WTF Moments

The country prepares for the Bastille day fireworks.
Bonjour and Aloha my friends,

Well another few interesting days have passed in Paris since I last posted.  My previous blog about the party in Versailles has been my most largely visited blog posting ever!  I don’t think it will make me famous however, but I was sure happy to see all the comments.  This week’s comments start right from the morning of the party.  Grab a seat and stay enjoy!

Transportation:  Finding a cab in Versailles at 5am is not possible.  If you have not arranged for a cab, a horse or some other mode of transportation, your only recourse will be to catch the “B” Train, which leaves Versailles for Paris a little after 5:30 in the morning.  If you are still in 18th century dress, well just go with it.

Food:  Bonne Maman chocolate and caramel tartelettes are a lot like sex.  Firstly, they are addictive.  Secondly, the maximum enjoyment comes near the end.  Once the pastry and chocolate parts have melted away in your mouth, the caramel hits and the effects are orgasmic.  It’s about 20 seconds of eating for about 2-3 seconds of sheer pleasure.  And then you do it again.

Bonne Maman tartelettes pictured sideways thanks to
a rare feature that will only post such
things... sideways.

Weather:  I don’t like to talk about weather as a rule, but nothing about the weather here falls within my expectations.  When summer officially arrived we had a couple of days that were in the 35C (95F) range but today it’s 17C (63F) out.  WTF?  That’s quite a range.  Like most places, they do these 5 day forecasts that are complete bullshit, though I have to say that the weather has cooperated perfectly for both the Versailles Party and the Bastille Day celebrations.

WTF: Arriving near Place to Concorde after partying at Versailles, I found a military band practicing for Bastille Day.  They had a difficult time keeping their eyes on what they were doing.

Hmm... where did these guys come from?  It's 6am!

I can still play this thing when I'm laughing... really!

Soldier!  Eyes front!  Don't look at the 18th century costumes
that are completely out of context with everything you know.

Culture:  France's national holiday is Bastille Day.  Paris, being the capital naturally gets the biggest party.  The military parades and all kinds of celebrations city wide nothwithstanding, they filled the Parc de Champs de Mars (in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower) to capacity with 1.2 million people for a concert and fireworks celebration.  The fireworks were the best I've ever seen... alas, all I have to show you is what my stoopid iPhone was able to record. 

Dusk approaches and the crowd gets impatient!

Ooooh!  Ahhh!  

More Culture:  Near the Bastille, I found a protest going on by supporters of the Ivory Coast Gbagbo regime.  OK, you are probably thinking, where the hell is the Ivory Coast and who the fuck is Gbagbo (bag-bo)?  Well he’s this African dictator dude who wasn’t much into elections… you can read about him here: Laurent Gbagbo , but you won’t figure out where the heck all these supporters came from to fill the Paris streets.

The crowd starts to get ugly, taunting police and actually hitting police cars.
The Paris police are kinda used to this sort of thing.

The police were very professional and got the crowd under control
without swinging a baton.  It was like watching a ballet.

People:  I’ve had two visitors from American this month, one an old colleague and the other, my brother’s wife’s sister’s family came from Washington D.C.  The latter was very pleasant and happy to follow me around, particularly once more through the Louvre.  I was lucky enough to see a new special exhibit with images of Christ… gotta love Donatello.  The former guest did not really take to the city, unwittingly referring to Parisians as “public nuisances”.  This was in reference to how Parisians tend to party near the Seine at all hours of the night, within earshot of my apartment at times.  I found her observation to be particularly hilarious.

Art:  I find art everywhere in the city.  In the 6th arrondissement (district) I found this sidewalk just bursting to be part of the art scene.

Look at me!

That’s all for this post my friends.  Please comment, like, +1, or whatever you can do to share the warmth.  Oh… and don’t for get to vote on my poll!  Thanks again for reading.

Sir Robyn

P.S.  Sorry that there is no vampire news this week.  Stay tuned next when when I go to Prague, which is basically Europe's vampire playground.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Party Like It's 1789

Ready to rock like Amadeus.
Bonjour and greetings my friends from around the world!

Paris wasn't the talk of the week, but rather a little town just outside of Paris called Versailles.  Versailles features a remarkable castle called the Chateau Versailles that was built over a period of nearly 100 years and started by the sun-king Louis IV.  Here's the history for any nerds reading this: Palace of Versailles - Wikipedia

The building and gardens are absolutely stunning and have been in the hands of the people since 1789.  Few parties have been held there since, though a famous treaty or two has been signed.  You might remember the Treaty of Versailles from history class when you were a kid.  I think the Germans just made the last payment on that one last year.

According to my sources... there have been 3 parties in Versailles in the past decade.  One for royalty, one for an Indian billionaire and last night's part which was open to the public... insomuch as the public that could afford the costume, tickets and transportation to Versailles.  For me this was a new record in party expense and I don't care to talk too freely about it but lets say that over 1,000 Euros fled my bank account before the night was over.

The party itself was held in the Orangerie, a garden nestled off to the front right of the castle (or back left if you think of the street as the front).  The garden is famous for it's box-planted trees and is surrounded by an indoor pavilion with HUGE vaulted marble ceilings.  The venue was absolutely stunning... astonishing... I was drunk with awe before the champagne even had a chance.

From here, my friends.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Your friend,
Sir Robyn

What?  You didn't think I'd go without a date did you?

The girls... giddy with anticipation.

Pre-party fireworks lit up the gardens.



A subtle gesture reveals that it is time to party.

Oh, don't worry about that.  I'm ready to party.

The excited guests are funneled into the hall.

Ooooh!  Ahhh!

A view from the VIP section.

Well dressed VIP's.

Sir Robyn stops to plan his next move.

The ladies conspire.

Sir Robyn: International gadfly; time traveller.

A mid-party fire show.  Why not?

One of the dancers burst into sparks and flame!

Time to mingle with the Parisian gentry.

12:30am:  Fresh gays are shipped in.

Revellers dance the night away.

A lanky man attempts to dance a quadrille.

The professional dancers enthrall.

A creative and colourful costume.

The military was present.

The dancers had several acts, each of which was quite unique.



More conspiring.

Marie Antoinette pays a visit.

The women werent' the only ones to conspire.

A scene from the VIP room.

A man in a dress insisted that I take his picture.  :)

A flirt.  A very very excellent flirt.

A baron and Baroness of high distinction.

Champagne is not to be wasted!