Friday was a nice day, at least by my standards. The sweltering heat of previous days let up for a while, and apart from a few drops of rain, it was very pleasant. And it was quite cool considering the date, since Friday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year (summer began at 7:04 AM local Paris time).
And where there’s a summer solstice, there’s a Fête de la Musique. I’ve talked about it before. In the early days, it was a license for every wannabe rock group to set up a few amplifiers on a street corner, crank them all to eleven, and allow everyone in the local galactic cluster to discover their utter lack of talent. Fortunately, those days are mostly gone. These days, the Fête de la Musique is mostly a set of official concerts and Major Media Events,™ although some of those are scarcely any improvement over the amateur bands of old. But at least the streets are no longer alive with the sound of non-music.
|Near the Alexander III bridge|
After eating, I walked home. There were several groups of young males, also apparently from those same banlieues, performing on the broad sidewalks of the Champs. Of course, they didn’t bother to pay for performance licenses for the recorded music they were using, and they provided a highly useful distraction for pickpockets loitering behind their audience. I always ignore them, as I am not interested in being relieved of my wallet, and I don’t care to support rogue performers who don’t feel that they are bound by the same rules as professionals.
|On the Left Bank|
|The army band at the Invalides|
Eventually it started getting really dark, what with sunset coming up and the sun obscured by clouds, so I continued on home. Not only that, but my teeth were hurting a lot (several of them are rotting away, since I can’t afford dental care), and I needed to take something for the pain.