Sunday's picture and a song: All Night Long - Nuit Blanche in Paris!
"All Night Long" is the song that kept playing in my head as Stéphane and I experienced our first "Nuit Blanche" ("Sleepless Night") in Paris. The theme "Between the Sky and the Seine" was highly appropriate for the 11th edition of this celebration of contemporary art because the sky, or the rain falling from it, played a major role in the evening. Additionally, the organizers of Nuit Blanche promised to get visitors "high" by giving them access to fifteen unobstructed viewpoints along the river that are normally closed to the public.
After studying the "Nuit Blanche" app that divided the city into three zones, Stéphane and I decided to concentrate on the events in the Western arrondissements and headed towards the Guimet Museum. Thinking that most people would prefer to stay inside on such a rainy night, we were surprised to see a long line of art enthusiasts huddled under umbrellas.
While many people used the late night opening to view one of the largest collections of Asian art outside of Asia, Stéphane and I made a beeline to what we thought was the terrace on the top floor hoping to have an exceptional view of the Eiffel Tower. After waiting and wondering why the line wasn't moving, one of the staff members gave an incomprehensible explanation that completely baffled me and all of the Francophones, including Stéphane. Not quite sure what was at the top of the steps, Stéphane and I decided to wait...and wait. Finally, it was our turn. Confused as to why we had to remove our shoes when we thought that we were going to the terrace, we were surprised to stumble into a room with a subdued performance. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that we only stayed the length of time that it took me to snap a photo before Stéphane bolted out the door.
Slightly disappointed, Stéphane and I headed back out into the rain. Seeing the long line in front of the recently reopened Palais de Tokyo, we changed our itinerary and walked across the river to the Quai Branly Museum. After waiting in another line and walking up 136 steps, we were treated to a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower from the terrace.
Deciding to visit one more place before stopping for a midnight snack, we changed our plans once again when we saw the long line in front of the Grand Palais. While we dried off over steak tartare and cheese at the Mini-Palais, Stéphane and I reviewed the evening and discussed what we'll do differently next year. Rather than relying on an app that isn't user friendly, we'll pick up one of the detailed brochures from the mayor's office. We also thought that instead of staying up late that we may get up early because many of the events last until 7:00 am. And the very first thing that we'll do is hope that it doesn't rain!
On a more positive note, it was a really good night for photos of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. Click here to see the album that I posted on Facebook.