A Wednesday Wander

Opinion poll: Does this look like fun – or your idea of a nightmare?

Inflatable fun? Boy in the bubble

If you can’t tell what’s going on, look a little closer. There’s a child inside that big bubble. Just rolling around.

Maybe it’s just me – motion-sick claustrophobe that I am – but the last thing I’d want as the sun beats down on me is to be trapped in a plastic bubble. (Not complaining about the sun, though; it’s been raining way too much here. Welcome, sunshine!)

Boxed water (better than boxed wine?)

Despite my reservations about this activity, the kids seemed to be having a ball (literally). I do love how there’s always something on at the Hotel de Ville. (Nearby there were also badminton courts.) As a symbol of the city of Paris, it’s great that there are so many free activities offered to the public. (I’ll be going to the free indie rock concerts on the weekends, me thinks).

I noticed a new public service, too: water fountains. Good idea! I sure hope they’re permanent and not just here for the tourists.

Which speaking of….Aie.

I momentarily reconsidered crossing the Pont D’Arcole bridge as I saw the hordes of people swarming in both directions. But I had a purpose! I was a resident with business on the other side!

The crowds increased as I came to Notre Dame.

This Paris Tuk-Tuk driver awaits willing tourists:

We have Tuk-tuks now?

My business was small: pick up a book I had ordered at the Abbey Bookshop.

There are lots of English-language bookstores clustered around this area, but I appreciate this little Canadian outpost. It’s obvious that it’s the owner’s baby. (Plus, Brian will offer you free coffee).

San Francisco Bookshop rivals the Abbey Bookshop for cheap used books, but I’ve never formed the personal connection there (but I certainly love finding good books for 3 euros!)

The Abbey Bookshop also organizes activities some of you might be interested in: randonees and a Cine Club. Can’t say I’ve tried either, but I always mean to. Both the hiking and the films sound good.

I fought the crowds back across the bridge and wondered just who would want to come to Paris at the height of tourist season.

But as I walked along Paris Plage (the “beach” along the Seine) and found a quiet place to read, I thought, well, we all have our different ideas of fun.

And just about any of them can be found in Paris if you look hard enough.

Reclined reading at Paris Plage

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8 Responses to “A Wednesday Wander”

  1. 1 Lee Isbell July 29, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Agh! The rolling ball: nightmare. I’d probably get motion sick watching someone else roll in it. Not to mention the oven-like features of the contraption.

    I also enjoyed your article/blog re Paris Plage. My reaction to the plage has been “wow!” but I’d never gone beyond that to think about how they do it and all the environmental considerations. I haven’t been in Paris in summer to see it, but I think I’ll content myself with photos, and visit when it’s less crowded.


    • 2 paris (im)perfect July 29, 2010 at 12:15 am

      Oh good! I’m not the only one who thinks the rolling ball would make them sea-sick!

      Yeah, Paris Plage – it’s such a great idea, and if you manage to snag some space, it’s nice. But sometimes it’s way too crowded for me. I kept walking afterwards and made my way to the Jardin de l’Arsenal near the Bastille. Hardly anyone!


  2. 3 Sweet Freak July 29, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Je suis d’accord: I practically get a panic attack just looking at the photos!


  3. 4 pariskarin July 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    The bubbles at the Villette Paris Plage are on the water, which makes a little more sense to me… It’s humorous to see a picture of that one on the parvis, though. Too claustrophobic for me! And all that plastic sticking to one’s skin? Not for me, lol (maybe if I were still a kid, though. I think I was more adventurous back then).

    I’m really excited to read about the bookshop. (I “Liked” it on FB straight away.) As a former bookshop employee and lover of libraries/books/bookshops, anywhere with books always brings me joy. I hope Paul and I can check it out. So, if you don’t mind sharing, what book did you get? If it’s too nosy, just ignore. πŸ™‚

    They had some cool-looking water fountains at the Villette Paris Plage, too.

    Hope you have fun at the concerts, Sion!


    • 5 paris (im)perfect July 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Hey Karin. Wow, I think I would be even more scared to be in that bubble on the water! I’ll have to check out the Villete Paris Plage next (I loved when I used to live a short walk from there!)

      A question about books nosy? Never! I picked up “Almost No Memory” by Lydia Davis. Quite enjoying it. Stories such as “Foucault and Pencil” have me laughing out loud. (Though don’t take this collection as a comedy. The theme so far seems to be about intimacy and despair – fun! But you know, it has that whole dark humor thing going for it.)

      Have a good weekend!


  4. 6 PigletinFrance August 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Sorry, I’ve looked VERY closely at your picture and I cannot figure out what that bubble is all about. What do people do with them? Maybe I need to see them in action?

    Either way, I agree that it does not look like a comfortable way of spending time on a hot day! I think it looks quite slimy and disgusting and not sure if I’d want to go on one on water either!

    Has the weather perked up a bit now?

    Tourists can be a bummer especially when they don’t apply common sense, but just think if Paris wasn’t such a diverse place you wouldn’t get the shops you get, the only English books we can get here are in either Decitre or Fnac.

    Hope you’re keeping well.


    • 7 paris (im)perfect August 4, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Hi Piglet. What you need to do is look in the center of the bubble – and look for the bum! Yes, there is a person INSIDE that bubble. And they push it from inside so they can spin inside. (I just got nauseous writing that).

      I do know we’re quite lucky here – I love my English-language bookshops! How is Lyon in the summer? One of these days…

      Hope you’re doing well, too!


  5. 8 shan August 10, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I want to try that ball thing! Though, the germaphobe in me is cringing. Didn’t know about Abbey either – thanks for the tip!!
    xx s


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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