Bastille Day Bonanza


Happy Bastille Day. Or as we say here, the 14th of July.

This is not Bastille Day, but rather a random summer Saturday. Jazz night! Parisians dressed as flappers! Dance! A fun time.

After a week of gray and rain (some downpours historically torrential!), the skies cleared up for France’s national ball.

In case you can’t make out the name of this restaurant with its patriotic flag decor: Food. Hmm, yes. Descriptive! (Actually supposed to be quite good!)

As per usual, it seems I’m spending more time gallivanting and less time checking in. So! A few snapshots of goings on!

Flame throwers in front of Notre Dame. But of course!

Waiting for an outdoor poetry event to commence.

I’ve had to do some administrative stuff, too. I stumbled into this hidden office space village. Wouldn’t mind working on this private canal!

No big deal. Just last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Viet Thanh Nguyen, at Shakespeare & Company.

I’ve also had some personally touching moments. Do you remember when I started Write-in Paris (WIP), the writing salon I hosted in my home? Yes, that was one of the best things I created during my time in the City of Light. When I gave up my apartment in search of new adventures, my friend Christine asked if she could take over WIP. Mais oui! I was so delighted that the tradition would continue.

Christine invited me over for the final meeting of WIP before summer break. It was so lovely being a part of the writing salon in its new incarnation.

View from Christine’s living room. Yes, that’s the dome of the Pantheon you spot there. On the other side of her apartment is a sunny balcony overlooking Rue Mouffetard.

I also got to meet a writer whose work I adore. You may remember when I interviewed Naomi J. Williams upon the release of her fantastic novel Landfalls. We became online friends and this week we finally got to meet in person. She’s doing research for her next novel (yay!) which she’s calling Akiko in Paris.

Naomi had just arrived after retracing the Japanese poet’s trek from Tokyo to Paris (including an epic journey on the Trans-Siberian railway! Really, check out her account.) We grabbed coffee one day (at the adorable Cafe Lomi near where she was staying), then ventured out the following day to the launch of Freeman’s Journal featuring book critic extraordinaire John Freeman, and super famous, fabulous authors Edwidge Danticat and Marie Darrieussecq. SWOON!

Naomi and I waiting for the reading.

John Freeman, Edwidge Danticat, and Marie Darrieussecq.

I would be neglecting another big news item if I didn’t mention that the US prez* paid a visit to Paris for Bastille Day festivities. I felt it my duty as both an American and French citizen to stop by the anti-Trump protest last night. Yes, of course there was one! (In fact, there were three!)

Pretty clear message.

Also to the point: Trump idiocracy.

Macron wined and dined 45 and I’m sure he was impressed. I mostly ignored the ignobility of his visit here.

I also missed most of today’s morning celebrations because 1) I sleep late and 2) military parades are not usually my thing. But I tuned in just in time! The brass band busted into a tribute of Daft Punk. Wha?? So cool! (Video below).

So, I’m stepping out on the lighter note. Less than 2 weeks left of my summer sojourn here (sob!) so soaking it all up while I can. Outdoor movies start next week. Day trips always a possibility. Mostly just seeing friends.

Which, speaking of, friends – YOU! – I’ve just started a newsletter I’d love for you to subscribe to if you’re so inclined. I’ve been thinking there’s lots of other fun things I’d love to share with you all that aren’t always Paris-related. Publishing news! Big moves! Silly stories! There will be a splash of Paris thrown in, too, of course, but it will be more of a free-wheeling digest.

It’s also going back to my roots. I used to send monthly musings via email to everyone I knew and I loved the more intimate form of letters (even if they are digital). A complement to the very public web.

So, I will keep posting to the blog, too (which you can also subscribe to!), but some special content will appear only in the newsletter. I hope you sign up for Sion’s Sparkle Desk . (Yes, a random name; I’ll share what’s up with it in the newsletter).  It’s all a fun experiment at the moment and I look forward to sending my first one soon.

Until then, raise a glass for the fête nationale. Enjoy your weekend!

“In this garden we speak French.”


4 Responses to “Bastille Day Bonanza”

  1. 1 Lee I July 15, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Oh, I love the French policemen videoing (?) Daft Punk. I would find great joy and laugh for a week if some time, during one of the macho handshakes between 45 and Macron, Macron would put 45 down on the ground.

    I will sign up for your new communication, because I have totally lost track of what you’ve been doing, where you are, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2 paris (im)perfect July 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Lee! It’s so nice to hear from you again! I’m glad you re-found me. I’m curious if you just happened to stop by the blog again. I don’t know how to let people know I’m back. 😉 I know I’ve been quite inconsistent! Call it a year of transition, which it truly has been (and continues to be). And oh lordy, 45 has certainly ushered in so much of that (unfortunate) change. Did you see the extended handshake between 45 and Macron after the festivities yesterday? So crazy! I quite enjoy thinking of your little scenario. Thank you for that hearty laugh! And thanks so much for signing up for my new letters! Delighted to be in touch again!


      • 3 Lee I July 15, 2017 at 9:31 pm

        I got an email that you posted. When I get them, I read, but sometimes the emails get lost among the storm of junk mail that floods in these days. I’ve somehow got on one of 45’s lists that send polls about what I think of his performance. I just can’t resist telling him what I think. I may not be on that list for long as I fail to send contributions with my responses..

        Liked by 1 person

      • 4 paris (im)perfect July 15, 2017 at 9:39 pm

        Thanks so much for letting me know, Lee! I’m glad you still receive the emails about the blog posts. And of course! I think everyone’s email inboxes are overflowing these days. I so appreciate you taking the time to pop over when you can. As for 45’s list, wow. You are certainly more intrepid than I am. I don’t think I would last long on that list, either! I am so glad that you’re not resisting letting him know what you think. It’s something I think pretty much all the time, but watching him bumbling around Paris the past few days the refrain only grew louder: “quelle honte” (what a disgrace!)


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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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