Latin Quarter day into La Nuit Blanche: the compensations of bad timing

To Bastille to buy a scooter. Une trotinette.

To St. Paul. Crossing Seine, Ile St. Louis, Seine, lunch on quai with view of Notre Dame. A very gentille proprietress of a new music-box shop told us how to get to Shakespeare and Co. and offered her loo. For free. Shakespeare and Co. infested with Americans. Charming building. Not too precious.

Walked length of Blvd. St. Germain to find shoeshop. Shoes didn’t fit.

Back via rue Buci where there were no tables at the cafe with the staff in overalls. At St. Michel, a student group puffing horns, whacking skins, the number pulling us in, an Arcade Fire.

St. Severin disappointing but for gargoyles. Nave dominated by massive screen. Tonight La Nuit Blanche.

Bottle of wine at St. Severin the cafe. Q. fed dogs and fries. And by the time we made it to Trocadero Arto Lindsay’s truck of musicians had already passed. Who cares? The trip on a raised line through a blue dusk magical. And Eiffel, when we got there, lit up with sparkles and searchlights.

Down – again- to the fountains, under the tower, to the nearest Metro. Left of Ecole Militaire.

Out into the Beaubourg. Improvised electronic mayhem in the church on Place Stravinsky. Guys with joysticks, Stellarc metal frames supporting cybernetic-styled interfaces with quite uninteresting array of sounds. Who cares? The venue extraordinary. The organ contributing. The light installation – projectors onto convex mirrors hitting as much of the gothic vault as possible – OK. The whole as a whole inimitable. Even to the French touch of having a conductor in tails, a young woman.

Hungry. A bite of crepe. And on food hunt, a theatre troupe doing an iron horse schtick, big fun props, costume and make-up pure Les Miserables, a train moving from place to place, complete with mobile bordello. Straight out of Mieville’s Iron Council.

Then the most compelling musical event of the night: a samba orchestra, on foot, followed by a huge and dancing crowd. Great rhythms.

Food finally at home. Midnight.