Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Viva la France!

What's bigger and louder than New Year's in New York? Rowdier and more exciting than Halloween in the Castro?

Apparently, Paris when Algeria beats Egypt in the World Cup qualifiers.

I was meeting JP and Kyoko for dinner in the ninth after a looong day at the office. As there wasn't a direct Metro route, I decided to pick up a Velib. Oh Velibs, I love you so. I forget what a rush it is to bike along, switching from major boulevards to abandoned side streets, barely registering the cafe terraces, pinkish street lights and autumn smells. It was so fun pedaling away at breakneck speed. But then I had to slow down a little. For there were all these people walking down the middle of the street. And, what's that? More people, sitting on the hoods of honking taxis and dancing in the intersection? Horns were beeping, crowds were chanting, and apparently every North African immigrant (except Egyptians of course) and diehard soccer fan was out in the street celebrating their victory.

And with France's victory over Ireland, I'm not sure that I'm going to sleep in peace tonight.


  1. braver than me - no way would I hire a Velib or a car for that matter! Even close my eyes in taxis!

    Where did you eat in the 9th?

    Paris during the last World Cup was a madhouse - only time I have ever been searched before travelling on the Eurostar. Give me a rugby match anytime (and of course the calendar!!!)

  2. Omigoodness, that's right: these soccer matches are only going to get crazier and crazier! Well, it was fun the other night but, you're right, the charm will probably wear off a bientot.

    I ate at Cul de Poule on rue des Martyrs. Good stuff. I'll add it to my restaurant list soon.

  3. one of my fav streets - no tourist stuff!