France, Day 1: Paris

I find myself in Paris once again, this time for a video con­tract over the next 10 days. Karin approached me to work with her in cre­at­ing sev­er­al films around this beau­ti­ful city, and I have the plea­sure of being involved with this amaz­ing per­son­al project of hers.

view from Sacre Coeur

This is only the sec­ond time I’ve been at Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, and both times there’s been weed in the air. I even passed by a man try­ing to roll a joint while sit­ting on a park bench, his paper mad­ly flap­ping in the wind. There must be some­thing real­ly trip­py about the church.

I’m doing it bet­ter this time. More effi­cient, lighter lug­gage. Luckily, I’ve made this trip before and the expe­ri­ence is pay­ing off. Pushing my lim­its last vis­it has giv­en me the con­fi­dence to han­dle any­thing that may hap­pen. I can retrace my steps with­out a map, remem­ber­ing where I took what pho­tos on which walks.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

It’s def­i­nite­ly tourist sea­son. I look at my pho­tos from last time, and every­thing is wet.

steps of Sacre Coeur

The man with the gui­tar on the right was play­ing old rock clas­sics to a huge audi­ence. It was a like a small busk­ing audi­to­ri­um.

overlooking Paris



This cou­ple played qui­et­ly togeth­er, the girl read­ing lyrics off her phone. I can only imag­ine what the sun is doing to the wood of that gui­tar.

I’m a dif­fer­ent per­son now. Stronger, both men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly. When I walked up the steps of Sacré Cœur, I was accost­ed again by the string men, except this time I was­n’t con­fused or scared. When one of them stopped me by using his body to block my path and placed an arm on me to pre­vent me from mov­ing, my Tai Chi instincts kicked in and I was able to break free, though not with­out a bit of shuf­fle.

Maybe I need­ed some kind of jour­ney to fig­ure out that I’ve changed, and I would­n’t have known if I did­n’t come here again, six months lat­er.

accordion player

You haven’t tru­ly expe­ri­enced Paris until you’ve heard the char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly wheezy notes from an accor­dion on the streets, and have been giv­en a sour look from a local. Luckily, this was all in the same moment.

Karin has me booked in a quaint lit­tle hotel in Montmartre for the first four days, lit­er­al­ly a 10 minute walk from Rue Saint Vincent, and just around the cor­ner from Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. I always won­dered what it’s like inside these tall build­ings.

Hotel Bearnais


Hotel Bearnais room


Hotel Bearnais view

The view from my room, over­look­ing a small court­yard, with sexy escapades occa­sion­al­ly hap­pen­ing in the win­dows across.

It’s the begin­ning of été here. The sun is hot, but there’s a cool breeze that per­me­ates the open air, chill­ing you con­sid­er­ably if you’re in the shade. It’s what spring should be, a won­der­ful feel­ing I’ve nev­er known as Canada goes from the freez­ing win­ter straight to the mug­gy sum­mer. This must be the best place in the world to expe­ri­ence it.

on rue Saint-Vincent

On rue Saint-Vincent once again, along with ubiq­ui­tous Parisian cig­a­rette stub.

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