Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Victory followed by a peaceful morning

July 11, 2018 -- The street market under the elevated tracks on the Boulevard de Grenelle was strangely uncrowded at 8:45AM.  Several of the vendor stalls were empty or still being set up.  The flow of shoppers was thin.  Why, I wondered?  This isn't August yet.  Of course, this is a holiday week -- Bastille Day is Saturday.  Then I suddenly remembered -- last night, France beat Belgium in the World Cup.  People celebrated long and hard last night, and were a bit late starting up at the market today.

A Japanese-garden-style walkway in the garden at the
Musée du Quai Branly.
We had the front and back windows open last night, as the three of us sat around talking after a casual dinner at home.  We could hear crowds of people sporadically cheering in cafés all around.  Tom pulled out his laptop and followed the blow-by-blow coverage of the game.  After each cheer, he told Dan and me what had just happened.

Then there was an explosive cheer and we learned that France won.  Now they'll face off with either England or Croatia on Sunday in Moscow.

France won the World Cup (in Paris!) in 1998, the first summer we spent here.  It was a memorable time.

We are not sports fans, but we do follow the Tour de France on TV.  I think the real reason that I watch the Tour is to see the scenery, particularly the helicopter videos of charming villages, chateaux, churches, mountains, rivers, lakes and forests.  This year's race started with views of the Atlantic coastline.  That was cool.

As I started my walk today, I noticed yet another competitor to Velib, in addition to and Mobike (see yesterday's blog entry):  Donkey Republic.

I noted that Donkey Republic's slogan is in English:  Increase your bikeprint in the world.  English is everywhere.
Donkey Republic is one of several bike sharing services in Paris.

We recently met neighbors who are renting an apartment on the third floor.  They are Vickie and Raymond, from Shanghai.  They speak little French.  They rely on their English while they're living here in Paris.  We hear English spoken more and more, even here in this less touristy part of central Paris.

But to hear it spoken in our building by people other than us is unusual.

I saw many signs in English as I walked this morning.  I think it is official now:  English is a second language in Paris.

After walking the length of the Grenelle market, I turned toward the Champ de Mars.  Then I crossed it and headed for my favorite garden, at the Musée du Quai Branly.

Few people were in the garden, so it was a beautiful time to take photographs.  Enjoy!

Tables with umbrellas in a secluded spot.

Rebar fashioned into a trellis.  Seats are chunks of granite, smooth and polished on top.

This structure has a vegetated roof.

The museum currently has an exhibit of the works of James Barnor, a photographer from Ghana
who also lived in London.

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