Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Zen and the art of motorcycling Paris...
I hit Paris with a loose chain and a bit of a loose head. More on that in a minute.......I'm going to give a wrap-up list for Greenblat because apparently he can't be bothered with my long ramblings: (from now on this is referred to as the "Greenblat")
-Found places to stay with Kevin's friends
-couch surfing here is pretty damn good
-replaced chain and sprocket on bike on Friday - met really cool guy (Christophe) with moto shop
-saw sights via motorbike
-riding a motorbike in Paris is INSANE AND FUN!
-met cool friends out Friday night....went to bed at 7:30am the next day
-ate good French food
-drank lots of scotch and wine
-Parisians don't sleep....kept me up all night Saturday too
-Visited Cliches (for Mark) Louvre, Eiffel, Jim Morrison's grave, Notre Dame, Arch, pretty stuff, parks, Catacombs, various museums...more to follow....
-replaced back tire on Motorbike
-new Parisian friends had a party for me under the Eiffel Tower...FUN
-Likely headed to Italy or Spain in the next few days....yeah, it's that undecided.
-I'm allergic to Paris...worst allergies in ages
-I like Parisian food better than London's food (sorry Frankie)
-still alive...maybe more so than normal
I rode into Paris almost a week ago and was amazed by how beautiful the French countryside is. It kept a smile on face almost the entire 3 hour ride from the coast to the center of Paris. I was able to crash with Yann and Emily...friends of Greenblat. They rocked and helped me through a stressful Friday as I tried to get a new chain and money to fix my bike. It was a crazy day of finding my way, but it worked out.
I met Christophe and Florian of www.scootngo.fr just up the road from Yann's house. Christophe spoke great English and helped me figure out what I needed, offered his shop space and tools, his help and PLENTY of hospitality. Christophe really went out of his way to help me with the sprockets and chain and then again (today) with a new rear tire mounted and balanced. What a difference it's made to have someone's help and place to work. I can't say enough about his generosity! Again....more cool people no matter where I go.
Yann promptly took me out Friday night and got me drunk at a party and then an all night club. It was drunken hilarity for sure. The good part was that we stayed out until 7:30 am and were able to sober up enough to ride across town with empty roads on Saturday morning. Yann led me on his scooter down the river along all the picturesque sights and even through my crazy exhaustion I felt wide awake just taking it all in.....amazing. Thanks Yann!
After a few hours of sleep on Saturday I met up with some friends from the night before for some Paris museum roaming. (Mai, Albane, Sophie and Antoine) The experience was unique for sure. In Paris modern art can mean a nitrogen-powered-beer-bottle-canon, a HUGE pile of trash and even a man staring at a wall. Thought provoking and I'm considering taking up the practice of art now. ;) The day ended in horrible allergies, but I kept going.....
I ended up meeting Yann at a party at Luc's house. Luc is another friend of Greenblat and Slutsky's. Luc has an amazing house and in the course of the night offered to let me crash with him for a few nights. (I'm still there) Luc's hospitality has been amazing as well. He took me to Pere-LaChaise (huge famous cemetery) near his house. We sat and soaked it up....absolutely beautiful place and a great walk for both of us. Luc goes there often and said that it's his favorite place in Paris. I also took the stroll to see Jim Morrison....he says "hey" to the fans back home.
Last night Sophie, Mai and Albane all through a little surprise going away party for me near the tower and it was a blast.....these people know how to party and make one feel welcome. Paris and I will rendezvous again!
Today I worked in Christophe's shop all day on the bike and internet to update this. I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to Spain or Italy in the next few days.....more fun to follow.