Street Culture

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Last posting about the Paris scene for a couple of months. I’m in transition culture shock at the moment. Travelling abroad with family or friends is fine because you never entirely step away from reality. Traveling alone and spending a few days operating throughout in another language, immersed in encounters and meetings with business contacts, friends, acquaintances and a constant trail of workmen is somehow slightly disorientating.

When you say “Merci!” to British passport control, you know a period of adjustment is called for. Luckily I’ve successfully managed the evening without further mishap, and I’m delighted I can now have my iPhone keyboard on English format setting again. No more quaint little accents appearing as autocorrectif dors it’s StuffIt.

Anyway, whilst it’s good to be home, and I’m relieved to still be alive after experiencing a plane landing in 65mph winds, I was a bit sad to leave without having done a couple of new museums I’d set my heart on visiting if time permitted.

Time did not permit, but it occurred to me you really don’t need to actually step inside a museum to experience cultural and historical education. The French are adept at seizing any opportunity to educate and entertain the passing public and are particularly fond of public railing exhibitions throughout the city.

Some current interesting stuff I think I mentioned a few weeks ago can still be seen at the Marché Carrée in the 3rd arrondissement. And another great show at the moment is hanging on the railings outside the Gare de l’Est in the 10th. With the opening of the new Martin Scorsese film Hugo, the authorities have seized the chance to serve up background information not only to the film, but about the wider contextual history of the station.

It’s quite fascinating. But calls for more time to read it than most people scuttling by probably have. I hope it’s still up next time I’m there.

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