Bits about software development, and about some other forms of art too...

Monday, November 3, 2008

A (not so) cold winter night

Friday evening was indeed a cold winter night in Paris. So much so that I really thought over the idea to go the concert of I'm From Barcelona. Sure, I more than enjoyed last year's gig and I still expected some fun. But I had doubts.

First of all, I felt that a great part of the magic I had felt then came from a surprise effect that could not possibly occur again : I knew what to expect now. And that sounded like a good recipe for disappointment to me.

Furthermore, I had just listened to their last album a few times in the preceding week, and I had found it a bit more melancholic, darker than the first one (as the cover suggests correctly). I felt the touch was gone as all their communicative energy came through the joyfulness of their songs. How could they drive the audience nuts again with those songs ?

Then there was the 45 minutes queuing at the entrance of the concert hall in the freezing cold (I like to come early to get a good spot).

Then a nice french group (Revolver) played in the first part. Nice vocal harmonies, with two guitars and a cello, no drummer. Very nice, but not warming at all. Meanwhile, someone in the audience had brought his own balloons and started to inflate them.

Then the long awaited band began its show. Parts of the audience tried to jump, clap and scream on the first songs but there was something wrong about it. It was all fake, people desperately wanting to be happy but not being really. As feared, the new songs did not fit...

And then, Emanuel picked up a yellow balloon that had somehow landed on the stage :

BOUM !!! Can you spot the moment when everybody starts being crazy ? My God, this concert was even better than the first one ! It went on like this for more than an hour, with more balloons, more confetti, more shouts and more joy. And it ended a cappella, in the streets of Paris, in a winter night that did not feel so cold after all.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Practically perfect

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Take the topic of transportation systems : I quoted recently an article of The Independent that can make believe that Londoners would be very happy to trade their Tube against our Métro.

St Pancra's stationWell, the Métro is quite allright. Except for the noise of course. In some sections, you cannot have a normal conversation, let alone a loud one. Oh, and who cares really about air-conditioning ? Certainly not Parisians who like to sweat bullets from spring to autumn. And to gather in large groups in small carriages to enjoy their overheated and deafening trips during peak hours. To be honest, I found my recent experience with the Tube quite exhilarating. And the new Oyster system is so easy to use ! I could never find the courage to go through all the paperwork required to get the rather equivalent (there is no such thing as "pay as you go") Navigo in my own city when it took me 2 minutes of queuing and 3£ to get one in London.

Or so I thought. I just checked out and was able to subscribe online almost instantly. I almost cannot believe it was so easy ! It sure does not help for the noise, but after all this annoyance seems to quite well shared, not only in "old Europe", but in the capital of the world as well (where their EasyPay program does not seem to be half as useful as ours). So I will try to rant a bit less from now on. Even if it can be quite enjoyable at times ;-)

But one thing for sure the Métro will always lack, and this is no ranting, is that it will never bring me to such marvellous, moving and dreamful places as this one :

I will not leave my brand new Oyster card unused for too long, you can count on this.

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Monday, March 26, 2007


I really had a good laugh at the movies the other day when they showed a teaser for Ratatouille, the next Disney/Pixar movie.

Art de vivre, humour : just (part of) what I love about Paris.

What ? Mmmh. OK, maybe not humour... But still :

It's so easy to find good food in Paris !

And then I smelled a rat : what kind of publicity is this ? Do they try to suggest that there are rodents in our kitchens ? So let me get this straight : we do NOT have rats in our restaurants.

What we have instead are cute little mice. We of course have bigger ones too, but they are actually located outside Paris. And if you are looking for the big thing, then check a big city out. Give the capital of the world a try :

Rats : observations on the history and habitat of the city's most unwanted inhabitantsThis was the only place in the world this could take place. I am not talking about the rats, but about the fuss around them : breaking news, live reports, international coverage... Just (part of) what I love about New York City.

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