So I thought I should probably explain yesterday's photo - last Saturday night, the Champs Elysées was shut down for something called Nature Capitale, which took place on the Sunday and Monday. It was part art installation, part eco-awareness event and it was very interesting....in concept. In reality, it was the hottest day of the year (30 Celcius) and about 50 bajillion people showed up.
Seriously, it was PACKED - I had gone down there to meet my journalist friend Miss A, who had been covering the event and we managed to get about halfway up the street before giving up and going for a well-deserved frosty beverage. I don't think they had any idea so many people were going to show up, and it was made worse by the fact that there were metal barricades down both sides of the street, causing far more congestion and crowding than necessary. But it's Paris - god forbid there not be barricades, I mean, people might just wander from the sidewalk onto the street and back again. It could be chaos, people, chaos! I personally think the barricades were just there so the security guys would have something to sit on - what else were they doing? Was someone going to try to steal a leaf?
Oops, sorry, I think my snark was showing a little bit there. There were nice parts to it and, as I said, it was a cool concept - bringing nature and agriculture to the city was an interesting idea and there were volunteers to explain and educate on all the exhibits. However, I felt sorry for the sheep (and that goes in at number 5 on my list of Top Ten Sentences I Never Thought I Would Utter: "I felt sorry for the sheep") as they had a bunch of them penned up in the middle of the street with no shade whatsoever. Hey, wearing a full-body fuzzy wool suit when it's 30C degrees? Not good times... (And you just know all the other sheep on the farm were super-jealous beforehand that these ones got to go to Paris, right? "Dude, I am BUMMED, those guys are going to the city, I'll bet they go clubbing and see the dancing girls at the Moulin Rouge, and here we are, stuck back on the farm. Dang!")
Ahem. Anyway, I'm glad I went just for the experience of it, but considering that I grew up in the country, it wasn't really all that exciting to me. Although watching the Parisians looking at the grass displays cracked me up - there they were, nodding sagely and looking wise, like they knew what the hell they were looking at, other than it being, you know, grass. And I forgot to mention that the grass wasn't underfoot, it was in raised boxes placed at intervals all along the street - what, are you kidding? It's Paris, you never get to walk on the grass...