FYI on the Longest Days of the Year
From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for three solid long summer days, my niece Shari, my daughter Erica and I recreated the finding-an-apartment process for the cameras of FYI Tiny House Nation — another network and reality TV show much like House Hunters International. It was the first time for FYI to do an international show and likely the first time for a ‘family affair’ — where the buyer, the friend in tow and the real estate agent were all related.
‘Tiny’ was pretty easy to show off, since so many spaces in the City of Light are tinier than tiny. Shari and Erica visited three such apartments, one as small as 95 square feet — likely the size of your walk-in closet! But here in Paris, lots of people live in spaces this small and an apartment of this size can actually house a full kitchen and a shower plus a double bed…but in this case, no toilet!
It was a ‘first’ to have my family as part of the filming, but it was as much fun as we anticipated. The dynamics were hilarious as one might expect from three women from the same family tree. In one scene, friends gathered to celebrate the purchase of the apartment and we managed to get six women on one bed to show how many people can fit into one tiny apartment.
When it will air is a mystery to all of us. It takes time for the producers to edit and complete a show and then for the network to schedule its airing. Of course we will let you know when to expect it (!), so stay tuned on our site and in the Parler Paris Nouvellettres® for the upcoming dates.
Sunday was ‘catch-up’ day after three days of smiling for the camera, but it was more than just ‘any ol’ Sunday.’ It was the longest day of the year — Summer Solstice — and also “Fête de la Musique.”
In 20 years I cannot remember ever having missed the public country-wide festival. Often the weather is uncooperative, but yesterday’s warm air and wispy clouds allowed for a perfect venue. It’s one of those amazing events where everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is out for the sheer pleasure of it, just to wander and discover different musical performances in every corner of the city.
We started off early at 5 p.m. at the Square du Temple where Mélo’Men, the Gay men’s chorus, was performing at the “Kiosque à Musique.” A large crowd gathered and no one uttered a word while they were harmonizing. It was fascinating to watch one spectator ‘signing’ the words of the songs to another spectator wearing a hearing device, so we assumed he had a hearing impairment. It was then I realized how lucky were were to have a keen sense of hearing on such an occasion, but it didn’t stop this gentleman from enjoying the event.
Lots of performances were well programmed, but most were not and these were often the most interesting, if not the most entertaining. Anyone wishing to stretch his vocal chords or exercise his fingers on an instrument was there for the pleasure and the show. There is no limit for age, young or old, so even the youngest of musicians were testing their talents.
The Forum des Associations Juives had installed themselves in the Carreau du Temple where “Playback Dolls” was performing and the audience was dancing the Hora (originally a Balkan circle dance). One young girl saw this as her opportunity to show off her dancing talents as she swirled her pretty blue skirt.
The Place des Vosges, as always, was awash with performances including ‘sing-alongs’ and operatic voices under the arcades where the acoustics are perfect for such high notes. Outside of cafés and bars, if the music wasn’t live, a DJ was blasting disco and techno to a bevy of dancing spirited party-goers.
“Merguez” (a red, spicy mutton or beef-based sausage) was cooking on make-shift grills served up by entrepreneurial venders to satisfy the hungry crowds. The number of cafés closed on a Sunday evening which did not take advantage of the special event to fill their cash registers was surprising to our American capitalistic minds.
My niece remarked that she had ‘just bought into a party-town’ to which we agreed that owning a piece of Paris was about to change her life forever. Parisians, not exclusive of all of the French, know how to party in the most civilized of ways, holding all sorts of public events and festivals without fear of violence. There is very little visible police presence (but perhaps lots of plain-clothes cops) and the crowds are amazingly well behaved and polite. It is always astounding considering the masses of humanity on the streets and the flow of alcohol from the cafés and bars.
As the sun set at 9:58 p.m., the street lights flickered on, and the music continued much into the night. I could hear it outside my windows long after getting under the covers and thinking: another festival come and gone and how many more public events we have coming up to keep the summer season entertaining for us urbanites.
A la prochaine,
The Adrian Leeds Group
(Taping Tiny House Nation)
P.S. When you need an Adrian-on-House-Hunters-International fix, there is one episode now available for download. Watch HHI’s Teenage Dream on video whenever you want. Get your fix today