Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sweat, thirst, and riot police ...

Le sweat, le thirst, and le French riot police ...

TOTALLY WORTH IT.

The french have this amazing concept called Fête de la Musique. See, once a year, all citizens are rewarded grandly for their compliance with 2am noise-reduction rules. On the shortest night of the year, June 21, France residents can go wild with music and merry-making till the cows (or, apparently, the CRS) come home.

Here in Nice, I was told to expect live bands in the streets, with a new musical genre delighting my ears every couple blocks. I wasn't disappointed.

As we wandered happily through the cobblestone old city, pulses of mambo, rock and even frenchies karaoke-singing 70's english songs aggressively invaded my personal space. Awesome.

At 11pm, the night was still clear and warm, with a refreshing breeze blowing in from the Mediterranean. We had read in the Nice Metro news that a big party au Port would be happening. House, with DJs named Vendetta and Garraud. I like house. Or, as they say here, de la Haouse.

Turning the corner at the end of the Promenade des Anglais, a violet, glowing structure rose into view amidst the thick mass of exuberant teens, adults, even parents with 4-year-old children. Hello huge smile as I recognized the rave-like music that entranced my adolescence. Atop the purple-lit scaffolding flashed giant screens, strobing to the music. I could feel the bass pumping.

Joachim Garraud is my new hero. As soon as he hit the turntables, I swear my arms started flailing of their own accord, body grooving to the most amazing house music I've ever heard.




Amazingly enough, his t-shirt also finally shed light upon a mysterious mosaic I'd uncovered with Igor and John at the lighthouse more than one year ago:




















The thousands of people at the Port agreed with the magnificence of the music. It was what we call "une bonne ambiance".
  • This wasn't: a night club with bar stars holding tiny martini glasses and barely head-nod dancing.
  • This wasn't: a exstacy-driven rave with admittedly loving people but swathed in illegalness.
  • This WAS: good high-tech-fashioned fun with happy people of all ages, celebrating beautiful music under the bright moon, for FREE.
...and then there was the tear gas. :(

10 comments:

Kered said...

I was there too, with Angelica and other friends.

There is no reliable information, but I think the reaction of the CRS was totally oversized. I hate them, they ruined it all.

The strangest thing is the media didn't cover these events. As if nothing happened.

Noah said...

The little video game mosaic street art pieces are all over the place in France. Andy and I saw a couple in Paris too. Here's a bit from Wikipedia on it: Space Invaders Street Art.

Greg said...

Interesting. Reminds me of the Toynbee tiles.

Angelica said...

Yeah, darn CRS. I flipped out when one heavily armored officer started aiming his gun in my direction. Go ahead, just traumatize me! *grumbles french obscenities*

Acky said...

so is that what those purple cellophane covers were for?? That's awesome! Hmm so maybe I should've stayed for another week eh? Just kidding, I would't put you through another week of me :)

...but...tear gas?

Acky said...

...and guns?.....oyie...

Angelica said...

Well I guess the guns were of the rubber bullet type, but they did look intimidating :P

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash-ball

Hehe, turns out it was invented in France. Leave it to the French to find a way to bring order to their countless of riots/demonstrations (remember all the strikes Sayako??)

Acky said...

rubber or metal...either way guns are guns and it'll freak me out too! As per wiki: "can be used to fire a variety of ammunition although a soft 44 mm rubber ball is the most common."
...okay, so others include...?
Careful there girlie, don't want you comin' home with your own little 'battle scar'...or 'concert scar'...:P

Noah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Noah said...

Recently Sighted near Main Street in Vancouver:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rocketcandy/578773975/