Nuit Blanche: An All Nighter of Art in the City of Light

viewmultimediadocumentLast Saturday was Nuit Blanche, an art festival that starts at around 6pm and doesn’t end until 7 am the next day. The artwork was scattered throughout the city of Paris in “sections” with each section having its own theme.

They even created a handy dandy app that would help you get from area to area for the directionally challenged (ME!) but of course my phone had to die as soon as we got to our first exhibit.

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So with the impeding doom of a dead phone quickly approaching, I decided to check out the biggest exhibit on the map (see number 4 above) which was titled “Open Musée Street-Art Contemporain” (translates to Open Museum Contemporary Street Art, but you lose the Museum Street in translation)

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The lines were enormous, but since the night was young we decided to wait in them. Thankfully they always moved very quickly as it usually was only a matter of counting the people going in or making sure the next group always went in at the start of the next performance.

Honestly, I didn’t get half of the artwork.

Some of it was, well, strange:

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The wall was in between the two

And other pieces of art were just befuddling:

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They left me looking a lot like Dean:

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But regardless of whether I understood it or not, it was all pretty cool:

 

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This guy fixes the walls with legos

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It was even difficult to tell the difference between the street art that had been there before and the actual artwork for Nuit Blanche specifically. I think there were even some artists out there who weren’t technically part of Nuit Blanche who set up displays in the street like this guy:

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He’s spray painting plastic wrap!

Despite all of these pictures, I didn’t even make it through the whole Street Art section before my friends started feeling sick and we decided to call it a night. Honestly,  it was a good idea. The temperature dropped at least 10 degrees and I woke up sick the next morning!

Here’s a video I found if you’re interested in seeing more of Nuit Blanche!

 

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Yoga in Paris?

When Sweet Briar, the program that I’m studying abroad with, told us that the Sorbonne offered free sports classes for students, I thought, cool, and decided to casually glance over the list later. But then when I saw that list contained a whole section dedicated to Yoga, I almost did a feathered peacock pose right there! (Just kidding guys I can’t do arm-stands I’m not that good)

I went to my required medical visit twice, (the first time they had apparently “lost” my appointment time or something) so that the doctor could sign a sheet of paper saying I was physically fit enough to do yoga. Then I waited in a long line at school and snagged the last spot in the last beginner class of yoga left!

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It also happened to be the exact same day so I ran home and changed into my yoga pants before heading back for the class.

We started the class off with savasana

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Which is extremely important for concentrating on breathing and releasing tension. I’m used to finishing my yoga class with savasana, but I figured yoga would be a little different here anyways. But then we didn’t move.

We didn’t move for a very long time.

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Definitely still focusing on breathing

 

30 minutes into my yoga class and I was already falling asleep! Which I guess is good if you’re practicing yoga mainly to relax, but I’m used to a more active, intense form of yoga called vinyasa so after we did 2 sun salutations and the class ended I decided to change to the more advanced class.

Yoga and Drill Sergeant are two words that should never ever go together and yet they did. No relaxing smiling personality, only a permanent scowl and a penchant for yelling at the class.

“No looking at other people” she would say. “I describe everything you need to do so you don’t even need to have your eyes open!”

Yeah uh huh and how does that work if you don’t know yoga vocabulary in French?

But thankfully even though the languages changes, the positions do not, so I was able to follow along pretty well since I had already done them before!

 

It wasn’t very relaxing, but it was great in terms of what I wanted for a yoga class. Lots of deep stretches and flowing through poses like I’m used to. I might even be sore tomorrow!

The only bad thing was that she let the class out half an hour late…

And I missed my lecture class because it would have taken me 45 minutes to get to the classroom on the other side of Paris and you do not walk into a class in France 15 minutes late.

Yeah, Namaste to you too professor.
Yeah thanks,  Namaste to you too professor.

So tomorrow I’ll go back to the sports office at the Sorbonne and see if I can change back to the easy yoga class, because I can’t keep missing my lectures. Also Drill Sergeant Yoga lady would probably tell me to stop taking her class if I asked to get out on time. She was that mean. But I doubt that there will be any remaining spots in the class 😦

I guess I’ll just have to do my vinyasa on Youtube!

Because a picture of me like this in front of the Eiffel Tower is now on the bucket list.

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I won’t be completely giving up on yoga in Paris though. I’ve heard of some free classes around the city so I’ll have to check them out and blog about them in the future!

Don’t miss a single blog post of my entire adventure! Please subscribe (click Follow blog via email in the column on the right!) to receive this blog’s updates via email! Also, I love getting feedback so please comment!