I’ll be staying in this afternoon, because last night I was out partying until the wee hours at the Paris Diner en Blanc. Last week I was taking a bus and started thinking to myself, “Gee, it should be the DIner en Blanc soon. I wonder if I missed it?” My mild curiousity was quickly washed away by desperation over the rainy weather. It simply will not let up.
Then two days ago, my friend Mary Kay posted the date on her FB page, asking if anyone could tell her where the dinner would be held. She was in something of a pickle because we already had cocktail plans with friends that evening. Our cocktail was set to be a picnic, under the gazebo in the Luxembourg gardens, presumably as rain would be pouring down all around. And while that sounded lovely, MK had a lead on the Diner. We decided to play things by ear.
Ears started playing started with a phone call the next day at around 17h, “I really don’t have the strength to sit outside in this pouring rain. Could we choose another place?” MK had a point. It had been pouring all day. My pants were soaked to my knee caps and images of Noah’s ark were never far from my thoughts.
Ellacoquine, our third date for the night, suggested the Marais. Young, fun and somewhere new to me, I was IN. MK requested something a bit more central so she could jet off at a moment’s notice. She thought something along the Line 1 would be grand. Le Fumoir, I blurted out. Le Fumoir is one of the most searched sights in all of Google Maps Paris. It is hippy, trendy and located strategically just behind the Louvre, next to the Mairie du 1e (thank you Ella, for pointing out that it was the Mairie, and not just a continuation of the church next door). Le Fumoir also serves corn nuts at cocktail hour. We had a date.
And then magic happened. The rain stopped. The clouds drew away and blue sky could be seen for the first time in days. Ella was the first to arrive at the café and she deftly scored us a table on the much coveted terasse. I was quick on her heels, motivated by the promise of a sun celebratory drink.
We savoured the moment, the weather finally letting us being proper Parisiennes, sitting outside watching the world go by. And then, like fairy dust coming down from the sky, they appeared. “They” being folks dressed in white. Ella noticed them first. I immediately called MK and told her to step on it while Ella, ever the practical one, went over to get more details from the men in white.She came back to report that this was the pre-meeting place until their final destination was revealed.
I feel fairly confident that MK will give full details of the event on her blog, but I will just say that it ended as magically as it that began; from an amber sunset glowing through the pyramids of the Louvre to 6000 sparklers reflecting the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. There were opera singers, an oompa band and one of my favorite activities on earth; dancing.
Dancing under floating lanterns and a rain-free, star lit sky.