All of the Lights: Week 2 (Oh you F(r)ancy, huh?)
Traveler’s Note: What we have is here is a collection of write-ups composed during downtimes (let’s hope there are few) that tell my French story. Mon histoire francais. As this is partly a music blog, my journal entries will be sonically driven, giving insight on how music is shaping my time in the City of (flashing) Lights. Enjoy!
Here we are at the beginning of Week 2 a Paris. I still have no phone service, had naan sips of Champagne but you know what, I have not one complaint about my time here, thus far. Earlier this morning I had my first Parisien croissant, a mini one, which was outstanding enough to make Charlie Wilson sing about it. And le boulanger didn’t have to hurry up with it, either. I noticed that when dining out here, there really is no rush to do anything. It’s pretty dope to just take a breath and not really trip on anything for a while. But I’m a hot-blooded American, so I do find myself tripping on a few things, mostly the fact that it’s hard to understand French, especially when spoken by natives or season conversationalists. I’m hoping to get on that level soon. Not so I can converse and have existentialist discourse with guys wearing deep Vs and laceless boots, but so I can proudly sing Trillville & Lil Scrappy to more people than I can credibly do now. I just got back from an hour long skate session that was just supposed to be 20-30 mins but you know sometimes the allure of the lit city just overcomes you and you want waft in its elegance until you can transcend the opulence of the monarchs who enjoyed all the gardens and chateaus that still stand as constant reminders that Paris exists for nobles. But I’m lyin’, I made a few wrong turns and got lost as hell. I dont think i’ll ever learn this city’s street system. I feel like there’s a term better than “street system” and it’s not geography, and i dont care to look it up. Terrain? Grid? Fuck it, whatever it’s called,it’s perturbing and confusing. But it was dope, nonetheless. I got to bump that G-Unit Radio 25 in its entirety and listen to “Regular Girl” like 4 times. That song is everything to me right now, meme si the content probably isn’t.
If you’ve been keeping up and know a little about music, you’ll probably be able to tell that I got some new music which has been keeping me happy. I have the first quiz of the grueling praticum in the morning which I think I’m kinda ready for somewhat a little bit and stuff. Oh and I been surviving on these things places called Donner Kebab. Bang for the Buck like bruh! Um out.
Took a break from getting rammed by my French practicum to spew some wordage. Don’t have much to talk about other than this bar I hit last. They called it the Charlotte Club and I wish so bad that places like existed in America, at least in the places I’ve called home throughout my years. At least some aspects of it. So my and the roomies, 1 part of the Squad Abroad walk in to some old Drake verse, the exact one escapes me now but you’ll soon understand why. I’m like coo, this place got Pop potential! We sit down peep the scene, look a menu and “Say Something” comes on. I’m like yo, they’re on it! We continue chilling, watching the screens and what not, when yet another Drizzy plays. I feel like in a lot of other situations, I’d be irritated but for whatever reason, I thought it was the best shit that could have ever happened. Later, I’d have that thought challenged and defeated by my first french crepe featuring: EGGS (yeah!), CHEESE (uh huh!), BACON (bomb!), and the x-factor, ALGERIAN SAUCE (aww suki suki, now!). But yeah Drake is playing right and we’re laughing how a lot of the Rap they love is 5-10 years behind. It’s been a mainstay since my arrival. But it’s in no way a bad thing, which is somewhat scary cause it makes me wonder whether I’m getting old. You know how old people treat the dated shit they like as if it was written by prophets? I always wondered about what age the musical xenophobia kicked in. But It was that feeling, which i’m perfectly fine with that had me so hyped to be in that spot, thought it was pretty empty.
As for what I’m bumping on my way to get owned by what is probably elementary French, Dedication 2 has made its way to my phone, along with Childish’s STN MTN tape, which is both the most recent (maybe I’m not getting old) and maybe one of the sickest mixtapes ever -as in it might make the top 75. Another discovery I’ve made is that a Musiq Soulchild-Paris pairing is something special.
Wow, Paris! You showed me something I’d never have expected of ya classy ass this weekend; total debauchery. I guess considering that this is big city, it’s inevitable but I’ve spent many a nights in Hollywood and, like, I don’t think it’s ever just gone up like that. I came home with my adrenaline still pumping. TBR, it should have been apparent that the night would be turnt when the first step onto the strip was a man laying on his with pants down to his knees. All I could say was “whoa”. But the night continued, just like any other night would… kinda. We stopped at the Drake spot for a minute where it was decided -nonverbally- that Jager bombs would be the constant throughout the night of thirst and aggression (which is ironically kinda what a Jagerbomb is). We soon left there as it wasn’t living up to its pop off potential, which is only supported by its DJ. The place isn’t big enough to have a dancefloor, but instead a dance aisle. Moving to this other spot, strong on the neo-Funk, more Jagerbombs amid watching the owner of the celebrate his 50somethingth birthday with a club of 20 year olds, holding a mini disco ball. At one point, when he wasn’t standing on the bar being harassed by his Fully Monty cast looking employees, he was socializing with a red wig on, sorta like Katey Segal in Married with Children. The night was still young. On to the next place we went, as I could no longer stand to humiliate myself doing makeshift dance moves to the neo-Funk and the Squad Abroad could no longer stand their Long Islands which they claimed to “literally taste like piss”. I was like, “literally?” One girl was like “literally.” But it wasn’t a MADTv sketch so I kinda just left it as it was while we walked to another bar. Before we got there though, a confrontation lurked in the distance ahead. A lanky malnourished older fellow in torn clothing seemed and could be bouncer soon appeared as interlocutors before the bouncer heisman’d the lanky dude, who then proceeded to tumble backwards about 3 times before reaching a complete stop. We were about 5 yards away when this happened (i’m still tryna learn how kilos work). The floored fella hops back into his interlocutor’s face but we just continued on before it got too crazy.
We come back from another spot off the strip to continue the turn up only be denied re-entry to the Drake spot. Before making a move anywhere else we look up to see a guy punched from behind like 3 times before he falls and gets flocked by two others who continue their attack until
the cops in all our riot gear rush over, making the mounting crowd flee. Damn. What seems like seconds later a crowd comes rushing around the corner onto the strip. Many of the people rushing are covering their eyes due what could really only be a reaction to pepper spray. In the crowd of people holding their eyes is one of cops in riot gear. Wait, what did..? How could..? Did they not..? Anyways, night’s getting out of hand and we should probably head but who am I to shake out when chaos ensues? Cops in Baltimore? Any whoo we stay to enjoy a few more Jagerbombs at one of the last open places before heading back out on the strip to find some grub and pretty much end the night. As we walk out to a street, a small groups emerges from a nook up the street breathing hard and throwing their hands up. Seconds later a little guy who could be replace Zayn in One Direction comes out of the nook attempting to escape a group of guys. He brisk walk becomes a short jog away from when the guys in pursuit pick up the pace and catch before he can get to us. Not that we were gonna do anything, I’m just Henri Matisse this; paint the picture. They catch the guy who falls before he’s even hit like a gazelle being circled and caught on one of those Serengeti specials. He gets kicked a bunch of times before his assailants decide they’ve made their point. The whole time I’m thinking and saying, “where are this guy’s friends?” Where are his Liam Payne and other band members? At that point we dip out cause between the fights and the guys tryna aggressively approach the chicks in the Squad Abroad, we could be next to fight. We get some grub after complaing about McDo not being 24/7 here but not before watching some arrests and drunks being dragged around by their friends.
We jump over a turnstile to get our Metro train, since it’s now running again at 6am. I can’t believe this is happening in Paris.