Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Irish Cultural Center Performance

After the bus tour, we stopped in the Place de la Contrescarpe, a "normal" neighborhood, where the Irish Cultural Center is located - that was the site of our afternoon performance. The area had a whole bunch of little cafés and shoppes and restaurants. I looked into a newsstand for a gift for the boys - looking for a Justice League comic or coloring book in French for them - before we found a neat little café for lunch.

The French love their ham. All of the sandwiches are ham based: croquet monsieur, which is ham and cheese; the croquet madame, which is the same but with an egg on top. I have not seen a roast beef sandwich, or a turkey sandwich, except as an additional ingredient to a ham sandwich. And, when they say a sandwich is covered in cheese, they mean the sandwich is covered with cheese.

As we were sitting outside the cafe, enjoying the weather, we suddenly heard a low, gravelly, frightening voice shouting from above. Across the street, a figure that bore a startling resemblance to Grumpy Cat yelled from above:

In speaking with others, she is a beggar that goes around the neighborhood and pesters tourists and others. She was pestering Gordon and Mark, and their waitress was quite stern with her. Interesting. Apparently, Gordon was counting the change in his hand, and she joked up to him and tried to pull the money from his palm. Aggressive lady.

That area, according
to Patrick, is one of the more exclusive areas in the city. It has an amazing school that is only available for people who live in the neighborhood.

We notice that there are an awful lot of cool little playgrounds sprinkled throughout the city. The boys would enjoy that.


The performance was part of a lunchtime concert series at the Irish Cultural Center. It is a gorgeous little building in the middle of the neighborhood, and it has a quiet courtyard in which to sit. People frequently come there to study, to eat, and to get away from things. There are a number of these places throughout the city, and Patrick tells us that those places are what makes life in the city survivable and bearable. Every once in a while, you need to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle and reduce the sensory input, and this is the place to do it.

Our audience was not big; probably only about fifteen people that stayed for the entire show, and another five or ten that stayed for part of the show. They were gathered around tables with chairs, usually with their lunch in front of them. There was a young family with baby twins, probably about four or five years old.

Funny bit: as Sidekicks sang "What a a Wonderful World," they got to the part where they sang, "I hear babies cry, I watch them grow..." and one of the babies started to cry a little bit. It was very, very well timed and very, very cute.

The concert was a formal performance in our sparklies, and the concert organizers seemed to be pleased with the performance. I think we sounded just about as good as the other night, considering that we were outside. Outside plays heck with acoustics, because there is no realistic way to hear people in the chorus.

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