I wrote last week about Toulouse, the first stop on the monthlong European theater tour that Nick and I embarked on this past Spring. This week, I'm writing about our second tour stop, Paris, which began with a long, scenic train ride across the French countryside. It was beautiful - we passed lots of vineyards and farmland, little villages and old stone manors, rivers, fields of flowers, and trees. It was a perfect way to begin the week.
When we arrived, we piled ourselves and all of our many, MANY suitcases into two European-sized vans, which are like little minivans - not very big by American standards at all. Below, our first sighting of the Eiffel tower, and a view from inside one of the vans...
We stayed in Montmartre, and I was told ahead of time that the thing to do at the hotel was request a "cemetery view." I didn't make the request, but Nick and I got a cemetery view anyway, which was epic - here's a shot I took from inside our hotel room, overlooking the gorgeous Montmartre Cemetery.
The production team - Nick, Randi, and I- didn't get to hang out in our hotel rooms for very long after we arrived. We dropped our bags in our rooms and about five minutes later were already heading over to our venue, T2G, or Théâtre de Gennevilliers, so we could get to work.
Above, a shot of the lobby and program. Below, a coffee break shot - including the little prepaid cell phone that I used all month in Europe. T2G also conveniently had coffee in the break room that everyone was welcome to - they just asked for a 30 cent (euro) donation for each cup.
A shot of the lovely Julia Sirna-Frest and Erin Markey onstage during tech...
Below, two views of the house, from the audience and from the stage. It was a huge, imposing space - we actually had to block off the last couple of rows of seats, since they were so far up that the subtitles screen couldn't be seen properly.
Actors goofing around and warming up before the show -
Randi and I discovered a secret rooftop garden at T2G, where members of the crew were always sneaking off to have a smoke or a beer (yes, beers during the work day - I mean, this is France after all). It wasn't the flat expanse of concrete that often passes for a "garden" here in New York City either - it was an open, expansive lot, full of colorful flowers and trees that you could really get lost in. The partially peaked rooftop of the building was interesting to look at too - it almost looked like strange geometric mountains lurking off to one side.
Although we had some technical difficulties getting the show up at T2G, overall, we had a great run. On closing night, I took this portrait of the Seagull cast in one of their dressing rooms.
After the show closed, we had lots of curtains to fold and props to pack up. The awesome guys of Temporary Distortion (that's Kenneth Collins below with the epic beard) even helped us strike-
Nick celebrates closing night with a beer out front at T2G -
As in Toulouse, we ate VERY well during our week in Paris. Below, a shot of my all-time favorite dish, steak tartare. Every time I talk about how much I love steak tartare, people get really grossed out about the whole "raw meat" thing, and say that they would never want to eat it. When I ordered the one below, the French waiter asked me twice whether I understood that the dish was raw. But I promise you, good steak tartare is AMAZING - super flavorful and a little bit tangy, with just enough texture and spice. I guarantee that you will like it so much more than you think you will and dream about it for weeks afterwards, just like I do. Well, if you like meat, that is - my vegetarian mother and sister would definitely not enjoy anything about this, unfortunately...
One of the best parts about being in Paris was that I have two amazing friends currently living there - Dana and Nadege. It was such a treat to see them both, and it was also just a couple of days before my 30th birthday, so we went out every single night and had lots of adventures.
One of the most memorable things we did all week was hike up to the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre at 3:00 am with Dana and Daniel, another NYC friend who happened to be in Paris for the week. We were drunk, which explains the shoddy photography seen below, as well as the fact that I only got a couple of blurry pictures of cobblestone streets, and no shots at all of the actual Basilica. If you've never been up to Sacred Heart, it is a HIKE. It's like walking up ten of the tallest hills in San Francisco, one right after the other. I can't believe we even made it up there, but once we did, it was AMAZING. From the top of the steps, you could see across the whole city, which was spread out in a mass of twinkling lights. Completely worth the long trip up and down.
We had one full day off before we left the city, and we spent it exploring with Dana. We walked all around the city, did some shopping, ate delicious meals, and even saw a show (not our own!).
A show below of Nick and Dana watching Temporary Distortion's excellent MY VOICE HAS AN ECHO IN IT. I'm so glad we made it out to Créteil to see the show - and I can't wait to see it again next year when it goes up in New York City.
A view of the Montmartre cemetery at sunset, and the white rose Dana gave me for my birthday.
It was a busy week of work, but we had an amazing time. At the end of the week, we (plus our 20 giant suitcases) got on the train again, this time headed for Strasbourg.....
My name is Eileen, and I'm a yoga teacher and jewelry designer based in NYC. I love to think and write about yoga, wellness, and philosophy, along with practical ways to incorporate these things into daily life. I love hearing new perspectives and learning from other people - please comment, ask questions, and add your voice to this blog!