First, I forgot to take note that when we went shopping last week, I spotted one of these!  An angled moving sidewalk!!  The last time I saw one of these was in Spain.  I just think it's such an odd thing!

Saturday was the Techno Parade.  It was absolutely insane but awesome all at the same time.  I have to say that I have grown to become rather fond of 'European' pop and techno music.  It is not something that I really liked that much at home, but it is just fitting here.  I was just waiting for the parade to start and I wasn't really paying attention but then all of a sudden a whole bunch of people were screaming and later I realized it was because Bob Sinclar was standing there - a big deal for techno music.  Being the 'highlight' of the parade, his float was pretty epic (also with Big Ali).  So basically, for a recap, this is a parade of music that people sometimes sit along the route to watch but mostly participate in the parade, following the floats -- and the music.  It's one big party for the day with DJs including Bob Sinclar and David Guetta and fans from all over the world.  There are more events as well before and after the parade and - literally - lasting until the sun comes up on Sunday.

Bob Sinclar
I think that this picture summed the parade up - Bob Sinclar, people dancing in the street following directly behind the float, and people looking out in the balconies as everyone passes by (typically these were elderly or very very young people).

I just have to tell you to take note of this semi truck that was one of the floats -- I'd totally want to be the driver - it looks like they're sitting in some sort of submersible and the windshield wiper is so cool!


I don't have too much free time at work, but I decided on Friday to take 10 minutes to make myself a nameplate for my office.  I think it's quite suiting! :)  (Note - fish bowl is because it can be compared to Clausen Center 106 - the main walls are ALL glass (resulting in much distraction at times)).


This weekend was also "Heritage Days", or "Journée du Patrimoine" (website here).  For this one weekend of the year, thousands of monuments, government buildings, and other privately owned places of interest are open to the public - for free too (or a very very minimal cost).  I've been told by many that the lines get very long - because you can see places like the Minister's home office and other very seemingly private buildings and locations, so I got up fairly early (well, early for 'Europe time').  I had read one of the best places to go during this event is the Palais Royal, Champ Elysees.  Before going there, I found a governmental building that was 'supposed' to be supplying information about the event in other languages than French or beyond the website.  When I got there and asked for other information in English (or even Spanish), I was told that it was only available in French.... So I then just set off, hoping I'd end up in the right location.  I stopped at a bakery en route to get a delicious pan au chocolate (chocolate croissant).  Fortunately as I got close, there were signs for the event that I could follow and the Champ Elysees had booklets available in English.  It was really cool!

Salon Jérome, formerly the ceremonial chamber of the Duke and Duchess d'Orléans then the mortuary room for King Jérome.  Candelabra from 1809. 

The Minister's office - note that there is a picture of French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.  These were everywhere. 

Grand Salon 

Document voting for the death of Louis XVI, 17 January 1793
General Assembly room 

Pierre Laroque room - a secret passage in the book case! 

Napoleon leaves his mark just about everywhere throughout the place - I bet you could find at least one 'N' per room, whether obvious like here or hidden in a painting. 
After, I got out my "available in other languages" flyer of events and realized that it gave all the locations and addresses involved in the program but no map.  I then decided to just hop on a velib and bike around until I stumbled on some sort of heritage-looking building.  About 20 minutes later I stumbled upon the Opera.  It was a really cool building too.  The majority of it was open but the actual performance hall was closed due to rehearsal.  

The Opera is a very very ornately decorated building.
Random enough, I ran into Guergana!  She now works at ESA but was working on the same stuff I am right now but for last year's IAC and has been very kind and helpful for me when I have questions.  After the Opera, we headed to the Paris Observatory, the world's oldest functioning observatory in fact.  After waiting in line FOREVER, we got to go to the top of the observatory to the dome.  It was a really cool view of Paris too.  Apparently the Observatory is not very open to the public so this was a very special opportunity.  Thankfully, Guergana had a camera that still had battery and was able to take some pictures!  The weather has taken a turn for fall and seriously becoming cold, as much as I don't want to admit it.  We were so cold after that we both went home to hide under blankets!


Documents declaring the discovery of a planet.