It’s Music Day in Paris – and 100 degrees outside

We look forward to Fête de la musique every year we’re in Paris on June 21. It’s become an annual event in France and more than a hundred  other countries since the French culture minister, Jack Lang, started it in the early eighties.

The fête is being held under difficult circumstances this year. Paris isn’t yet Phoenix, but as I write this at 9 p.m., the temperature outside is 100 degrees fahrenheit or 38 celsius, the measure the French use. (Or, for that matter, the measure almost the entire world uses.)

The view from our living room window

This year we’re living until mid-July in an apartment on Rue Daguerre, a charming one-way street that is partly a pedestrian way, in the 14th arrondissement not far from the entrance to the Catacombs. I wrote a post about it a couple of years ago.

We like the 14th, and especially this neighborhood. This is the fifth year we’ve stayed in the 14th. I’ve no doubt we’ll be back next year. We’ve made several new friends, among them our charming landlady, Michèle Bru of Perpignan, and her lively daughter, Isabelle Lucken, who lives around the corner with her professor husband, Michael.

Our apartment is on the second floor (first floor, in European terms) above an insurance agency and a Japanese restaurant/carryout where we’ve been spending some time since it got too hot to cook or sit in a hot restaurant. Cold food, Perrier water and rosé have been just the ticket for the last couple of days.

The French have adopted a lot of American ways, but air conditioning is not one of them. With the exception of museums, some offices and a few stores, the temperature outside is the temperature inside. That’s no problem when temperatures are “normal” (which, in the case of today, would be in the seventies, not the high nineties; this year and the last two will raise the curve).