August 13, 2009

Hanging Around

When we said were going to hang out in Paris, we really meant it. If we do any true, touristic sightseeing, it will probably be accidental, or maybe out of a sense of obligation near the end of our stay. As in: I always did want to see the Chateau at Fontainebleu.

For now, we're just taking in the sights around us, and, as usual, I marvel at all the things there are to see. (And, within the next few days, I hope to post some photos on flickr)

We are in the Marais, always chock-full of people and interesting shops. Walking over to the Bastille area today I passed a man singing opera in the arcades of the Place to Vosges, very near to the fancy Pavillon des Reines hotel. (video to come)

The last several days there have been rock concerts at the Hotel de Ville. There is always something going on at Paris Plage, along the quay. We found free massages offered by massage students on the bridge between the Ile St Louis and the Ile de la Cite.

Of course, this is summer, but that doesn't always mean there are more things around. In fact, because a good number of locals get out of town, it often means there are less. The outdoor markets, for example, are sparsely populated by merchants and there are no weekend markets that feature, say, arts and crafts or brocante.

Still, it's a feast for the eyes, and I love just walking down the streets, looking at different neighborhoods and hanging out.

Maybe we'll take a boat ride one day, and manage to hang out and sight-see in one fell swoop.

The Day(s) the Music Died

My iPod died on Saturday, but it took several days for the coroner to pronounce.

It began by jamming, and not producing sound. The first shop fiddled with it and up came the red x of death. He shook his head sadly, and said I might have some luck with another shop. I tried a specialized Apple shop, and the guy gave me a sad smile as he listened to the off-track whir of the hard drive.

Now I have an iDoorstop as my brother Dan said. Or maybe an iPaperweight.

I don't fault Apple so much -- it fell off the bed, albeit it was a short fall. It's possible in the last 18 months it has banged around and this was the final straw. But it does seem to me that iPods are so ubiquitous there must be many accidents like this and they probably should have a lifespan of more than 18 months.

I love my iPod, and I loved my iPod before this. I never would have guessed it, but I was made for an iPod. When I lived in Paris full-time, I was rarely seen on the street without the earbuds. My own personal soundtrack for life.

My first one, one of the early generations, had some battery issues and while it plays it doesn't hold much of a charge. Paul got me a new one for Christmas in 2007 and I fell in love with him all over again. There was no gift that year that I wanted more. And this one was inscribed, which made it all the more special.

The guy at the store conceded that iPods weren't made to be repaired and the cost to even try would be more than getting a new one -- especially in the U.S.

And if this one weren't sentimental, I'd probably just turn around and buy a Nano on my return -- something within my budget until I decided to go back to the Classic that I have. Either way, I won't make a decision until we get back in September.

Until then I'm just kind of sad about it.