Halloween is not a holiday that's very big over here, a striking contrast to the week-long revelry of the Bay Area, but there are some bits and pieces to be found, particularly as this year it fell on a Saturday night. We saw a few skeleton costumes, witches' hats and long white wigs, and we heard what sounded like a marching band as we left the restaurant near Odeon in St-Germain des Prés, our new neighborhood.
Rounding the corner we ran into a crowd surrounding a dozen male and female members of a brass band (fanfare in French) playing great, infectious music on virtually every kind of brass instrument you can think of along with a few drums and cymbals. In electrical tape on the tuba mouth was the name "Texas Couscous". (Click on the blue link to hear them and learn more.)
Some of them were wearing funny glasses or hats, but I don't think it was particularly Halloween they were celebrating, just being young and vibrant and alive and great musicians in a city that appreciates all that. The crowd was loving it, occasionally singing along, dancing, and taking pictures of the excitement. It was hard to get clear shots given the lighting, the dancing crowd and let's face it, the camera jiggled because I was dancing a bit too. The music demanded it. Here's what it felt like:
But we weren't done with Halloween celebrations just yet. When we got home we were wired and stayed up a while, particularly since the sounds of a party somewhere in the building wouldn't have let us sleep in any case. It was loud and raucous and got more so as time passed. Everyone there was clearly having a good time too. We thought it might stop at 1 a.m. Wrong. 2 a.m.? Wrong. By 2:30 I remembered I had some earplugs from the plane and blessed quiet descended, although not on Gene, for whom the earplugs weren't enough.
I learned when we finally woke a bit groggily this morning that at 3 a.m. he had ventured into the hallway of the building and tracked the sound to the apartment directly above ours. After he banged long enough and loudly enough on the door, it opened slightly and a face in a cat mask appeared. Asked if she might turn down the music, the kitty apologized, saying she thought our apartment was still unoccupied/ The sound level dropped right away. By 4 a.m. it was all over.
It was a great party but I rather wish we had actually been invited.