We have spent a full week here in Paris already, can you believe it?? We are beginning to feel very at home :-)
Saturday night was a special evening with Mathilde's family. It was her father's 50th Birthday, so the family hosted a spectacular party for him. Outdoor tables with candles, champagne, delectable pastries...It was a soiree :-) Myriam, our wonderful French Mom, asked us to play some music! Of course, we were excited to do this!! It was really special to be able to give in that way to such an amazing group of people.
As we've continued to play in the same areas, we've begun to feel a part of a community. Shop owners in St. Michel have taken us in, giving us crepes on our breaks and making us feel welcome. They are always having trouble with our names so they call us "California" and "Chicago"!
Every night on the train ride home we laugh and talk about our experiences with the people we met that day. In just three hours or so of performing today, we met so many people from all over the world. We made a wonderful new friend, Joshua - a musician from San Francisco who is wandering Europe. We shared dinner together in Montmartre and exchanged stories!
The night was filled with more eclectic interactions. A Dad from Chile recorded a video of us performing "Moon River" to show his two little girls who also play flute and violin. An Australian couple encouraged us to come visit Perth and be street musicians there (a future Jongleur adventure, perhaps??) A group of Asian tourists had an all-out photo shoot with us - there were about 5 large Nikon cameras on us and each of them took turns having a picture with us as we played!! An Austrian pianist and flutist talked with us about their experiences as university teachers and symphony members. And, a DJ from New Morning Jazz Club here in Paris invited us to collaborate with him in the next couple of weeks!!
Traveling as a street musician feels completely different than being a tourist. It's as though you become part of the texture of a city - a piece of the culture, if only for a day. But for me, the most amazing aspect of it is the relationships built through it. The monuments, museums, and statues are inspiring and incredible. But, it's the people we meet, even just for a moment, that are leaving the biggest impression on me.