Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Le quatorze juillet

Be still my heart.

Today’s morning walk. Um. Let me begin at the beginning.

Meandering through side streets near the Jardin du Luxembourg, I came upon rue Marie Pape Carpantier. Over a wall, I saw bright strings of lights festooning a closed courtyard. “Must be leftover decorations from one of those school Fêtes de fin d’année,” I thought.

Then I spotted the sign on the wall. Sortie Pompiers. Aha! This was preparation for the public Bastille Day parties hosted by the Parisian hosts with the most, the Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris. The caserne is a large building, so I decided to circumnavigate the block to locate the entrance and see if there was any info about the upcoming Bastille Day bash.

I found the entrance at 11 rue du Vieux Colombier. The public announcement board had plenty of information about Pompier events. Rats! I’d missed the Portes Ouvertes, the Fireman’s public open house, a week ago. And no announcements about le quatorze juillet.

Then. Oh my. As I was perusing the tableau d’affichage, a voice perked up behind me. “N’oubliez pas la fête du 14 juillet.” I spun around and there were two gorgeous young firemen in their spandex running outfits, apparently embarking on their morning exercise.

They were so adorable that I got a bit flustered. “Oui, en effet, I was just looking for information about the fourteenth.” Forget the fact that I am old enough to be their – aunt. I can appreciate male charms and attractiveness at any age.

They flashed their most appealing smiles. (Did you know that their teeth are perfect, too ?) “Well, actually the parties are on the 13th and the 14th starting at 9 pm; but don’t arrive too late," they advised. "By 11 pm there are long lines to get in.”

D’accord,” I nodded, a bit too eagerly. “C’est parfait. I’ll be there without fail.”

Venez nombreux!” they chimed.
I sure know which bal populaire I'll be attending on July 14th. And there are many more throughout the city.


Anonymous said...

They're right about turning up early, the closest I've gotten to a bal populaire is the queue!

Your post reminds me of the time I took a photo of a fire truck that had been sitting outside my window doing nothing for a while. Half an hour later, a fireman had popped out to take his shirt off. I still don't understand why. :-)

Caro said...

Polly! You should have gone to the Nuit du Feu. Lots and lots of firemen in spandex gymnast costumes. I was in the 4th row. It was like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one!!!

Susan B said...

Ah, even this old broad isn't immune to the charms of firemen. Have a great time!

margaret said...

I went to the 14th party at this firehouse last summer, and it was like a huge frat party. Young and extremely hot firemen were all over the place. Have fun!

Ange said...

Yeah, me too, I can't wait for the parties! My husband has promised to take me to the one in the 18th. I think if he understood the thing most women have for firemen, he wouldn't be so eager...;)

We were out walking in Montmartre last week and a whole squad (flock? school?) of pompiers ran past us, up the hill. They were incredibly fit. I'm not sure, but I can't seem to recall ever having seen such a display of fireman-fitness in the US.

jenbat said...

hello- where are the photos of the fireman? As if I needed another reason to envy you dear! I am green!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Sierra, Chanter, and Msrotohut,
Needless to say, I'm extremely jealous. I'll report back after tomorrow night.

I was too flustered, and too shy to ask to take a photo of the pompiers, but do feel as though I got a personal invitation! I think they're more the age group for my daughter, who will be attending with me, but I can enjoy the scenery.

I like FrogBlog's idea of requesting that they make a Real Calendar

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