Saturday Evening on the Left Bank of the Seine

Uploaded by Mxsmanic on 21.08.2011

Yes, that’s Notre-Dame Cathedral in the background.
We are on the Left Bank of the Seine River, on the Quai de la Tournelle.
This is on the north side of the Latin Quarter, and you’re looking west.
It’s just before sunset on this August evening, and the temperature is 90° F.
Most homes and businesses aren’t air-conditioned in Paris.
Because extreme heat has only become a problem in recent years.
Anyway, when it gets hot, Parisians come out in the evening.
And the banks of the Seine River are popular spots with the locals.
This particular area on the Seine is extremely popular.
But you can see people out and about across the river, too.
Some people just sit and hang out with friends. Some strum a guitar.
Picnics are extremely popular, and French picnics can be quite elaborate.
One occasionally sees just a bag of chips and a bottle of soda.
But actual meals with several different things on the menu are not uncommon.
The pace is very leisurely, and the food and drink might last all evening.
There’s no rush, and after sunset the heat lets up a bit.
This particular bank of the Seine is very wide, making it popular.
A crowd like this is quite normal for a summer evening.
Looking the other way (east), with the setting sun behind us.
That’s the Île Saint-Louis on the other side of the river.
It’s one of two islands in the middle of the river here.
And that’s the Tournelle Bridge on the right.
Some people are content to just sit and relax, chatting or people-watching.
We are beneath the bridge now. You can see several excursion boats on the river.
Someone (not visible on the screen) is playing the saxophone.
The sun has set now, although it’s still very hot and humid.
There’s a park on the riverbank here, with a few grassy spots.
The park is officially an open-air sculpture museum.
But I think people ignore the sculptures and just like to sit on the grass.
The park continues for almost a mile along the river.
It also includes a plaza and several amphitheater-like areas along the riverbank.
These areas are often turned into impromptu dance floors.
Here are some people hanging out near the plaza.
These steps, which they are facing, lead up to the plaza.
You can see people watching the dancing.
Salsa was the music style this evening. Latino music is very popular these days.
There’s a DJ and a sound system, but the dance is free for the dancers.
In the past, classic rock and pop were frequent themes for dances on the plaza.
Some people dress casually, others dress up quite a bit, despite the heat.
This is from the street side (Quai St. Bernard) looking towards the river.
It’s starting to get dark. But that won’t stop people from dancing.
There will be people and dancing here until late into the night.
It’s already past nine in the evening.
(By the way, I’ve overdubbed the music, because otherwise …
… YouTube’s robots will falsely claim copyright infringement for my video.)
East of this plaza, there are little amphitheater-things in which people also dance.
This amphitheater was playing Latino music, too, but a slower flavor.
You’re right on the edge of the water, so watch your step when you dance!
And here again, there’s a real DJ and sound system.
Not every amphitheater is necessarily a dance floor.
This one is idle, so it’s just another nice place to hang out.
I think this area might be for tango, although the music hadn’t started yet.
Some people looked dressed for tango, and the sound system is set up.
And here’s a slight change of pace in yet another amphitheater.
Some people prefer to just watch and munch in this oppressive heat.
More and more people walking around.
The police are present, too, just in case, but they keep a low profile.
There are four of the small amphitheaters altogether.
I’m not sure what their intended original purpose really was.
Walking back west, now, towards one of the amphitheaters with dancing.
It’s getting too dark for quality video now, so I’ll have to stop here.
Thank you for watching my video.