Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Venturing to another part of Paris

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Paris is immense. At times, I think I know Paris pretty well and then I realize I don’t. I tend to stick to the same areas. There are many areas, however, in Paris that I think I know based on what I’ve heard and my limited experience of each one. There are certainly areas I avoid, but I try to keep an open mind because Paris is constantly in evolution.

My beau and I decided to go to see a comédie (comedy play) tonight at a small théâtre (theatre) in the 18th, Alambic Comédie . We hadn’t been to see one in months and it’s something we both enjoy. He purchased the tickets on-line for “Le Coach” after reading the synopsis to me. We looked for the Semplon métro stop on a map and didn’t find it right away even though we knew it was in the 18th. I thought I had heard of most of the métro stops, but that one was new to me.

I probably wouldn’t have been cautious about the area, but my friend’s friend just got mugged last week at a métro stop not far away in the early evening while it was still light outside.

We took two métro lines to get there. We exited the métro station and found ourselves on a sidewalk that was crowded with people rushing by us in both directions. We pulled out our phones to situate ourselves on the map and find the théâtre, which made us feel uneasy.

The théâtre was on a quiet street that was parallel to the main street where we exited the métro. We decided to walk around the neighborhood to grab a drink since we were early. We were hoping to find a restaurant to eat something afterwards, but nothing really called to us. We sat at a table in the window of a typical Parisian café at the corner near the Porte de Clignancourt. We didn’t want to sit at a table on the sidewalk because of all the hustle and bustle; however, inside we were not shielded much from the goings-on outside.

When we returned to the theatre, around twenty people were already standing in line outside the doors. We entered the théâtre en masse and sat down in the velvet-covered seats in the dimly lit room. The stage was only about six feet from us.

As soon as the lights went off, the comédie began. I always find it amazing how quickly I am transported to another place and time so quickly. I loved the comédie and was only disappointed that it had to end. We could’ve stayed for another comédie afterwards at a reduced rate, but instead we headed home.

Regardless of the neighborhood, we would absolutely return to the théâtre to assist another comédie. Now that we “know” the neighborhood a little bit, we will know how to get around and therefore be less reticent about the area. At any rate, it’s always good to get out of one’s habitual areas to experience the vastness and variety of Paris.

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