PARIS: COP21,CRITICAL MASS, CLIMATE JUSTICE MARCH

The security is very tight here in Paris.  I’ve been on about 20 airplanes in the last couple years, I’ve never had my luggage inspected like I did after landing in Paris.  There’s a no gathering or protesting restriction in place in Paris.  I’m here for the march, marking the final day of COP21 meetings.
I decided to go visit the COP21 meeting location on my first day in Paris.  I was surprised how little security there was compared to other places I’d visited.

IMG_6499
THERE WERE 196 COUNTRIES BEING REPRESENTED AT COP21

IT TOOK AWHILE, BUT I FOUND IT.

 FINALLY  FOUND THE AMERICAN FLAG, I GAVE UP LOOKING FOR THE SLOVENIAN FLAG (sorry Slovenia!)
I wasn’t able to enter the main event, the passes were given out months ago.  So I walked around the back of the building and discovered where the different environmental groups were set-up.

IMG_6505
                          THERE WERE AS MANY BACKPACK TYPES AS SUITS
There were organizations from around the world, saving the rain forest and it’s indigenous people, lobbying groups for C02 reductions, alternative energy displays and some great environmental art.

 

IMG_6507

IMG_6520

                                                                 SPHERE
“Sphere”
is a globe made up of countless bodies of men and women, naked, intertwined with each other. A way of saying that the well-being of the planet depends on all and that we are all connected to it. “This is why we must live in peace,” said the artist, JS Raud

IMG_6517
  THE WORLD IS IN OUR HANDS, IS INSPIRED BY THE EARTH’S FRAGILITY
This fragility is here by symbolized by a women in a half-kneeling position, fighting against the powerlessness and resignation by attempting to rise up with the world that she carries at arm’s length.
Through this display the Peruvian artist Rafael Garcia Miro is inviting us to act together, despite the difficulties, to take care of nature and seek an environmentally friendly consensus.     Rafael Garcia Miro

IMG_6511

THE VEGAN’S WERE BEAUTIFULLY REPRESENTED 

I rented a room in an apartment through AIR B&B.  I’d never done a room share before, but to save a little money I thought I would try it.  We were on the top at the 5th  floor    without an elevator, don’t forget anything!   He didn’t have a proper coffee maker, only the plastic pods, that he didn’t show me how to use.  I bought coffee on the streets of Paris, 4.10 euro per cup (no refills) ($4.50).
I got the Velib app (bike share) for my phone and started my first couple days of biking around Paris before the Climate Change March.  My host told me that people used the Velib bikes to ride “downhill” to town and take the metro home.  So there was never a bike in the bike rack by my house.
The Velib bike share was great, once I finally found a bike.  I’ve been to Paris 4 times but never up the Eiffel Tower.  I watched the weather and Wed. was the sunny day, here I come.  The best thing about the Velib bike share is the ability to drop off the bike and explore Paris by foot.  (Click on Photos for FULL viewing)


          While biking near the Eiffel Tower, I met some people being interviewed, so I hung around and found out where the pre-march meeting was.  They were several orientations during the day, so I started out early, for that endless search for a bicycle near my apartment. At the march orientation meeting, it was very inspiring  to be surrounded by people who had the same values and goals as me.

They collect bikes and bring them (hopefully) to my neighborhood, we need some.

During the orientation I found out where the bicyclists were meeting for the Critical Mass Ride to meet the main march.  On my way I spotted the memorial to mark the remembrance of the Paris shooting victims.  I spotted about 20 cyclist riding in the same direction, with flags and signs, my peeps.  I later learned they were the group that rode from London to Paris.  We rode together to the meeting point.  Bicycles are so awesome!


I was joking with someone who had the same rental bike as me.  I told her “nice bike, where did you get it?”  her response “I found it on the street”  I had a great time with everyone I met.
I had just one day more after the march.  Of course I rode around Paris some more, the weather was great.  I got to test ride the new Velib E-Bikes, my kinda city.  I really enjoy riding around, sometimes aimlessly you never know what you’ll find.  Then I came across the Philharmonie DE Paris (more pictures), It was amazingly beautiful, I didn’t see it on any tourist maps.

The new Paris E-Bike requires you have your own battery, weighs maybe 1 kilo.  You rent the bike, slip in your battery and off you go, it’s more of an assist than an actual “pedal free” ride.  But if it encourages more people to ride-awesome.
The French bathroom etiquette is a bit much to be desired.  First, carry your own toilet paper wherever you go, there will likely be none in the bathroom.  Most bathrooms are in a marginal state of cleanliness, bring extra toilet paper.  That’s something I really respect about Slovenia, no matter where you are, the bathrooms and supplies are a constant-excellent.  We hiked a few days ago to this abandoned picnic area, I checked the outhouse, it had toilet paper in it, see what I mean.

I went to the Madonna show in Paris too.  I was surrounded by mostly gay male couples.  I didn’t realize she had such a diverse following.  When she asked who wanted to marry her as she threw a boutique, the gay guy next to me screamed “I DO”.  I couldn’t  help wishing him good luck, he said, “I really want to.”  It was a good time had by all.

Madonna visited Portland too, I had read the review and wished I had gone.  I felt lucky to see her in Paris, she said 1/2 her crew was from Paris and she loved Paris.  She did an impromptu concert at the memorial after the show.
Natasa and I are going to Venice for 4 days, it’s our 1 year anniversary celebration.  The first time I was in Venice, I wan’t particularly impressed, in fact it was enough of Italy for me.  I headed to Slovenia instead, that turned out to be a life changing decision.
Thanks for Reading (would the person who reads from Myanmar please send me an email and tell me about themselves, thanks)
Jeff

NEXT: EITHER VENICE OR SOME GREAT PHOTOS AND STUFF ABOUT SKOFJA LOKA & A BIKE TOUR AROUND LJUBLJANA in -2 c weather.

PARIS

2 thoughts on “PARIS: COP21,CRITICAL MASS, CLIMATE JUSTICE MARCH

  1. msmle

    Jeff! Ben and I missed you when we visited Venice last year – you were in Portugal as I recall… Maybe your Venice trip has come and gone by now but I have a few suggestions – Campo Santa Margherita seems to be a hangout for all the kids and is much more relaxed and informal, with bustling cafe nightlife. The cafe at the Venice Biennale building, L’Ombre del Leone Cafe, was a great find, waterfront tables tucked between hotels and of course the Biennale gift shop was pretty modern and artsy – not your typical stuff. Marchini Time in the Campo San Luca along with the Bar Torino next door were favorite places for a snack. Better luck this trip!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s