From Paris to the Moon
Ever dream of a night swim under the light of the moon? It’s possible right now in Paris.
Every summer the city of Paris puts together events around town to encourage people to get out and have different experiences, particularly if they can’t afford to go anywhere. Someone on Instagram asked how is Paris so cool? Answer: significant social charges and taxes. 😂 But money well spent if you ask me.
Festival Paris l’été (été= summer) is just one of the organizations hosting events around the city. (Paris Plages the Paris “beach” along the Seine and Bassin de la Villette, and Cinema en Plein Air at Parc de la Villette with the largest outdoor movie screen in Europe are two more). As part of the summer festival that included a tight rope walker to Sacre Coeur, dancers, and more, UK artist Luke Jerram was invited to showcase his large scale Museum of the Moon.
The moon which is 7m in diameter has been displayed in interesting places around the world from churches to public parks (see if it’s coming near you any time soon). When you’re in the water you also get to take a closer look of the incredible NASA imagery (1:500,000 approximate scale, where each centimetre represents 5km of the moon’s surface). It’s completely mesmerising to look at and see all the detail.
In Paris it found a home Piscine Pailleron, which also happens to be the swimming pool where I attended an awesome underwater party years ago where everyone wore white and we danced the night away in the empty pool.
Those who have spent summers in Europe may also recognize Jerram’s name from his “Play Me I’m Yours” pianos that were placed around cities to encourage people to play.
There are two ways to catch the moon before it sails off to it’s next destination after August 4th. For 5€ you can pay to visit the moon (tickets are for sale on the festival website; there are only morning slots available). However, I recommend option B: going for a swim under the moon. Piscine Pailleron is one of the few pools with decent opening hours (you pay a small price for that too). If you never been to a Paris pool, it’s an experience for sure so read this blog post before you go. And as always, cross check the opening hours online. The pool itself is beautiful, so the moon is a nice touch. Seriously, though, when can you swim backstroke under the moon and be so close?!?
Warning: All swimmers are required to wear caps, and men must wear tight fitting speedo style suits at Paris piscine (pools). The lockers use a pin code system at this pool so you don’t need change to lock up your stuff.
p.s. I can’t claim the title of the post. It’s actually the title of New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik’s 2000 Paris expat memoir. Still, despite not being original, I had to use it for this post.