samedi, juillet 01, 2006

France 1, Brezil 0--and a Walk to Boot

The streets are jumping tonight. In the quarter finals of the World Cup soccer tournament, France has defeated a favored Brazil team (see French spelling above) 1=0. Following a tough match between England and Portugal, won by the the Iberian team in a shootout after the Englanders fought valliantly to preserve a tie down a man the whole second half, this is at least a clean win, although of course one side is deeply disappointed. Celebration there is; the street below my window is filled with cheering crowds and h0nking cars, and the TV shows the Champs Elysees to be clogged with revelers.

Earlier tonight it was Portugal's time to howl. While fans of England were no doubt indoors drowning their sorrows, Portugal stalwarts took to their cars and cruised the streets waving flags and toot-toot-tooting.

I was off between the matches on a walk around the Isle St. Louis and Isle de la Cite. Rather than try to describe it, let me just show you these pictures of sites along the route: the bustling rue Saint Andre des Arts on the way to the Seine,

Notre Dame from a couple of perspectives,

and a pleasant collection of brasseries and bistrots on the Isle de la Cite on the way back to the Left Bank. On such a beautiful evening, outdoor restaurants were full of diners and crowds of boisterous spectators spilled out into the streets of many restaurants showing the football matches.

Roars of delight and groans of disappoinment rose up all along the streets to track the course of the games. Congratulations to all four of tonight's teams and their fans.