Tuesday, September 8, 2009
For a city that is one of the world's top tourist destinations, Paris has surprisingly few buskers -- those magicians, jugglers, unicycle riders, jacks of all trades -- who delight crowds for the price of a few coins dropped in their hat. London has Convent Garden, Barcelona has Las Ramblas, hell even Halifax has an international festival of street entertainers and what do you find in Paris? A few guys at Trocadero who think they can break dance (trust me, they can't), one lonely clown on the bridge between Ile de la Cite and Ile St. Louis, and a handful of performers holding court in front of the Pompidou Centre. That's where we caught the act of this good natured slack rope walker last weekend. It's actually the second time we've seen him -- no over the top stunts but he's got his patter down and knows exactly whom to pick out of the audience to help him out. There were also a few Mongolian musicians in traditional dress plus a magician who took over after the slack rope walker had done his bit. What gives? Are there laws preventing street entertainers? Or are Paris's audiences too stingy to make it worth their while? I'd really like to know.
Young Sasha was the perfect foil for this entertainer's antics.