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Unreasonable passion, irrational exuberance

Filtering by Tag: boules

Golden Years

Daniel Yudkin

So, maybe this is a little weird, but I have a minor fixation with....old men.  Whenever I’m walking in the park or down a small backstreet and discover a supreme little old-man hangout—I don’t know, something about it just brings out the deedle in me.  Perhaps it’s because they are the best living reminder of the same genuine Paris that comes out in the cobblestones nestled among cracks in the asphalt.  Their gestures, their camaraderie, their penchant for spending day after day utterly immersed in the same conversations and simple pastimes—all make me think one thing: these are the original bros.Looking at these people it’s strikingly clear that their mannerisms and their activities have all been transported, more or less perfectly intact, from a decade or a century or an era ago.  One of the most perfect examples of this is the daily drama that unfolds with high tension on the Boules court on the west side of Jardin de Luxembourg.  Boules is a game exactly like bocce—it involves throwing a tiny wooden ball (the cochon) onto an irregular dirt surface then competing in teams to get the heavy metal boules closest to it.  I came here recently on a chilly fall day and to watch the game.  It was every bit as thrilling as watching Olympic speed-skating.

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