A Paris Journal

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris.... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, like a moveable feast. Ernest Hemingway

Location: Sonoma, California, United States

I am constantly a work in progress.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

August In Paris

The rains came early on Saturday. They came in from the Channel, through Normandy and across the French plain. The rains left Paris wet, overcast, and clad in plastic sheets at the outdoor markets and stalls.

The sad and forlorn French song in the café matched the morning weather. I was having breakfast with the International Herald Tribune and thinking of the forecast: rain and light showers for a week.

August is the traditional month for French vacations; many stores and businesses have signs announcing their annual closure. It is a time of few locals, many tourists, and light auto traffic. The Marie de Paris has solved this light traffic dilemma by scheduling street repairs to bring traffic snarls to their usual fevered pitch. Tres intelligente.

Walking around Paris is like walking around Battalion 1 in summer : Every second person is clutching a map and wearing a befuddled expression. We are tourists and we own this city in August. The French have done an excellent job of trying to make Paris user friendly; lots of billboard size maps and good signage.

But August is coming to an end and soon we will have to share Paris with the real Parisians. All the stores with Vacances signs will be opening and autumn in Paris will be upon us.


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