IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW, PARIS IS GONE FOR NOW – YOU CAN ONLY REMEMBER IT

Like the rest of us, the Parisians are dealing with pandemic lockdowns. Their city – our city – is just making do with what’s available – and that’s far less than normal. But they’re trying and so are we. Having spent five solid months in Paris, I fell in love with it in the 1980’s, learning to speak and write in French, and always exploring. The deserted Rue de Rivoli enduring a nationwide curfew, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., due to restrictions against spreading coronavirus in France, Credit: Reuters Photo/Gonzalo Fuentes Before Covid-19 arrived I was planning to fly back and see it all again – the museums, galleries, riding the buses and metro, some of the oldest theatres in the world, tiny cinemas and their festivals, the antique markets, year-round carousels, restaurants and patio dining, the parks and gardens, the people themselves, the hookers themselves greeting passersby – and the magnificent skies after a rain. Who wouldn’t go back? But it’s not all there right now.Saul Bellow, the American-Canadian writer <photo – Literary Arts> had this to say in 1983: “A gray sadness has settled over the city like a fog. Parisian gloom is not simply climatic. It is a spiritual force that acts not only on building materials, on walls and rooftops, but also on your character, your opinions and your judgement. It is a powerful astringent.”That is a powerful statement.In my French class at the Eurocentre, some fellow students were hoping to avoid the “Parisian grisaille” (the gray skies) and fly south for the holidays. Some were seduced by Air France, whose advertising used the word “grisaille”, something to avoid if you can.For me, it was only atmospheric –  rain, wind and cold.  But believe me the sun did shine and the city was splendid.I know Paris will be back, and I’ll be there to love it all over again.

One thought on “IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW, PARIS IS GONE FOR NOW – YOU CAN ONLY REMEMBER IT

  1. Ads in the Paris Metro promoting travel to Israel in winter – ‘Bye bye grisaille, shalom chaleur.’

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