What do you do when it rains in Paris? Make lemonade. Or have lemonade. OK. Fine. We go have a drink at the Grand Palais restaurant (confusingly called the Mini Palais). We had their comfy couches all to ourselves.
On our way to have lemonade, we stopped at the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to capture images of this AWFUL FENCE they put around it which makes my heart sick (a permanent fence will follow).
We then headed for our “lemonade stand” but it started pouring on us so we jumped on a river tour boat. I sat in one spot taking bridge photos listening to the narration of how the Seine is the heart of Paris and Paris is the Seine.
I beg to disagree. Paris is defined by its culture and its people. Build walls around the Eiffel Tower. I care but I don’t care because it changes nothing. Paris will always be Paris. Paris sera toujours Paris.
This is Paris. Parisians lingering at lunch and enjoying civil political or social debate. Shopkeepers, grocers, and vendors expecting a bonjour and an au revoir. Happy Hours (yes, it is plural here) happening on the sidewalk terraces under tiny heaters, no matter the weather.
Fresh bread at the boulangerie, delicate little pastries at the patisserie, and meat from a boucherie. Well-prepared Julia Childs’ style meals followed with frozen desserts purchased from Picard. There is only one kind of salad dressing. Nutella is everywhere. I repeat. Nutella is everywhere.
People flock to the parks and public markets in every Arrondissement. The Bouquinistes, though struggling, honor the tradition of their fathers and grand-fathers selling bad paintings and old magazines along the Seine. People hog the sidewalks, oblivious that anyone should want to pass them. Children on buses behave like little adults. Dogs ride the metro and go unleashed even though it’s forbidden. A dog at the dining table is perfectly acceptable but no one is scooping dog poo because that is uncivilized.
Terrorism has left an indelible mark but Paris est toujours Paris (Paris is still Paris). Now who wants lemonade?