And I mean that in the best possible way.
It may be against conventional wisdom, but August is an awesome time to be in Paris. Not if you’re visiting tourist sites and hanging around central areas, mind you. That – with the crowds and general hubbub – is pretty hellacious, in my opinion.
No, I’m talking August of the resident who stays, the neighborhood lounging, the slower pace. The city is emptying out, many places close for the long vacation.
I love being left behind. The city starts to feel more mine.
I just got home from the hammam (Turkish bath). There was practically no one there. I sauntered from sauna to steam room to the pool and had it all to myself. So relaxing!
Afterward, I strolled down to the Canal de L’Ourcq to see what this year’s Paris Plages looked like. Again, not the beach along the Seine, the main artery of Paris Plages. The outpost in the 19th is more subdued – and more my speed.
It was just after 8 PM, gorgeous night. Light still in the sky, warm temperatures (finally!) with a nice breeze. In terms of number of people, it looked like just the normal scene at Canal de L’Ourcq – groups picnicking and playing petanque. The pastel umbrellas, lawn chairs and cafe stands just made it more festive.
There’s a lot scheduled in summer – outdoor movies, music festivals in parks. Until a few days ago this all seemed far-fetched as the towering rain and cold kept us all indoors.
Now (never speak too soon!) there might be a chance to take advantage.
But here’s the other thing about August. I love working this month. (I know, I’m strange.) There’s something about getting stuff done when everyone else is on vacation – or at least taking it easy. I feel as if I’m getting away with something.
And so, first day of August and I’ve already sent out a new short story into the world. I’ve also put down stakes on a few other projects. I’m ready to go on a positive attack. I may not go to many summer city events. I might stay sequestered inside while the sun shines outside. But I figure, use the energy while it’s there. Take the head start before September’s frenzied rentree period begins.
Wow, I sure hope I can keep up steam. It is only day 1.
Any big plans for August?
Pret a Voyager has a good round-up of Paris summer fun here. You know, should you actually want to go out and enjoy!