Posts Tagged 'weather'

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: (Non)-Summer in Paris

Sure, Paris can be romantic in the rain.

People probably don’t have this in mind, though:

No one lives in Paris for the weather, but I got to say, skipping over summer is kind of a shame.

I can’t complain today. The sun’s shining. But overall, summer’s been skimpy in these parts. I’ve looked at the extended forecast and the rain’s coming back for the weekend. (It’s best not to look at these things).

Oh well. It does help with the work. August is my month of attack you might remember. And attacking, I am. I’m getting so much done! The freak floods and gray days only give more motivation to stay inside and focused, so I’m grateful for that.

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Bring on the Bubbles/Sunshiney Happy People

Birthday girl blowing bubbles in Buttes Chaumont

In the depths of a Paris winter, it’s easy to forget the existence of any color aside from gray. Beautiful city, yes, but sometimes the sorry sky seems dressed up in gloom alone.

This is why at the first sight of sun Parisians fill up outdoor terraces, grab their picnic ware and head for the park in hordes.

I am one of these people who follow the light’s lead. I’ve noticed, however, that the warmth of the sun doesn’t much matter to people here. No matter what time of year, if the clouds have parted, an outdoor apero is called for gosh darn it. Freezing? Temperatures be damned we’re sitting out here anyway.

On Saturday I went to Buttes Chaumont for my friend Dani‘s birthday. The sun shined on us (and look at those puffy clouds!), but it was chilly. Brr!

We did our part in pretending it was a perfect day for outdoor frolicking. It’s mid-May and there’s sun. We will picnic in the park!

Five hours on the deeply slanted slopes with a lovely mix of people – all talented, creative folk – did me good. (I’m pretty sure we were the loudest group on the grass – always a danger of an overwhelmingly expat crowd.)

By the time dinner time rolled around, though, I was looking forward to seeking warmth inside. I met up with several former colleagues from Expedia. They had traveled from Canada! Germany! London! just for our little reunion.

Presented with even more incontrovertible evidence that it was cold (sun’s gone! goosebumps on the arm!) we still ended up on the outdoor terrace. A bit hard to enjoy the meal to the fullest as I was in full-on shiver mode.

Bubble Machine at Cafe Titon

In perhaps an unrelated note, I’m also noticing bubbles! Yes! I passed by a local cafe that had a bubble machine! (And a white picket fence, too. Both fence and bubble machine seemed set up for a special occasion as I’ve passed Cafe Titon tons and never seen either).

Bubbles in the air, whimsy's alive

All this faux warmth and bubbliness. City-wide delusion? Wishful thinking? Whimsy?

Well, we often see what we want to and Paris especially caters to the dreamers.

Sunday “Funnies”

Growing up I always used to look forward to the Sunday comics.

These days, I don’t even get the newspaper anymore, so all my “funnies” come from the Internet.

I could make some thin connection to Paris as this is a “weather report” from Atlanta around the time I was coming back to France. I was almost grounded because of the snowstorm, my aircraft stuck in Atlanta, yadda yadda yadda….

But nah. I’m sharing this video simply because it gave me a good laugh.

Enjoy!

I wish all weather reports were like this:

Sun Daze

I don’t always succeed, but usually I try to share a somewhat focused story with you here, more than simply a random list of what I’ve been up to.

However, with the long-anticipated return of sunny warm weather (I was beginning to think my winter coat might become year-round attire) I just had to go out EVERYWHERE during this past 3-day weekend; dive into the city that’s come alive. No structured theme for me.

Suddenly stripping down to small tank tops and short skirts felt a bit strange. Maybe everything just strikes me as strange these days, surreal elements popping up all over Paris:

Treehouses sprouting on modern art museums,

The Pompidou's been planted with treehouses!

whole animals roasted in front of the Town Hall,

Vegetarians beware! Big BBQ at the Hotel de Ville!

a (4 million euro!) garden covering the Champs Elysees.

Not actually that exciting

(I’m no expert, but I think someone should consult me about proper use of municipal funds).

The heat made some people batty, characters came out in full force.

Put those clothes back on!

Get a load of that!

(Confession: These were actually actors in a play I ran across in front of Saint Sulpice. If you couldn’t tell from the photos, overacting was in full display).

Lobby of the Odeon Theater

I spied a few higher brow things, too, including the inside of the Odeon Theater. I just happened to be strolling with a theater historian at this moment (funny how that happens) whose specialty was theater from the ’68 era. The Odeon had been taken over in ’68 and became something of the protest’s headquarters in Paris, she explained. (Who knew?)

I had never even noticed the building before. I have this kind of Paris blindness sometimes. Though I never grow weary of the beauty of Paris, there are just so many famous historical buildings that I can’t even keep track. What’s that? A visitor might ask. Um, another gorgeous landmark, I reply.

As I lunched in front of Beaubourg, a man on a bike rode up and wished me ‘bon appetit.’

Thanks, I said.

You’re very pretty, too.

Thanks. (I’m very polite you see).

Ah, les hommes sont penibles, non?. Men are tiresome right?

Un peu. A little.

But you should take it as a compliment.

I went to hear honky tonk, also a surreal scene in Paris

Thanks. I did.

Parisians, we’re flirters.

Yes, you are.

He asked me for coffee, but I kindly declined. (I thought about asking him to offer me ice cream instead, but thought better of it).

It was a nice enough encounter – he did not insist (je ne insiste pas? he had asked hopefully before riding off).

Even the draguers seem charming with such beautiful weather. Everything, really, becomes a real pick-me-up. The city shines anew.

Statue in the Sky

Flying statue at Nation

Today the sun is shining and statues hang suspended in the sky. If that sounds like hyperbole, believe me, I speak the truth.

For the first time in awhile the clouds have parted and full warmth can be found in the sun. Paris has always struck me as a bit of a cruel lover with her weather. After a long, hard winter, we were teased with signs of spring. Quickly enough, however, the frost returned, wool coats brought back out of the closet. For no other city would we put up with such shenanigans. Paris is beautiful even when it’s gray; you swear allegiance to her even as you shiver. But by mid-May, enough is enough.

Saint Louis' rightful place

So out for a walk in all this glory. It’s market day near Place de la Nation and another happy surprise awaited. Nation is not one of those places people think much about when they conjure images of Paris. True, it’s not exactly a happening part of town – you certainly wouldn’t come out of your way to see it – but I like the wide roundabout, the residential neighborhoods surrounding, no tourists for miles around. Two tall statues welcome you from the Cours de Vincennes.

Only these striking statues of Saint Louis have been under renovation for quite some time now – taken off the tops of their columns, the columns hidden behind scaffolding.

Today as I walked by, however, I saw this situation finally finding its remedy. Saint Louis dangled in the sky, the gallant green (from age) figure being airlifted to its high resting place. I hold out hope we can finally move on to the business of enjoying Paris in all her (summer) glory. These things have been missing too long – the sun, these statues – but now they have returned.

An oasis in the center of the roundabout, Place de la Nation

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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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