In the Pink of Paris
When the weather warms up, Parisians come out to play. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Thursday was a holiday — Ascension, and that all of France chose to “faire le pont” — bridging from Thursday through Sunday to take a long weekend. Rightly so, the mood is upbeat and the party spirit has erupted everywhere all over the city, no matter where you turn.
The camera goes with me everywhere, but too often the moment is too fleeting to catch it. Last week on rue Saint-Antoine, there was a brief minute where no cars were passing — just one lone bike rider, except he chose not to ‘ride,’ but to STAND on his bike, arms stretched out as in a ballet pose, gliding quickly down the deserted street enjoying the onlookers’ awestruck faces.
Sunday was particularly warm and sunny. Women are wearing practically nothing and the sunglasses that stay in the drawer all winter long have landed back on Parisians’ faces. The cafés with outdoor seating in the sun are stealing the business from the unlucky competitors across the street which have the cool shade to call their own. Pink seems to be the color of choice, particularly for men who are dressing in harmony with their young daughters.
Museums are a little less crowded thanks to the beautiful weather, so a visit late on Sunday afternoon to the “Filippo and Filippino Lippi, The Renaissance in Prato” exhibit at the Musée du Luxembourg, on until August 2, 2009) was a no-wait event. Outside in the gardens, strollers, loungers and sunbathers were lapping it up.
The garden is particularly beautiful this time of year — the chestnut trees are thick and green, the flowers are in full bloom and the date palm trees are out (until about October) in their huge green square planters. The palms have always been a bit disorienting — one might have the illusion of being in California, Florida or the Bahamas instead of the center of Paris.
At the Fontaine de Médicis, a seat is hard to come by. It’s the coolest spot in Paris, aside from air-conditioned interiors, and is certainly one of the most romantic. Should you have the occasion to plan a meeting point with a lover…or potential lover…this serene oasis will set the perfect ambiance.
Just across the street outside the gates of the east side of the garden is Café Le Rostand (6, Place Edmond Rostand, 6th), with a wide open “terrasse” and elegant seating. Over a Salade Niçoise and a glass of cool rosé wine, once again, a man on a bike created a spectacle — this time for remuneration rather than simply for attention. “Tagh l’Explorateur” ( ), a well-known mime, actor, director, producer and artist on the streets of Paris set up to do his ‘routine’ before an unsuspecting audience. Here’s just a small part of the ‘shenanigans’ on a lazy warm Sunday afternoon in the City of Light…
|A la prochaine…
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