Sunday, March 8, 2009

First impressions: Sundays in Paris

I got off to a late start today and decided to walk west into the residential 8th and 16th arrondisements. Ho-hum. The neighborhoods were desolate, nearly 100% shut-down. But it was grey (classic Paris weather), I was tired (I blame JP and Kyoko for keeping me out so late!), and it felt right.

I continued my journey into the 7th, the 6th, 4th, 3rd (where I stopped for the perfect salad) and was finally on my way back to the hotel in the 9th and 18th in the evening hours.

I walked away (ha! get it?!) with a few ideas about Sundays in Paris:

• They will be my exercise day. God knows what’s going to happen to my body without a gym membership. Sundays seem the perfect time to don the ugly American sneakers and get active. They shut down the highway along the Seine, which will be a brilliant place to take a Velib.

• Stay away from the residential neighborhoods. Nearly all stores, cafes and restaurants are closed. The streets are empty and echo with dishes clattering in upstairs kitchens—which makes me feel sort of sad, albeit in a beautiful way.

• Hit the Marais and Montmartre. Both of these neighborhoods were packed and had festive atmospheres. It was like the whole city knew where to be. I was in Montmartre around 7, and even the boutiques were still open, people were shopping, the cafes were packed, and there were lines out all the boulangeries.

1 comment:

  1. "The streets are empty and echo with dishes clattering in upstairs kitchens." - That is one of the most beautifully melancholy-sweet images ever.