Paris Tristesse


November is my favorite month to visit Paris. An odd choice, perhaps, but I find the city more essentially French in November than in any other month. It’s cold, but not quite as cold as it will be when winter sets in. The northern sky changes constantly, so photographing this too-memorable city becomes more interesting. Most of the tourists have gone home, and Parisians reclaim their neighborhood bars and restaurants with relief, as if everyone is exhaling one of those expressive Gallic sighs. My husband and I have spent several lovely Thanksgivings there (once with our son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law), escaping into our favorite (uncrowded) museums and relaxing afterwards over delicious meals in unassuming bistros. So it is all the more chilling to try to assimilate the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris last weekend. I’m still contacting friends, hoping that none of them was affected. But everyone in Paris was affected, and no one who loves Paris can remain untouched by this tragedy. As a close French friend said, "The atmosphere in Paris is full of sadness…"