A Parisian pal of mine talks about France in the summer, Paris mostly but because I asked him to. When I lived in Europe, I didn’t make it to Paris often enough and typically it was to stock up on wine or shop.
He spoke of Marselle, the World Cup, and the response to it, beautifully giving me a visual to remember about European summers…..so much so that I easily travel back in time and remember so many wonderful moments about living and traveling there.
On Marseille: I’m here in a very popular neighborhood with a very large number of “Cafés-Terrasses” which are full of people crying and jumping… simultaneously, there is a strike by the local garbage-men. When will Marseille be a clean city?
Paris without cars. Paris without Parisians. Paris without stress. That’s Paris in August. So quiet. So smooth. So hot.
A kind of mirror. Good moment to think about ourselves. The weight of a great history appears so clearly against an individual. We have to be proud. That’s an invitation to innovate. History as a gift for another future, for other things, for improvisations, for games.
You know: in France, all things end in songs. But also in dances. As soon as sun appears, it’s possible to dance under it in the quays of the Seine river at the end of the day until nine or ten at night.
There is a large place for young people (rap, rock’n roll , …) and another great place for tango dancing. Just in front of the Arabic World Institute and the “Saint-Louis” Island. Paris downtown. And, because all serious things in France are business-less, the aristocratic touch of poetry.
I have to keep reminding myself that English is his second or third language. Yet, he has captured a few fabulous moments of France in the summer, at least for me. Thanks for the dance down Parisian streets on a hot July day.
This post was published on my personal blog several years ago but I am republishing it here.
Photo credit: naadytravel.com.