Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rue Bayen on a Sunday Morning

It’s been rainy and chilly in Paris this weekend, but there is some recompense. When the weather is like this, smells linger longer in the air and with more intensity. On a stroll down Rue Bayen, which is part of the Rue Poncelet market in the 17th Arrondissement, there was no escaping the scent of roasting chicken and ripe melons. But, then, who would want to escape?

I asked the fruit seller why so many bees on the melons. “The sugar!” he said. “They know what’s sweet.” In the United States, he might have tried to wave the bees away. In Paris, they’re doing his advertising.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Le Sacré Coeur on this Bastille Day

The politics of Le Sacré Coeur, built on the site of the Commune's last redoubts to reassert a conservative social order, are not entirely sympathique. But those white domes are hard to resist. I walked up there for lunch with a friend today, hoping to avoid the military parade on the Champs Elysées, but the parade kept coming to me.

Gendarmes in full dress uniforms, Avenue de Villiers

Ducks in the Square des Batignolles