Paris, closed for the month of August. Packing up and leaving town!
Remember that old bumper sticker, "Will the last person to leave Detroit please turn out the lights?" Well, I'm beginning to think that we need one of the those for Paris because residents are deserting the city like a bunch of rats scurrying to get off a sinking ship.
Knowing that my bakery will be closed for the entire month of August, I passed by yesterday afternoon to buy one last chocolate eclair and tell the friendly saleswoman to enjoy her much-needed vacation in Tunisia. To the annoyance of the man standing in line behind me, Fatimah and I chatted about our plans and all of the things that we still have to take care of at home before our early morning departures. When I turned to leave, she smiled warmly and said à bientôt ("see you soon"). And just like that it occurred to me that I'm an integral part of Paris because Fatimah expects to see me when the bakery opens it doors again at the end of the month.
While walking home, I realized that I've changed. When the bakery closed for its annual holiday last year, I was annoyed by the inconvenience of having to go to another boulangerie to buy my bread and couldn't understand how businesses can shut their doors when their customers count on them to provide services. Now I get it. But maybe it's because I'm also looking forward to my August vacation in the States instead of staying in the city.
Many (most?) of the stores and boutiques in my neighborhood are closed for August.
Never quite sure how to convey the mood that descends over the non-touristy areas of Paris in August, I was delighted to read Kristen's description in her post, "Closed for Vacance", "It reminds me of the last day of school when you're a kid. The excitement that everyone is going away for awhile and you won't see or talk to anyone for at least a month..."
Bonnes vacances, everyone! My next post will be coming to you from Buxton, England!
If you're staying in Paris and need to find a bakery that's open, take a look at the list provided by the city. Otherwise, your bakery should post a sign indicating the bakeries nearby that are open in August.
|Knowing that Parisians can't live without their bread, bakeries provide their customers with the details about the other bakeries in the area that are open during the month of August.|
Thanks for the shout-out MK! Isn't that wonderful that you realized that it doesn't matter to you that things are shut mostly for August?? I'm back in paris on the 13 and interested to see how the city feels. Have a WONDERFUL time away in August.ReplyDelete
My pleasure, Kristen. Your description of Paris in August was spot on and I've thought of it frequently ever since I first read your blog post.Delete
Even though it feels really quiet, we actually liked being in Paris last August. There were empty seats on the bus and the few people who were still here were nice to each other because there was a sense of community -- we were the ones who were stuck in the city while everyone else was off enjoying themselves.
Let me know when you will be in Annapolis. Would love to rendezvous.ReplyDelete
We'll be in Annapolis from August 16-24. I'll send you a DM on Twitter after I arrive to see if we can schedule a rendezvous. It would be great to finally meet you!Delete
have a great trip. I will likely be in Boston late Aug as well....ReplyDelete
Aww, Nancy! I'm going to be in Boston at the beginning of August. We should have co-ordinated our schedules. At least I'll see you in Paris in September!Delete
do you think Boulangerie Desgrandes is open only one day out of the week? That would be a bummer work week. I'd rather just have the whole time off.ReplyDelete
Bonnes vacanes, although for you it's not really a vacation is it? Your blogging is a full time commitment. And we appreciate it!
The last column indicate the day(s) of the week that the bakery is closed (eg. Desgranges is closed on Tuesday). I agree, having to stay in town and work only one day a week would be a real bummer!Delete
Thank you, Joseph! And I sincerely appreciate each and every one of your comments. They're what keeps me going!
What a great feeling it is to be accepted as part of the neighbourhood Mary Kay. Enjoy your break.ReplyDelete
August is the one month that I have never visited Paris..... Something about school holidays and not being able to get time off work in August as everybody else wants it.....ReplyDelete
Great that you are becoming a "Parisian" and seem to be adopting some of their laid back habits.
If you can't beat em, join em!