This is my 4th in the Paris Travel Series. It’s a holiday today–Assumption of Mary and most of the shops are closed; the markets, the butcher and all of the places along my favorite street, Rue Cler. Only a few restaurants are opened. I enjoy a leisurely lunch but spend most of the day in my apartment wor king. The highlight of the day comes late in the afternoon. Still discovering my neighborhood, I decide to take a walk along the Seine River. The objective is to find my way to the river and back to the apartment with little or no assistance from the map. I do this with ease. I expect the river on a holiday, and I suppose on any Sunday will be speckled with locals. I do expect to be struck by the iconic imagery. I am living in a Renoir painting! This year, 2016, instead of long flowing dresses, the fashion is short and casual.
I take note of every mode of pedestrian transportation imagineable; people simply walking, others pushing strollers, and the younger and active moving quickly through the crowds on skateboards, roller blades, and one, who had mastered a cross between a unicycle and a Segway. People sit at the rivers edge and talk lazily as though nothing were more important than the conversation. All this set at the foot of some of the most gorgeous bridges in the world. Paris has 35 bridges and the one that I enjoyed for most of the day was dripping with gold and intricate design. Along both left and right bank are restaurants and bars, and food trucks; some conveniently set out lawn chairs for their customers. There they sit lounging as though they were on the sandy beach.
When I begin my return back to the apartment I notice that there are very few people in the streets–they are nearly empty, because of course it is a holiday, and because of course it is now after 6 o’clock in the evening – all the people are at the edge of the River Seine.