Paris slows down in August. A time for new discoveries and for the things you discover again and again. Sometimes to get the nicest experiences, you have to accept some less nice ones – such is big city life.
And sometimes, those experiences are human encounters. Like the slightly worn but very friendly and knowledgeable guy who seems to spend his time at the corner café by the church Eglise Saint-Vincent-de-Paul in the 10ème, greeting every other passer-by, who tells you the church is so special because it’s the only church in Paris showing naked breasts in murals. At one point they were covered up, he continues, but then a gay mayor of Paris (Bertrand Delanoë Clew presumes) decided they should be restored to their former naked glory, and then he makes sure to let you know he is an atheist who fully supports gay rights and the naked breasts of Eve in churches. Upon which you go to inspect the boobs of course.
Or you sit down at Le Petit Lutetia, a petite institution parisienne and one of the few restaurants which remains open in August in this part of Saint-Germain-des-Près and discover that the patron too knows everybody, that he is hilarious and generous – and at times obnoxious but you still love him – and that you’re sitting next to members of the cultural elite who are all too happy to enter into a conversation with you, even revealing a thing or two about well-known names, and who end up buying you wine and giving you a glimpse of Paris of yore.
This and more in August in Paris…
Text and photos by Unni Holtedahl, August 2015. © 2015 Unni Holtedahl