We probably don’t have to recap everything that’s been going on in Paris. Attacks, police raids, a state of emergency – it probably seems like a warzone to onlookers. We’re all still processing the attacks, conscious that they were an affront to a way of life that defines Paris – enjoying life, wine, music, food, friends. We all feel it.
The murders at the Bataclan were especially harrowing. The venue hosts one of Paris’s most famous gay dance parties each month, an event that was originally scheduled for Saturday night after the attacks. It’s surreal.
Honestly, though, life is continuing here, and Paris is getting back to its old self.
By Tuesday this week, we were out shopping at the market and our usual guys were all smiles when they saw us with the camera while stocking up on butternut squash and leeks. They insisted on a photo. Just one block away, at the other end of the market, thousands of flowers and candles were piled by a barrier just meters from the Bataclan theater.
One of our favorite pastry shops was up and running as usual – so of course we picked something up to go with coffee back home after the market.
Tuesday night, Parisians were encouraged to go out and dine, with a hashtag #TousauBistrot (Everyone to the bistro) circulating on social media. We went to Pink Flamingo Pizzeria in the Marais with some former clients, where we discussed the events, but moved on to happier, more upbeat conversation.
By Wednesday, the Eiffel Tower was open again. Disneyland was operating as usual. Most museums and monuments were functioning, even as police raids continued just outside the city. We’re getting there. Will it be like it was before November 13th? Probably not, but things change. We’ll change with it. Tomorrow is another day.
What can tourists do? Keep coming to Paris. Don’t be scared away. Tourism is oxygen to Paris. Come visit. Come dine in its restaurants. Come see its museums and monuments. Come share drinks in its gay bars and clubs. There’s no reason to be scared away, and if you have any questions concerning safety, don’t hesitate to ask.