Excuse the hyperbolic headline but I couldn’t resist. With most media headlines and startling photos all over the Internet these days about the flooding in Paris—happening smack dab in the middle of prime tourist season—the City of Light has been on my mind too much these days not to write about it.
The thing that truly horrifies me is not so much that this beloved city is dog paddling like crazy trying to hold it’s head above water or that it’s being forced to make emergency runs to rescue the best bits from the Louvre and the d’Orsay—although that’s bad enough. I understand when natural disasters happen and there’s nothing for it. That’s life.
These. Things. Happen.
No, that’s not the thing I hate to see the most about Paris treading water during the biggest tourist month in their calendar year.
I hate that Americans are using the floods as one more reason why they won’t visit.
This is a one-two punch for Paris after the November attacks. I know it’ll rebound. After all, it’s Paris. But it makes it so much harder to overcome, to clean up, to rebuild, when they lose the tourist dollars that let’s face it, are integral to helping Paris stay…well, Paris.
While I love being in Paris any month of the year, it seems like I’ve tended to be there in June the most.
June is a great time to jaunt over to Normandy because it’s an easy day trip and being American I like the idea of visiting the D-Day beaches around the anniversary dates of the landings.
June isn’t blazing hot yet so if your hotel doesn’t have AC—and some of the really charming ones don’t—it doesn’t matter. It’s still comfortable for sitting out with an apéro and watching the street life, or taking a cruise down the Seine or just relaxing by the fountain in the Tuileries.
Plus June is when all the best veggies and fruits are busting out all over the great food markets in Paris. Again, not to take anything away from October or Christmastime or April (OMG can anyone take anything away from springtime in Paris?) but June flower and food markets pretty much trump any other month and in any other place.
I know some people think I’m weird because I see all these photos of the river rising around the Seine embankment stairs on the Ile de la Cité and people coasting down city streets in little rubber boats and I still ache to be there.
Floods or not, whacko terrorists or not, the City of Light draws me.
What about you? Glad you dodged a bullet by not being there this summer? Or wishing you were there anyway—maybe somewhere on high ground—with a café crème in one hand and a pain au chocolat in the other? Like maybe the Eiffel Tower? I hear it’s still open. One thing is sure, you’ll definitely keep your feet dry!
(I’m including a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, French Girl in Seattle, which was written a few days after the terrorist attacks last November but which is an open love letter to Paris—and I thought the Grande Dame could use a little love at the moment!)