My first day in Paris, I was giddy with excitement and lack of sleep. So in the early morning quiet, I stole out of my flat on I'le Saint Louis to explore the empty streets and alleys of I'le de la Cite. With a sense of awe and wonder I meandered aimlessly drinking in everything around me.
When I turned the corner onto Rue de la Columbe, I was struck by this scene that typifies Paris...
The restaurant worker, readying the cafe for the onslaught of patrons that would soon appear. A lone woman sipping cafe creme while deciding what treat she would chose from the carte. Outdoor tables and chairs beckoning diners to stop for awhile under the ever-present window boxes with their riotous punctuation of color. The two bicycles, a preferred Parisian transportation mode, leaning gently against the cafe, completed the perfect picture.
This is the Paris I had longed to see...the quaint charm of normal Parisian life. It is a sight that is played out daily throughout all 20 arrondissements. But, on this day in September it played out only for me... And, I pinched myself to make sure I was not dreaming.