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Lockdown in Paris: Day 20

Paris street Avenue de Choisy

Thanks to everyone who has been following and commenting on these daily updates over the past 20 days. Your encouragement keeps me going even though there have definitely been days when I would have preferred to just curl up with a good book and ignore the world outside. But a writer has to write, and it’s worth it if even one of you finds it useful, entertaining, or informative. Also…my family in distant lands can vicariously check up on me without actually having to stay in touch. Win-win. 😉

Duck Duck Goose Shopping

Going out for supplies during lockdown in my neighborhood always turns into a bit of a reconnaissance mission as I discover which shops are open that moment, which ones have no lines, and which ones have the specific items I’m looking for. I’m lucky that I have a huge number of them to choose from in a small area. Today after work I went out to pick up some last-minute supplies for the weekend. There was only one person in front of me in line at the big Picard on the boulevard, so I restocked my supply of frozen organic blueberries. But when I saw the huuuuuge line in front of the Monoprix next door I decided I could pass on the vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (my waistline is thankful). On the way back home I stopped into one of the local pharmacies to see if they had any Doliprane (paracetamol). Since this is what we’re told to use in France in case of a fever, I figured they’d be out of stock, but there was an entire wall of it, both tablet and gel cap. I figured one of each would do the trick, since I’m still symptom-free 20 days into lockdown and therefore being “prepared but not hoarding”. I took my haul back home, passed three different police patrols checking for attestations, and did the usual “strip-down-and-wipe-down” routine of everything that comes through the door, including my groceries, my keys, my phone, and me. Looking forward to an evening of Netflix and sleeping in tomorrow morning.

A Woman Walks into (Her) Bar

When Paris opens back up, we’re all going to need a drink. Or two. Why not start making your bar-hopping-with-friends wishlist now? Check out Forest Collins’s latest “52 Martinis” Paris podcast interview with Dirty Lemon Bar owner chef Ruba Khoury, co-hosted with David Lebovitz: Women, Bar & Restaurant Culture with Ruba Khoury of Dirty Lemon

Interested in Travel Writing?

Some of you may be familiar with the Secrets of Paris Travel Writers Workshops we’ve conducted in Paris since 2016 with professional travel writers like Bryan Pirolli and Lisa Pasold. Since we’re all at home dreaming of travel — and maybe even writing about it – we thought it would be fun to answer your questions about travel writing on a Facebook Live next Thursday, April 9th, at 5pm CET (Paris time, chez Heather) / 11am EST (New York Time, chez Bryan). If you can’t make it to the live event, send in your questions in advance and we’ll answer them and save the recording for you to watch anytime! https://www.facebook.com/events/661779337932328/

Travel Writing Q&A

Prescription Med Delivery

Don’t want to leave your home to pick up your prescriptions? OTZII is an app for 24/7 prescription delivery direct from Parisian pharmacies (so it’s totally legit). With a valid prescription you scan into the app, your delivery arrives within 60 minutes, sealed in a bag and transported in a refrigerated box direct to your door (delivery fee depending on the distance). It’s also available in Lyon, Angers, and Nantes. Check it out here: https://www.otzii.com/

Where to Find Local Produce

It’s asparagus and strawberry season in France! But when the government closed down Paris’ open-air food markets last week, many independent produce farmers lost their sole point of sale. Enter « Le Marché Vert », an online initiative created to show Parisians (and anyone in France, actually) where they can still purchase local produce and help keep these small farmers in business during the lockdown. Check out the map to see what’s available near you: https://www.lemarchevert.fr/

No Holiday from the Lockdown

French police patrols and checkpoints stopped over 426,000 people today in France to make sure they’re not sneaking off to vacation and that they’re respecting the confinement orders. They’ll be enforcing this throughout the weekend with 160,000 officers at train stations, toll booths, and along popular travel routes. Mayors in resort towns are also warning locals that anyone caught trying to “check in” to vacation rentals will be fined. Why the sudden crackdown? Because normally Parisians would be departing for their spring break (April 4th-20th). So the police are ready to nip that in the bud as the numbers of daily deaths in France due to Coroniavirus are still rising. Not—so-Fun Fact: France’s Director General of Health Jerome Salomon announced today that 35% of the 6662 patients currently hospitalized and in intensive care for Covid-19 in France are under 60 years old. #flattenthecurve!

Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone – RIP Bill Withers

The world has lost another legendary singer and songwriter, Bill Withers. His greatest hits include “Lovely Day”, “Just the Two of Us”, “Use Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” and of course “Lean On Me” (sung with Stevie Wonder and John Legend in 2015). Enjoy a bit of Bill Withers sing-along this weekend with the loved ones you can (virtually) lean on!

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