After sending out my April Secrets of Paris newsletter yesterday where I asked for all of YOU to share your confinement stories with me. This morning I woke to find I’ve received over 50 emails from around the world! I spent the morning reading your messages, and I promise I’ll reply to every single message as soon as I can. 😊
A Bittersweet Spring Day
Paris was sunny and gorgeous today, about 60°F, which drew out all of the Parisians who aren’t technically allowed outside except for short trips to get necessities or a one-hour maximum bit of exercise. On my short run around the Parc de Bercy (photo below taken through the closed gate) and around the Bibliothèque I saw many people sitting on benches in the sunshine, even a few in the grass, but no police (they’re mostly checking on the cars trying to leave town on vacation, which isn’t allowed). Tomorrow’s forecast is 22°C (72°F), which almost seems cruel, although I personally feel much better leaving my windows wide open…especially since there aren’t tons of cars driving by like usual!
No More Printing of Attestations!
Starting on Monday April 6th you can use your smartphone to present your digital attestation when leaving your home instead of having to print and fill out the paper one (trees – and people without printers — are breathing a sigh of relief). The form will be available Monday on the official government website https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/, and once you fill it out will produce a digital PDF with a QR code that you present to police when stopped so they can scan your details (which will be the same exact details already on the paper version). I’ll share the exact link once it’s live.
Terrorism & Scandal
Aside from the “usual” Coronovirus bad news, two other subjects have dominated the French news sites today, only one that has made it into the English-language press. A knife attack by a Sudanese asylum-seeker in the French town of Romans-sur-Isère (south of Lyon) killed two and injured several more before the suspect was arrested and an investigation opened. But I can’t find any English articles about the scandal of the Plaintel respiratory mask factory in Brittany that was closed by Honeywell in 2018: “While France is in dire need of masks in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, a French company, based in Brittany, which could manufacture up to 200 million per year, closed in 2018 after having been bought by an American group.” (translated from the news site France Inter). If you’d like to read about the investigation in English, try using Google translate or the Deepl translator.
I did a 30-minute live feed walk around my neighborhood today on Instagram, from the Parc de Bercy in the 12th, across the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir over the Seine River, around the Bibliothèque Nationale, and to the Place Jeanne d’Arc in the 13th. I didn’t save it, apparently (sorry, still learning how it works!) but I’ll give it another try as long as it’s nice outside and I don’t get into trouble for filming instead of running. Sunday I’ll share some of the cool street art in my neighborhood for you. In the meantime, you’ll find my latest ukulele tribute there, “Let It Be” (I’m on a Beatles kick). Thanks for following!
And as usual, stay inside, or if you go for a run, stay away from other people! – Heather