Despite the rising number of infections and deaths due to Covid-19 in France — especially in the Ile-de-France — Parisians are not so easy to corral, so the government is preempting all irresponsible behavior before the weekend.
If you were thinking of sneaking off for the weekend, you’re going to have a hard time getting there by train. All of the stations in Paris are now completely closed to anyone who doesn’t already have a ticket – and the attestation showing your reason for traveling, such as going to or from work and your principal residence. You can’t “go to the countryside for the weekend” or even visit your extended family. In Nice, the city has closed the beaches and instituted an 11pm curfew. Again, they’re trying to remind everyone the goal is to stay inside, not travel (and spread the virus) around.
To ward off any funny business (ie picnics in the park), authorities in Paris have designated three zones which are off-limits through Sunday night: Esplanade des Invalides, Champ de Mars, and Berges de Seine (unless you’re working there, including delivery services, or posh enough to live in the immediate vicinity).
Make Some Noise!
On the plus side, Parisians are really getting into the swing of the evening festivities from their windows. Applause for the health workers continues with clapping, cheering and banging of pots at 8pm, and on FB you’ll find an announcement for a daily 7:30 happy hour on your balcony “Les 10 Minutes du Peuple” (hang out your window with a glass and wave to your neighbors). There was also an hour-long music festival this Friday from 8-9pm, the “Fête aux Balcons”.
This might not continue with as much gusto when the temperatures in Paris – at a toasty 17°C today – go down to 10°C over the weekend with lows into freezing next week. At least there won’t be as much temptation to go out.
France’s National Audiovisual Institute (L’Ina) has over 70 years of French television archives stored in their server, called Madelen. And they’ve decided to open access to it to the public for free for three months (after that it’s only €2.99/month). It’s only in French, of course, but it is absolutely amazing and worth a look (you need to register to get it, but you can cancel at any time, even before three months are up). The website makes it fun to browse the carefully curated 13,000 TV shows, films, documentaries, news programs, theatre productions and concerts broadcast on French TV. You can watch a documentary about Paris’s nightlife renaissance after the Occupation (“Il est minuit, Paris s’éveille”), a cheesy detective series from the 1980s (“Fantômas”), footage of The Clash playing live at Le Palace nightclub, Godard’s 1966 film “Masculin, Féminin”, the entire 2019 production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” at La Comédie-Française, debates from the 1974 French presidential elections, and so much more. Check it out! https://madelen.ina.fr
Virtual Museum Visits
If you’re sad all of the museums have closed, you can check out the virtual tours of the Louvre’s Egyptian collection, Apollo Gallery and Medieval architecture in English here: https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne Or the Online Exhibits of the Château de Versailles here: https://artsandculture.google.com/part…/palace-of-versailles
For more free cultural resources (in French, sorry!), check out this detailed list from the Ministry of Culture’s #CultureChezNous project:
Stay safe, stay sane! – Heather