When I woke yesterday morning to find this lovely scene outside my window, I
couldn’t wait to get outdoors. I imagined a snowy cityscape, a rejuvenating snap in the air, groups of gleeful Parisiens frolicking in a winter wonderland.I imagined a city like Chicago, where I grew up pining for
snow days that, once they arrived, turned our neighborhood into the site of a
winter carnival — kids building snowmen, parents stealing their children’s
sleds for a quick ride, snowballs flying.According to Stuart Jeffries’s fine article in today’s Guardian U.K.,
that was exactly the scene that unfurled yesterday in London, when the city was
shut down after being blanketed in snow.
But in Paris?Non.I didn’t see a single snowball, sled or
even a purposeful slide on ice.I
didn’t see a shovel, either, as city workers and shopkeepers alike ignored the
pile-up and let pedestrians slip and slide their way to work or school, an occasional expletive (“putain!”) escaping from their lips.I can’t blame the lack of fun entirely
on Parisiens, however, because by 11 a.m. the snowflakes were gone, replaced by
nearly freezing rain.But still I
found it sad that in the early hours of the morning, when Paris was coated in fluffy white stuff, all of the parks were closed, barring kids from gathering snowballs and
adults the chance to walk in a hushed and beautiful winter wonderland.