paris is burning

Originally uploaded by sarahlonnevik.

Today was the first death attributed to the Paris riots that started 11 days ago. I don’t fully understand – I’m very underinformed – why the riots started at all. But it’s sad to know that a city full of so much beauty and wonder is ringed with this violence that’s now spreading into other parts of Europe like a sickness.

Today I’m also wearing my shoes that Ryan bought for me while we were in Paris this spring. I didn’t wear them much during the summer because they’re black leather and they make my feet hot in 100-degree weather. But while I was waiting for the shuttle bus today, a (possibly gay but delightfully dressed) guy waiting with me looked down and said, “Those are great shoes! Where did you get them?” “Paris,” I replied, as nonchalantly and unpretensiously as it’s possible to say “Paris.” “Wow, my sister would love a pair like that,” he said. And while we were on the shuttle, he asked me if the city was as smelly and dirty as he’d heard. “No, only on the MĂ©tro,” although that could be expected from an underground train that shuttles millions of people around daily. At any rate, it was a nice compliment that led to me thinking about Paris this afternoon.

How wonderful it was when we were there, and how sad and violent now.


2 responses to “paris is burning

  1. Wishful thoughts

    Oh, I miss you!!!! Remember walking down the Champs Elysee at night and watching the lights of the city and the spectacular light show from the Eiffel Tower peeking over the tops of the buildings. Those were such good times. If it makes you feel better I also wore my Paris shoes today. There is just something about beautiful shoes to make you feel special.

  2. The Paris riots going on now are very similar to the Rodney King riots–they’re racially motivated. Apparently two policemen killed a couple of young men who were trying to hide from them, and this spurred a retaliation.

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