Thursday, January 21, 2010
Le Parking in Paris
They really don't want you to drive a car in Paris. Since the arrival of the wonderful Velib bicycle program, the number of traffic lanes for cars has been drastically reduced, giving priority to buses, taxis and bicycles. As a result, the number of parking spots has also diminished. Of course, Parisians don't care (je m'en fou, they say), but sometimes they pay the price. We watched this car being towed outside a little cafe where we were having lunch today with our friend Edouard. Within less than ten seconds of the tow truck leaving with its prize, another "victim" parked in the same spot....
By chance, we were lunching across the street from Optique Vivienne, on the rue Vivienne (2nd arrondissement), where more than ten years ago we both bought our current eyeglass frames from Monsieur Boudart, who has now, alas, retired. Over the years, he checked our eyes quite regularly and whenever my new lenses arrived and he put them into my frames, he would always very politely ask me to sit for a moment in his shop whilst he crossed the street to Debauve et Gallais -- one of the great chocolate shops in Paris --where he would buy me a little box of chocolates.