Pietrina and Dick's Paris Update

Last updated on 28 August 2000 -- to be notified of updates, please tell Dick by clicking here:

Kitchen on fire

The night they invented crème bulee

So how is Paris in our second August? The short answer is it gets a little stale. Parking in our neighborhood, typically about $3.00/hour is free! And for good reason as our favorite restaurants are typically closed for the month, the subways run further apart, and just about everyone (including us for a week) is out of town.

Paris sizzles

So for excitement, Parisians start fires in their kitchens. Here's a few pics we snapped on our way to Dinner last Friday night. If you've been here to visit us, you'll probably recognize a few of the streets. The place at top is at the end of the street that terminates at Bel Epoque night club. The other side is on Avenue D'Opera: Here's a photo from that fashionable avenue:

The fire ladders

This place looks like one of the more recently cleaned apartment buildings, too. (Parisians are required to clean their fronts -- of their buildings at least -- every 10 years).

(For a close-up, click here:)


Every male in Paris wants to be a fireman (not just the 5 year olds as in the States). These guys always seem to be playing soccer or hosing off their vehicles. Ours live a block away on St. Anne street, less than 100 yards from the fire. (In fact, they hooked their hoses up in front of their fire station instead of finding a hydrant). But last Friday, I wouldn't want to be a fire truck driver as you can see from this picture:

Trying to get to the fire

(If you want a close-up, click here:)

These guys are on top of the fire but can't get the truck through the narrow Parisian streets crammed with cars (hey, free parking!) Note our favorite food store in the background.

Skirting danger

But soon the Pompieurs* (as we all call them) had their ladders in place and were bringing people down the 6 stories. Fortunately the women had time to change into fashionable skirts as they descended. This is, after all, the fashion capital of the world, fire or no fire.

Fashion ladders


The next morning I left for my morning jog and there was still a fire truck on Opera avenue! Guess the firemen don't have that much to do in August either. Actually it isn't all that boring for them, the Sunday before a 23-year-old tourist was killed by lighting in the Tuileries garden. Maybe that will get some of the French back into church.

*Little known fact: Paris's pompiers belong to military units and therefore are one of the few public servants not on what seems to be daily strikes. Their big fund raising event is selling their Christmas calendar. (We weren't offered one but I'm assuming their hunk less even though I've never seen a pompier who wasn't in great shape).

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