Paris to the Nile 2018 — Paris


LEG ONE: PARIS


PARIS, FRANCE: Arriving in Paris for the first leg of an epic trip, I had hoped to escape the seemingly never-ending freezing cold, snow and grey skies that defined the long winter in New York this year. Paris was having warmer spring-like weather the week before but the day of my arrival I am met with snow …

PARIS, FRANCE: Snowflakes continued the next day too, but I was determined to get out for a walk around the neighborhood regardless — even if just a short loop to remind me that I was back in Paris …

PARIS, FRANCE: The snow stopped after the weekend, and though it was still quite cold, having dipped down below freezing overnight, I took a slightly longer wander along the Canal St. Martin, where I had hoped to see some signs of springtime. Instead I came upon something I had never seen in all my years here — a series of tent encampments along the banks of the canal where the homeless were living in a kind of defacto “refugee camp” (whether or not they were any kind of actual “refugee”) — many in identical pop-up tents like the kind we had used for the rally. The scene was almost surreal and reminded me of what I imagined the hobo camps were like during the great depression in the U.S. … I didn’t have much time to explore, as I had to get back to work, but I was a bit shocked to see this here. Paris, like all big cities, has always had a serious homelessness crisis, but it seems to have reached even higher levels than ever before, yet people go about their days, walking along the edges of the Canal seemingly unaware of the misery a few feet away …

PARIS, FRANCE: Today the sun came out and it was a bit warmer, and there was a hint of spring to come …

PARIS, FRANCE: A day of strikes and demonstrations across France today, as public employees took to the streets everywhere to fight for their rights in the face of government proposals that would seriously impact their livelihoods. The mood was tense but slightly festive as the demonstrators set off their street marches around gare de l’est in Paris. Later in the day there would be small clashes all around …

PARIS, FRANCE: Finally a really nice weekend day, and we visited a brocante near Republique, where lots of people were out browsing and just enjoying the weather for a welcome change. After the brocante, I continued my walk to Chatalet and St. Michel, revisiting touristic Paris and just appreciating the time to walk a favorite route there and back …

PARIS, FRANCE: A few final days in the neighborhood before moving on to the next Sahara adventure …


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