Paris in Winter

Paris is not my favorite European city, except perhaps in winter. The light becomes cold and metallic under gray skies. The city is at its barren best and most beautiful.

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Residents reclaim their city and the sidewalks become navigable, even in the most heavily touristed quartiers. Before spring and after fall, the bistros and cafés empty out and one can enjoy a coffee or glass of wine without scowling waiters breathing down your neck.

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Gone is the Gallic dourness of service industry workers left behind to wait on tourists while their countrymen take to the beaches in July and August.

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Given the situation in France, if you live in Paris and are working, it might be unbecoming to complain about having to serve coffee to tourists.

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