Our Man in Paris is Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis. It does, sometimes, snow there. See the photo below.
PARIS, Friday, December 30, 2005 -
This morning I planned to go to Etoile to shoot the traditional,
if rare, view of the Arc de Triomphe blotted out by a Parisian blizzard. As part of the preparation I turned on radio France-Info
to get the weather forecast. It said snow in Brittany was coming here, to be followed later in the afternoon by freezing rain.
Hotcha, hotcha, get the photo!
One New Years Eve in the late '70s a freezing rain descended on Paris in the late afternoon
and froze the whole city. Only the Métros kept running. Drivers, who had been taking in movies to while away their idle hours
before the fête, emerged to find that they were frozen out of their cars. The whole place was a big skidbahn. Just about everybody
went nowhere that New Years Eve and the leftover booze lasted until Valentine's Day.
I looked out the window and the
Tour Montparnasse was gone, lost in the murk. The street below was rapidly covered and the four black lines left by car tires
turned gray as the snow thickened. Well and fine, but not quite a blizzard. Need to wait a bit more to see if it's going to
be a true blitz.
So I went out for supplies; cigarettes and money. The snow seemed to have stopped, but my head was
immediately wet. Hours in advance, despite France-Info, the freezing rain was here. It felt like icy needles, especially when
pushed by the breeze from the south. Ghastly is the best word for it. If this keeps up the whole city will be glassed, slicker
than the ice rink at the Hôtel be Ville. It's not weather for sending enemies out for a bit of fun.
Not only this
but freezing rain doesn't show well in photos. I could go out there and end up in the emergency ward with a broken leg, cohabiting
with the bent scooter drivers and other hapless victims too foolhardy to stay in.
If the freezing rain is earlier
than expected, maybe we'll have the predicted thaw by nightfall. And before you know it Paris Plage will be beckoning with
its wavering palms, grass skirts and Hawaiian guitars. It's a sure thing, eventually.
Note from Saturday, December
31, 2005 –
Some Parisians waited
until the final minutes to stock up on lobsters, crabs and oysters of every kind for their New Years Eve parties, as shown
here at the fish stall in the Rue Daguerre late this afternoon.