27 November 2015
Tribute to Paris
At Plume Voyage, we decided to pay tribute with the words of our journalists, their very own words, our pictures and drawings.
At Plume Voyage, we will continue, but there are words you do not want to say, that are not part of our vocabulary, that we leave to others, those who tarnish, break and steal. Life thieves, breakers, black men with a black heart. The poor ones.
At Plume Voyage, we will continue to honor you, travelling and related good vibrations , good energies to share. We will prefer to use smooth words, generosity, lightness. We will continue to keep our eyes wide open and bring you and tell you the beauty that exist in this world. and we will continue to highlight Paris, our town, our home, our heart. Broken for the moment but not for ever.
We are honoring you, the ones who are gone. Thinking of you and your families. We love. We love you. We support you.
We are French, Parisian, we’re travelers and worldwide citizens.
January sliding on the snow around the lake of the Bois de Boulogne, there are no boats, we will wait a few weeks for boating but the cries of children that burst in all directions are cheerful!
It’s cold in February but the days lengthen as we can notice it when getting out of the Louvre at 5 PM, tourists admiring the pyramid before sitting down at Café Marly.
March, Boulevard Saint Germain an exceptional wave of good weather let the Parisians forget the rigors of the winter: We rush to the terraces of emblematic cafés de Flore and Deux Magots while contemplating the the first buds …
In April, we feel like being unfaithful to our beloved city and spinning but it’s getting warm so what’s more exciting than a boat trip on the Seine river, its banks or dancing the tango on the docks near the Grande Bibliothèque?
In May, Paris is gloating! It is a habit in May! The trees are drowning under their leaves, no thrush on sidewalks but very pink trees on the banks of the Seine near Beaugrenelle! And the roses are exploding in Bagatelle inside the Bois de Boulogne
June the best month in Paris, everyone seems to forget his worries, we are in the excitement of the holidays and the last projects: work or holidays … we dine out and we laugh on terraces … This looks like happiness!
Juillet Un matin du 12 ou 13 juillet quoi de plus excitant que de contempler les avions qui passent au-dessus des Jardins du Palais Royal, se préparant à la parade du 14 juillet, dans le soleil du début d’une journée magnifique…
July, one morning on July 12th or 13th what could be more exciting than contemplating the planes that pass over the gardens of the Palais Royal, preparing for the parade of the 14th of July, in the sunlight of the start of a beautiful day …
Août Paris se vide c’est le début de l‘exode des Parisiens, une aubaine pour ceux qui restent pour se retrouver ensemble et jouer aux touristes, le moment d’arpenter les rues désertées du Marais, de musarder sous les arcades de la place des Vosges et dans la maison de Victor Hugo après avoir pris un verre à Ma Bourgogne…
Paris empties itself in August, it is the beginning of the Parisians’ exodus, a boon for those who remain to be together and play tourist, the time to walk the deserted streets of the Marais, to dawdle under the arcades of the Vosges square and the house of Victor Hugo after taking a drink at Ma Bourgogne …
Septembre C’est la rentrée ! Les Parisiens se retrouvent comme si ils s’étaient quittés de longs mois, beaucoup d’excitation, les cahiers à acheter, on retrouve une âme de gosse en respirant l’odeur d’un livre de géographie tout neuf parce qu’on a plus trouvé le modèle d’occasion place Saint Michel chez Gibert Jeune !
September, back to school! Parisians find themselves as if they had parted for long months, a lot of excitement, books to buy,we feel like a kid again breathing the smell of a brand new geography book because we could not find the used on in place Saint Michel at Gibert Jeune!
October, let’s have good resolutions: I promise this fall we will visit each Grand Palais exhibition, stroll in Orsay, run to Galliera, enjoy a ballet at the Opera and listen to a concert in Bercy, give our advise on serious plays that we will see on the Grands Boulevards, their is even jogging in the air every morning at the Tuileries!
November. One of the highlights of Parisians’ life: having friends from abroad over. Let’s (re) discover the city and going back to childhood by climbing up the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and taking a chocolate coffee at the Museum of Man at the Trocadero or at Angelina on Rivoli street and why not crossing Paris by bus.
December, towards the department stores of couse: Printemps, Galeries Lafayette and Bon Marché, you need to shop and show children the fabulous animated windows … The Santas may have jeans under their coat but it does not matter, everyone pretends to believe in it …
Adine Fichot Marion
It’s not a really nice street. Without charm. There is a bar where I was not going much because there were not always a friendly atmosphere. And a Cambodian restaurant where I wanted to go several times but it was always crowded. Almost as much as its big brother, a little further down the street, that, I have been going to for years. It was already a meeting place for gourmets of Asia before the neighborhood became “fashionable”. That is to say ! I was there a few days before …
In this street without interest, were slaughtered men and women I could have been part of. Passing by, this morning, this anonymous street was no longer. Thousands of flowers and candles were hiding the bullet holes in the pavement. Already vanishing the paltry path of the cowards with the “Kalash”, yet forgotten, overshadowed by candlelight and masked by the scent of flowers. In this street of “Paname”, I found the Parisian spirit among the sidewalk tributes. Yes, these gruff Parisian, always in a hurry and who like to imagine themselves as distant relatives of all Gavroches who have worn out their clogs on the pavement. Parisian, these brats crossing 10 meters from a pedestrian crossing, when the light is green for cars, their cellphones stuck to ear, fag in mouth and cursing against dog droppings … He is like this, the Parisian, he does not care much about anything or anyone. And even those who want to keep him from hanging out on the bar terraces, even when it’s raining or when it’s cold because “it is so nice to sit at a terrace!”
So this morning I smiled seeing bottles of wine among the flowers, on the dried stains of blood. Red wine, white wine and beer. To toast one last time. To our colors: beer, white and red! It’s very Parisian (French), this kind of swagger against death for the enjoyment, every enjoyment. This is Paris, this, laying tattooed subway ticket “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur”amid candles to enter into resistance against those who want Paris to no longer be a celebration. This is Paris, this, writing amid bouquets, « I’m at a terrace and fuck you!”. So, let’s continue to cross the streets out of the pedestrian crossing. We are the only ones to do so. This is Paris…
November 13th, 10 PM, Paris 16th. The evening is in full swing at Sandrine’s. Bodies are swinging in the hubbub of a pretty carefree celebration when the first text messages make their way into the sounds of the party. Faces are panicking, phones are agitated. Some join a quieter room. We turn on the TV. The grim death toll is ticking. A BFM journalist is here. She leaves the apartment in a rush.
Everyone is trying to reach their close-ones. Relatives are going ok, but what about the others? Dice of chance are in turmoil. One was at the Bataclan three hours ago. A journalist friend is trapped inside. Yet another gave a concert there the day before. The son of an acquaintance was shot in the thigh. Others are stuck in the 11th where cafés had their door smashed by the Raid. And then there are the silent ones. Most distant friends whom we will discover the loss, over the following days.
For now, in the hubbub of the evening, the information is still struggling to establish itself. Some ignore all or part of the drama. The others do not always realize the scope or do not know what to think. Going home, staying and dancing? Distraught, some want to leave, join their relatives. A map of Paris’ terror attacks appears on cellphones. Between the 11th and the Stade de France, from the 16th, although one must find a way back? Paris is locked, closed borders are announced. White map, red map, mapping of blood … Some are flabbergasted, stunned, anguished, glued to their cellphones. The others, unconscious or bullies, prefer to keep the drama away. Unmoved, the Djette continues her work and music is still playing. Dancing against death, against the horror, in an ultimate denial, scrounging the final moments of a carefree mind. Reflex of life. Such as in Beirut, as in Tel Aviv. Refusing to offer them the gift of our joy. Besides, we will keep going on the terraces, in theaters. Not afraid…
Still, the reality of the drama unfolding on the other side of Paris gradually swells to invade the entire space. It is scarcely midnight when the last guests leave.
Returning home in a desertic Paris with a pale face on. Looking at the Eiffel Tower suffused with light, so beautiful but so threatened. Feeling already nostalgic, of the carefree peaceful years . Of the confident brotherhood. Of the quiet certainties. This time, the party is over.
This is far China. Too far for not to panic, fear the worst. And not enough to keep from crying, rehash, share the rumbling anger. It took me three days, 3 X 24 endless hours to land in Paris and find the place that was meant to be mine: close to my loved-ones and all the ones who were mourning their own. This is with a heavy heart, groggy that I l woke up on the first Parisian day after my return. With the striking rawness that nothing would ever be the same. Two days later, as if fate had intimated me to skip school, here i was tracking, forced to climb the hill in the morning. First the Rue Lepic, its back-and-forth, the Café des deux moulins and the atmosphere of Jeunet, Place des Abbesses and the Wall of Je t’aime in 280 langauges. Then the Place du Tertre, desertic, becoming again almost frequentable. The Sacré Coeur, and some astonished tourists that neither endless rain nor recent events have succeeded in discouraging. Finally Avenue Junot and its little coffee that warms you up , chez Marcel, on the angle of the villa Léandre, countryside in Paris. I even find myself making a detour by Le Moulin de la Galette …
This gray morning diluted (a little bit) my anger and each detail found its place in the picture. The things that would have usually made me smile seemed precious on that day, including clichés. Especially clichés. #loveparis
Dazed, paralyzed, shocked, horrified … I could go on trying to describe the feelings that assailed me throughout this horror weekend. So many shattered lives, no one I directly know did I selfishly say to myself, but so many people I meet every day, in my professional life, at the terraces of the same cafes where I go, where my daughter and her friends would take a drink, where we’re all going. How to get on with life? Daring to go out again, having fun without going to cry? Simply by wanting to avenge them. Because it is only by assiduously going to the café, restaurant, walking freely in this beautiful city that we will honor these missed people . I returned to Paris, my city, our city. Dead or alive. My daughter and her friends started to wander again at the mercy of rainy shiny streets, to marvel at the rising day on the Seine. To enjoy this great gray color chart that gives Paris this so uniques atmosphere. To marvel at the towers of the Conciergerie, the lights that shine on the cobblestones of the Place de la Concorde.
Paris … I was born there, I learned to walk, run and ride a bike at the Tuileries, I have admired artworks in the Louvre for the first time.
I am one of those who were born here and who have been wandering all over the place for 30 years.
Today I feel disoriented and sad to see what happens to my hometown, my Paris … but I will not yield.
“I will continue to believe even if everyone loses hope. I will continue to love even if other distill hatred”
Paris keep its freedom and joy of life and I will do everything to help.
That night the whole city stopped. Everyone remained flabbergasted, stunned, watching around. The breath taken, snorkeling. What’s going to happen ?
It can’ be possible … it’s a bad movie … worse than a bad movie …
And all night long hanging on the news. Flow of bad news. So many dead, wounded.
First thoughts for the relatives.
And finding damage, pain along weeks. And coincidentally, a cold, rainy gray sky above the city. A week after the terrorist attack as if it was accompanying our sadness.
And then I waited, attended the stream of words, of emotions to express images, reactions, often beautiful, sometimes bizarre. Everyone went about his comment … all the world responded with its guts. Everyone was touched. Despite himself.
The storm has passed. The pain remains, a contained pain, a shared pain. One could perceive it, in newspapers, streets, breathing, confusion in when looking at each others. Even terraces, cafes, streets that were still emptier than before, before the day that changed everything.
Those idiots managed to sow doubt, fear … even if “not afraid » signs have been brandished every where. Still, I was scared. A selfish fear first and then a deep fear with which we realize that freedom is fragile. As in Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria …
Afraid that my children no longer stretch like a cat in the morning as I taught them, afraid that I can not accompany them in the morning to school, with shaggy hair, dressed anyhow. Fear of not being able to go to dinner with my girlfriends, fear of not having the right to get a coffee, by myself, at the counter, fear of not going watch the “Nympheas” at the Museum of the Orangerie whenever it suits me, afraid of not attending a play, fear of not being able commenting, fear of the beautiful Palais Royale gardens and the Buren columns could be destroyed , fear of not being able to offer education and the culture of my choice for my children, afraid that the freedom given to me would be denied tomorrow. Afraid these idiots could still manage their bad ideas. Afraid they keep on stealing lives, youths, laughs and dances.
Afraid they bring us in their macabre play. Lest darkness takes over.
I gave myself time to realize, accept the unacceptable. How to keep going again?
I’m Parisian, French of Korean origin, with an Alsatian Jewish name, my children are Korean-Lebanese, born in Paris. Their father is Lebanese maronite.
Because I was afraid that my values, my culture , the mixed world I love disappear one day as violence and the imprisonment become daily , and in honor of my country, France that raised me , I will continue to talk about beauty, joy, greed and travel. They say that travel is freedom.