August in Paris

August in Paris by Carin Olsson (Paris in Four Months) I'm just going to let you know that this will probably be my last August in Paris. Like ever. Since moving to this city I've heard people speaking about August in Paris with both excitement and fear – I've been warned to have all my plumbing and electricity problems pre August since apparently it's nearly impossible to find any sort of "handyman" once the month of French vacations starts in this country. But I've also been told that it's one of the most relaxing and calm times you'll ever have during the entire year here. Well, after investigating more thoroughly myself I can safely say that this does not apply to those who live in very centre of the city. The Parisians might have fled the French capital for their Corsican beach houses, St. Tropez hideouts and Provence country homes but they've been replaced by a trillion more tourists who all roam the streets of Paris from early morning to late evening, taking up every single inch of the sidewalks with their maps and ice cream cones in hand.

Not only is the centre taken over by tourists during this time, all of my favourite restaurants, cafés, shops and bars have also decided to close up and (most of them) not open until the end of the month or beginning of September. So, deciding on where to meet clients and friends for lunch, dinner or simply a cup of coffee has just gotten a lot more challenging than usual (thank god for Fondation Cafe and La Caféothèque right now). *

I blame this (unusual) negativity of mine on the lack of summer here in Paris. I mean, if we'd have stable weather and sunshine instead of rain, wind and endless grey clouds in the sky I'm pretty sure we could have put all of those pretty Parisian parks to good use with picnics and fun summer activities. Perhaps what I mean is "I'll never spend the month of August in Paris again unless it's super sunny and amazing weather". Although that could be pretty hot (and claustrophobic) without any sort of coast or water close by... Hmm. To sum it up, I think it's better that I just stay away from Paris in August in the future.

* But yes, it can actually be easier to grab a chair at your favourite terrace during this time and some areas (if you get away from the tourist attractions and the main streets) can be absolutely deserted and calm.