La Fontaine Gaillon – Restaurant owned by Gérard Depardieu near the Opéra Garnier, July 2, 2010
Greetings, Readers. I hope you are all staying cool this summer. Or, if you are in the southern hemisphere, warm this winter. Don’t want to forget my friends “down under” who are in the middle of the winter season.
Paris finally got HOT.
After a fairly cool and rainy 4th of July weekend, Paris has warmed up again to the pitch of about 35° C-ish through the rest of the week (and then some, as I am taking several days to write this post), which for those of you stuck in Fahrenheit mode is about 95°. Paris is a lot like the East Coast and Mid-West of the United States: muggy. Humid. There is no such thing as a “dry heat” in Paris. It’s sticky. They don’t use “heat indexes” here, so I have no idea how much warmer the humidity makes a city like Paris, but I do know this — Paris is not an air conditioned place. We don’t have it in our apartment, and it does not really exist in public or private buildings as a general rule. Grocery stores usually have it, I’m sure to keep the food from spoiling too fast. Movie theaters have it, most of the time. Sometimes it is not working as well as it could, and one sweats a little in the theaters. I know that the Métro system *has* to have some kind of ventilation system, and occasionally one can feel a slight shift of air when transversing the tunnels, but mostly the Métro is a system of sweat and stink, and the subway cars are sweltering, oppressive buckets of stewing humanity that leave a person feeling like a limp, fusty washrag that’s been left in the corner of the tub too long.
Yeah, like that. (Thank you, Thesaurus.com.)
It is not pleasant.
As I sit in my attractive cloister, writing away like the femme écrivain that I am (heh *SNORT*), I have to say I am not too uncomfortable. I have a fan aimed at my back, I keep a supply of ice going in the freezer, and homemade iced tea quenches my thirst. I keep a gallon Ziploc bag in the freezer. It holds two trays of ice. I empty the trays into the bag each morning, use the ice through the day, then once the two trays have frozen again in by afternoon, I empty them out once more, use those two trays in the evening, and then re-do the whole process the next day. I use a lot of ice for when one makes iced tea from scratch, the tea has to be both diluted and cooled down and ice is perfect for this. While the post I linked in up there notes how someone can make iced tea in bulk, I sometimes just make it by the glass, steeping a concentrate (2 teabags per 10 ounces/300 ml) in a mug and then pouring it over a glassful of ice.
I like my ice. But even with these cooling measures, Paris life is still very warm.
For more about what I have been up to, keep reading. Have that glass of rosé on ice, or iced tea ready to go. You know me (although if this is your first time reading, you may not. My posts generally average a healthy 3,000 words. But there are lots of pretty pictures. Love it or leave it, is what I say! With a smile… ).
Opéra Garnier, 9èmè arrondissement, July 2, 2010