Dear loved ones, thank you for all your sweet messages and calls. I am safe. I feel incredibly grateful for your love and wishes. I have been here in Paris most of the week for work and I’ve been so happy adventuring around one of my favorite cities.
But the Eiffel Tower is dark tonight. The city is in mourning. What an unbelievably sad and horrible series of events happened across the city this evening. I am sending love and prayers to all those whose loved ones have been injured or killed in the violence. It happened on my doorstep. I have been staying in the haute Marais near the Place de la Republique and the pretty Canal St Martin area.
Laura had me under her wing tonight. At the last minute I cancelled plans to meet two new friends on rue Yves Tudic. I would have walked back and forth across the place de la Republique (one of the sites of the shootings) to the Canal St Martin area to look for a restaurant for dinner. We were to meet just two streets away from a couple of the other street shootings. I’ve been taking pictures of this area all week. The Canal photo (below) was taken a block away from where many lost their lives at the Cambodian restaurant. It is still a shock to me how life changes in a second. It is as jarring as that old trick when someone pulls the table cloth out from underneath the crockery. Everything shudders for a moment and then regains composure, but the foundation is gone.
The Bataclan theatre where upwards of 80 are reported to have died is a few blocks from where I am staying. I ate nearby, at a little homespun sliver of a place called Les Comptoirs de Carthage. The owner Kate and her daughter have become friends and they let me eat at their patronne’s table for the first time tonight. I was sampling their homemade cheesecake made with a weird fruit called Safou that tastes a bit like medicine when its eaten raw, but is delicate and perfumed when mixed with cheese. We had no idea of the horror happening so nearby. Then suddenly a friend of theirs ran in spreading word of the shooters on the street. They quickly pulled down their metal shutters to keep us safe. Elsewhere diners fled through the streets. The area is in lock down still. It is 5am and I am still up and my neighbors are up too. We are all in shock. But it is comforting to hear them talking. To have a sense of community, even if it is only through the walls. But mostly I am comforted by all the love flitting through the ether from friends and loved ones online. Thank you.