“I can never be sad on the Rue des Martyrs,” I tell people when they ask me why I am such a cheerleader for my street. In the face of the unknown, I revel in the shared pleasure of conversations — however brief these days — with shopkeepers and take comfort in the spirit of community that lives on here.
Paris is a good place to mourn. It takes itself very seriously in a way that is sometimes tedious when you are young and full of the future, but is perfect when you are entering middle age and walking down cobblestone streets and missing someone you loved very much, particularly if that someone lived there. Paris is tonally at its most appropriate when you realize that somehow that someone, who was so intricately woven into the city — someone who, for you, was Paris — is no longer there and yet the city remains itself. The city somehow survives. But Paris absorbs your sadness like it has absorbed hundreds of years of sadness. [ . . . ] Read at NYTimes