Paris sous la neige

Paris sous la neige Image

It was something I never thought I’d see outside of vintage photos, Paris dressed in white. During my first winter we were graced with a moment of flurries and though it lasted only an instant and didn’t transform the city into a blank canvas, it still brought with it all the excitement of a kid’s first snow day.

When a sheet of pure white snow covered Paris last weekend, I wasn’t the only one ready to unleash her inner child. The Parisians are renowned for being a bit stone-faced, lacking in expression, and refraining from demonstrations of too much excitement. And French parents, though no doubt loving, seem to pride themselves on raising their toddlers as miniature adults, politely mannered and impeccably dressed. But the fresh snow cast a spell on Paris, transforming Parisians into overgrown French children and whiting-out what I’ve come to expect and appreciate about their culture. Mothers, chicly dressed, were taking the lead on building the bonhomme de neige (snowman), sometimes even on their hands and knees to “help” the little ones. And fathers let out bouts of laughter as they ambushed their little ones with surprise snowball attacks. At times it seemed the adults were enjoying the rare snow far more than their children.




{See the dad pelting his kid in the back of the head in the background? Yes, this is Paris sous la neige}

As quickly as the snow had come, it was gone. Come Monday all that remained was thick brown slush, the snowmen at Place des Vosges melted into a pile of broken carrots and branches. But a smile spreads across my face each time I remember the father, screaming daughter over his shoulder, heading straight for the frozen lake at Tuileries in a teasing gesture to toss her in. And the shrills of laughter spilling from the narrow street below my apartment at the start of another snowball fight.

To relive the mystique of Paris sous la neige, there are many more wonderful images on Flickr. Enjoy and keep warm!

5 comments… add one
  1. Murissa @TheWanderfullTraveler January 23, 2013, 11:30 pm

    Lol! While the Parisians are coming undone at the sight and pleasure of snow I’ve got the winter blues here in Canada (which I ironically wrote about today as well). Spring can’t come quick enough!
    Right now I give the stink eye to snow falling outside my window. Where’s my tea and turn on the fire place?! Lol

  2. Julika January 24, 2013, 11:04 am

    I loved these photos and your depiction of how the snow changed the Parisians! It must have been such a beautiful experience!

  3. balenciagamos January 24, 2013, 11:43 pm

    I love these photos of snowball throwing and families playing together in the snow! 🙂 It’s snowed here this week as well, but it’s decidedly much less picturesque than Paris under a sheet of white!

  4. Susan February 11, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Oh, I have always dreamed of seeing Paris covered in a blanket of white. Someday!

  5. Virginia February 20, 2013, 5:10 pm

    We arrived on the morning of Jan. 22 to see the city under a blanket of snow. Sadly, by the time we’d unpacked and had a nice lunch, it started raining and as I raced to Tuileries, it was turning to slush. Quel dommage. I still have fond memories and photographs galore of a snow in Jan. 2010 though. They will have to do!

    Love your photos.


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