Paris Memories: Reflections During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Paris Memories: Reflections During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Strolling the streets and parks of Paris, pretending I live in the 6th arrondissement, and tasting my way through upscale chocolate shops, local patisseries, and good restaurants are now done only in my memories. As Rick says to Elsa in Casablanca, “We’ll always have Paris.” But are memories enough?
Reality in California means hunkering down at home during the shelter-in-place mandate. No eating out with my adult children, no meeting friends over coffee or lunch, no workouts at the gym, no non-essential travel. The only voyages I will be making in the near future are trips to the supermarket. Maybe not even that, as online shopping is safer.

The Louvre. Photo: Dawn Dailey

In these turbulent and frightening times, it’s too easy to lament what’s lost and not be thankful for what we still have. I prefer to think of my confinement as a staycation where I catch up on projects hiding on my to-do list, like taking that online photography course I paid for last year but never got around to doing. Now I can spend more time studying French online. Or maybe I’ll simply relax with a good book.

Notre-Dame de Paris. Photo: Dawn Dailey

While my planned trip to Paris may not materialize, I can’t help planning the one after that. Perhaps all will be well and safe later this year. Despite the pandemic’s current impact on France, I am optimistic. It is France, after all, and the French are a resilient and resourceful people.

Café at Sacré-Cœur. Photo: Dawn Dailey

While life as we know it has changed, I can still go to Paris in my mind, if not in a plane. I remember all my wonderful times in the City of Light. I revisit Paris through my photos, taken in what already seems like another lifetime ago. With memories of the past, I dream of the future and the possibility to see Paris again someday. Because, in the words of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.”

Luxembourg Palace. Photo: Dawn Dailey

Pont Alexandre III. Photo: Dawn Dailey

Lone lamp post at Notre Dame. Photo: Dawn Dailey

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

Previous Article 48 Hours in Marseille
Next Article Our Favourite Things in France: Armchair Travel to the Hexagon

Related Articles

Dawn Dailey, author and photographer, is passionate about travel and seeing the world through her camera lens. When she’s not traveling, she’s home in California planning her next big adventure, which almost always involves exploring France.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Michael James
    2020-03-26 04:05:07
    Michael James
    Nice. I don't know if it is why your wrote this piece but at times of crisis (like now or the Notre Dame fire, and the 2015 terror attacks) I find myself especially wishing I could be there. "Because, in the words of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.”" Excuse me for being a pedantic bore, but Audrey never said that. Sabrina did, but only in the 1995 remake (by Sidney Pollack, starring Julia Ormond & Harrison Ford). It's sacrilege for me to say it, but I prefer the remake because as luminous as Audrey was in the original, the pairing with Humph didn't work, and worse, that movie was pure Hollywood. They never left a sound stage while the remake had a gorgeous approx. 20 minutes filmed in the real Paris (with Fanny Ardant and Patrick Bruel, the French Patrick Demsey!); this never fails to lift the spirits. As does the final scene on the passerelle, Pont des Arts. Which reminds me of the other great bon mot from Sabrina: Sabrina: “Along the Seine there is a walk along the river that goes from Ile St Germain to the Pont d’Austerlitz. Takes you past all the bridges of Paris. Twenty-three of them. And you find one that you love and you go there every day with your coffee and your journal. And you listen to the river.” Linus Larrabee: And what does it tell you? S: That’s between you and the river. .......................... My bridge is Pont Marie which I crossed every day to go from my home on Ile St Louis to the Right bank. [Final pedant note: today there are 35 bridges including the 4 passerelles) or 37 if one includes the two bridges at either end that carry the Peripherique.]