September 8, 2010
Paris in the Fall – Ryan S B
Ask any Parisian what he or she loves about New York, and they’ll inevitably gush about its energie. It’s true that Paris can feel sleepy in comparison (which is actually why I love it), but I would argue that there is no better energy than that of Paris in September.
This moment is known as “la rentrée,” when the locals return from their summer vacations (many of which span the entire month of August), looking great and feeling even better. Whether they’ve been surfing in Biarritz, lounging in Provence, or schmoozing in St. Tropez, they return to Paris revitalized, rejuvenated, practically reborn—not to mention seriously bronzed.
The lengthy summer vacation is sacred—and practically mandatory—in France. My first boss in Paris used to leave his entire business in the hands of his highly unprepared assistant (which would have been me, had I worked for him in August) for the entire month. His livelihood was one thing, but les vacances? We don’t mess with this tradition. After all: all work and no play makes Parisians a very cranky bunch. And so, they play. And they don’t compromise, because vacation is a fundamental human right.