Parisian Living

After Lockdown: The First Thing Parisians Will Do

by Lily Heise

After two months of home confinement, most Parisians are looking forward to having a little more freedom as of May 11th. Although parks, restaurants, bars, large museums, and a variety of other sites will remain closed, we will be allowed to move freely while staying within ones département (region) within a 100-kilometer (62.1 miles) radius of home and gather in groups of under 10 people, all the while staying vigilant and respecting social distancing. We asked some of our Parisian friends what they are most eager to do once the lockdown has been lifted.

Left: A jogger runs down an empty street in Paris in the early evening, Right: a bouche of goat cheese, jar of confiture, wine corks and a slab of comté cheese sit on blue plates atop a wooden.
Top: Palmyre Roigt / Above: Thibault Carpentier / Marie-Anne Cantin

Jennifer Greco ⁠— Blogger and Food Tour Guide

First, I want to take a long walk and finally enjoy the beautiful spring weather! I live in the 15th arrondissement (district), not too far from the Seine, so I plan to head there and walk along its banks and take in the views of Paris. When I get to the Eiffel Tower, I’ll wander through the Champ de Mars and visit one of my favorite fromageries, Marie-Anne Cantin, located a few blocks away. From there I’ll meander over to the rue du Bac and stop in at one of the best chocolate shops in the city, Jacques Genin, to purchase some of his fantastic “macadi” chocolates (toasted macadamia and hazelnut with a heart of caramel—divine!) and pâtes de fruits (fruit jelly sweets). Afterward, I’ll swing by and see my friends at another cheese shop, La Ferme d’Alexandre, to say hi and pick up a goat’s cheese called Saint-Domnin de Provence that I’ve been craving. Then I’ll walk home. My second priority is a visit to the hairdresser!

The Eiffel Tower stands tall on a bright, beautiful day in Paris
Palmyre Roigt

Bio: Jennifer Greco is a French food and wine enthusiast, with a particular fondness for cheese. She leads gourmet food and wine tours for Paris by Mouth. In her spare time, she writes about regional French cheeses for a handful of publications and on her blog, Chez Loulou, and is studying to earn a French wine scholar certificate.

Krystal Kenny ⁠— Photographer and Podcaster

When the lockdown is over, I will be making a run for a picnic and photos in Parc de Sceaux. I love this peaceful park just outside of Paris, especially in the spring when they offer their abundant cherry blossom fields! So lush for a picnic with friends! I’ll also be interviewing people IN PERSON for my new podcast about artists in Paris. It’s been great chatting with people online, but energy and enthusiasm work so much better in person when recording. I can’t wait to get back to my job as a full-time outdoor portrait photographer as well. I’m missing my daily mornings at the Trocadéro platform, staring up at the Eiffel Tower!

Bio: Krystal Kenney is an American expat who spends her days as a portrait photographer and her evenings interviewing creatives in Paris for her podcast “La Vie Creative.”

Windmill Dreams / Fantine Reucha

Jill ⁠Colonna — Blogger and Author

I’m a serial Parisian flâneuse (one who likes to stroll)—who isn’t if under its spell? The most perfect, occasional treat has always been getting lost, snapping photos, then ending up in a quiet café or relishing a decadent teatime pâtisserie with friends—that’s the cherry on the gorgeous gâteau of la vie Parisienne. Living only a short 20-minute RER train ride from Paris has suddenly been torturously far, so I’m not going to take her for granted ever again. My first renaissance will be to carry on where I left off, share videos of the delicious moments we have together and do it all far more often!

Bio: Jill Colonna, a Scottish-French author, mum, and home cook in Paris since 1992, is still madly in love with the French life and joie de vivre. She shares fun Parisian teatimes and delicious culinary stories in and near Paris at MadAboutMacarons.com plus her new series of videos on YouTube.

A man and a woman sit outside Le Café Noir in Paris.
Yao Hu

Susan Taylor-Leduc — Art Historian and Tour Guide

After confinement, I dream of café-hopping near the Palais-Royal, beginning at the historic Café Verlet, then onto the Café Nemours for people watching en terrasse, and ending at the Télescope Café for the Franco-American vibes. Benefiting from my caffeinated indulgences, I would then wander through the gardens of the Palais-Royal, to see the spring flowers and do some window-shopping under the arcades. From the Palais-Royal, I would stroll along the rue Saint-Honoré to the Marais to revisit the stunning 18th-century pastel portraits and exceptional decorative arts at the Musée Cognacq-Jay.

Bio: Susan Taylor-Leduc is an art historian, educator, and licensed tour guide. She is also the founder of Picturesque Voyages, a tour company specialized in unique tours connecting French gardens, history, art, and cuisine.

Forest Collins — Cocktail Expert and Podcaster

We left Paris for the countryside just before lockdown (a weekend away that became a two-month stay!) The first thing I’ll do when I’m back is check the fridge to see what’s come to life! (ick…) Next, I’ll catch up with friends ASAP! But I think two months of quarantine will make me a little hesitant to rush into busy spots or big groups, so I’ll see friends over a cocktail at home. Then I will hit small shops for things that I haven’t had access to in country confinement, like the Asian market around the corner and a few specialty spirits shops and cavistes.

Bio: Forest Collins is a cocktail expert, writer, and podcaster. She is the creator of 52 Martinis, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris, and writes about cocktails, bars, and spirits news for international publications and shares this on her podcast, Paris Cocktail Talk.

People sit at tables and chairs and stroll down a street in the left bank of Paris on a sunny day.
Palmyre Roigt

Sara McCarty — Global Program Director for Context Travel

My husband and I have been confining from his family’s home in Normandy, which certainly has its perks — clean air, verdant fields, and friendly bovine neighbors! — but I’m itching to return to life in Paris. I miss our Saturday morning strolls through our neighborhood, Abbesses, which usually take us to our favorite coffee shop, Sylon de Montmartre, favorite bakery, Pain Pain (for chouquettes, bien sûr), and, if we’re feeling up for it, a climb to Sacré-Coeur Basilica for the expansive views of the city. Another thing I can’t wait to return to? A stable Wi-Fi connection so I can tune in to Context Travel’s live, virtual Context Conversations with its scholars. Since it seems in-person travel will be off the table this season, I’ll happily escape to ancient Rome with an archeologist or WWII Lisbon with a historian from the safety of my Parisian sofa.

Bio: Sara McCarty oversees global programming at Context Travel, a network of experts who give scholarly tours to curious travelers. Hailing from Philadelphia, she’s made Paris her home since 2014.

Beautiful hand-painted street art hangs from a vendor's booth along the Seine in Paris.
Brian McGowam

Lina Nordin Gee — Artist and Designer 

The first thing I will do after the lockdown is head down to the Seine river, to the edge of the Square du Vert-Galant off the Pont Neuf specifically. I’ll pack a picnic basket and get (small) a group of friends together for an afternoon in the sun, watching the boats pass by. I live in Montmartre, so there’s no water to speak of up here! I think I’ve subconsciously been planning this for a while, whenever I paint I seem to end up with park and picnic scenes… I can’t wait. 

Bio: Lina Nordin Gee is a Swedish fashion designer and illustrator living in Montmartre. You can find her Paris prints here, and her shoes and handbags here

Cedrik Verdure — Comedian and Tour Guide

Like many other Parisians, I went to the countryside during lockdown, so the first thing I’ll do is come back to Paris. Once I’ve returned to my birth town, I’ll get back to my comedy show: a tour of the streets of Paris, stand-up comedy style. The biggest adjustment will be doing the show in French and with French people; let’s see how we’ve changed. Then I’ll get back to my favorite community: bike riders. Biking is what I miss the most. Going through the forest by bike allows me to contemplate. Why is nature so beautiful? Then, returning to Paris hours later, my thoughts turn to the city. Why did human beings build such a magnificent city? I already know I’m going to fall in love with Paris yet again. It’s a date! And I know I’m going to trade in dirty rubber boots for shiny Louboutin sneakers.  

Bio: Cedrik Verdure is a comedian, tour guide and founder of Laugh In Museums. His comedy tour at the Louvre, Laugh Your Way Through the Louvre, became the #1 Airbnb Experience worldwide. He also does comedic tours on different historic neighborhoods of Paris.

Anne Ditmeyer — Creative Coach and Consultant 

Less than a week before lockdown, I recorded an episode of The New Paris with Lindsey Tramuta. We talked a lot about over-tourism. While we’re now experiencing the opposite problem, it still got me thinking about what we want out of the future of our cities. Right before lockdown, there was also a movie being filmed in my neighborhood, set in the 1940s. The first thing I want to do after lockdown is to go for a long walk (beyond my 1km limit) and experience Paris as a true local, like in a movie.

Bio: Anne Ditmeyer is an American creative coach & consultant based in Paris, France. She’s the blogger behind Prêt à Voyager and Navigate Paris Online.

A view of Pont-Neuf, the Seine, Parisian apartments, and in the background, Notre-Dame, at sunset.
Pinics? Hopefully soon! Chronis Yan

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Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a  fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

2 comments on “After Lockdown: The First Thing Parisians Will Do

Parisbreakfast

Lovely sentiments to contemplate. Living next to the Seine, I’m longing to go up to the village of Montmartre. I’ve grown so accustomed to a quieter Paris these past few months it will be a bit of an adjustment post-lockdown…

Are you sure picnics are allowed?

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