Paris after the attacks. Not Afraid. Seine river art and commemoration

Kasia Dietz

I found myself uncharacteristically laying low this past Friday evening, having decided to stay in with a mixed group of French and American friends at my flat in Paris’ 10th arrondissement. As I opened my laptop to check a dessert recipe we’d planned to make, I found an article announcing that there had been a shooting in a restaurant near République. As I broke up the chocolate, measured out the butter, and began to melt the two together, my friend turned on the news to confirm the article’s claim.

We slowly began to learn of the additional attack locations and the hostage situation unfolding in the Bataclan, all located in hip neighborhoods typically packed with weekend revelers; we could have easily been in any of these places ourselves. The four of us – one Frenchman and three American ladies – proceeded to sit in shock, half-listening to the news and half-glued to our laptops and cell phones, simultaneously trying to find out more details and alert loved ones that we were safe.

Paris mourns after the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks

Kasia Dietz

Over the next four hours we would come to understand the devastation that hit Paris Friday night, to some small degree. It became clear that the attack locations that initially seemed arbitrary – a football stadium, a music venue, restaurants, the streets of Paris – were strategically chosen to propagate fear, particularly amongst young people. These attacks were not carried out in locations with political or religious significance; they were perpetrated against a tolerant generation, perhaps one of the most our world has seen.

As a New Yorker, this type of event is regrettably familiar. I felt great pride when President Obama swiftly made a statement pledging the United States’ commitment to support France, and equal respect for President Hollande, who rushed to the scene at the Bataclan. And in the carnage, this display of the cruelty and violence all to prevalent of our modern world, the kindness of the masses and beauty of solidarity provided some level of comfort.

Place de la Republique November 15, 2015. Paris mourns. People gather. Life moves on. It has to.

Franck Reyes Basualto

Across social media platforms, the world began to show support and love for the City of Paris, the families of the innocent lives lost, and tenants of liberty, freedom, and justice that we hold so dear. And in Paris, people responded to brutality with humanity: available taxis were free of charge, individuals began using a #PorteOuverte hashtag to open their doors to stranded strangers in need of a safe haven, and Facebook quickly implemented a Safety Check program that contacted users in Paris and asked them to mark themselves as safe (or in need of help) so friends and family were aware of their status.

Saturday found me truly thankful to be safe in my flat in the 10th, the neighborhood of Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon. The ambiance around Paris was a somber one; a Sunday metro ride was filled with luggage-carrying tourists and fatigued local faces, sitting through an eerily silent ride. Over the past two days, an overwhelming sense of sorrow for the city I hold so dear actively combined with a feeling of hope, albeit admittedly wavering. I hope that Paris will soon see peace after a year of cruel violence. And I hope that in standing together, without fear or faiblesse, the people of Paris, France, and the world will become ever stronger and united in a common pursuit of a safer global society, one in which terror simply cannot spread.

Place de la Republique. Manifestation of love. November 15, 2015. Memorial, togetherness. #notafraid

Franck Reyes Basualto

All of us at The HiP Paris Blog and Haven in Paris share our deepest condolences for the families who lost loved ones in this horror, and stand in support of Paris, France, and their people. Our thoughts are too with those affected by recent tragic events receiving far less media attention: the bombings in Beirut and Baghdad, the earthquakes in Japan and Mexico, and everywhere else in the world where tragedies strike all too frequently.

Related Links

  • Through the heartache, Paris establishments are seeking to provide some refuge. Seymour+, for example, will be open to guests free of charge for the rest of the month and is calling for therapists, psychologists, and other well-being professionals to reach out if they feel they can use the space to help the public.
  • Kasia Dietz shares her emotional take on Friday’s events and how she’s seen the City of Paris is come together in the aftermath.
  • Telegraph covers how people around the world are showing support for Paris and those lost so tragically.

Written by Erin Dahl for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Erin Dahl

Erin’s had a whimsical affair with Paris since her first trip as a wide-eyed teenager. She is Editor for the HiP Paris Blog as well as Co-founder of Content Coopérative, Paris’s first English-native content agency.


  1. I live in the U.S. and have been to Paris twice in my life. The first time with my husband on a 1 week trip where he worked and wandered around Paris, seeing the sights, meeting the people and falling in love with this magnificent city. I took my 17 year old son there last April for 8 days where we also managed to visit London and Normandy. However, my walks along the river with him, talking to the people, stopping and just watching this beautiful city open its self up to us was an amazing experience to share with my child. I love Paris more than anything, not because of the monuments the history or the art. But because of the people who embrace everyday and open their hearts to us silly Americans who come to marvel at all Paris has to offer. I want one day to live there truly, in Paris I found a home and place where I could be at peace. I pray for those affected by this tragedy, I know the people of Paris will go on and will continue to be brave, not afraid and will continue to live their lives. God Bless all of the Parisians, not just those hurt – but all those who stand with them.

  2. Every time I read the news ( I stopped) and read something like this lovely tribute of yours .. I weep again. The horror, the loss , the damage, is unthinkable. As a mother , I am horrified , as a human I am devastated .
    This was such an INhuman act .. there is no excuse, no possible forgiveness ..

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