Now that I have one foot in Colorado and one foot in France, I am able to appreciate things about both places that I previously took for granted. For example, back in the States I have come to realize how much I have missed color while I was living in Paris full time. Paris can be pretty dark, from the weather to the clothing to the mood. There are some days when I feel like the City of Light is the original 50 Shades of Grey, and that a sea of black has tempestuously wet washed the entire metropolis.
On the other hand, Golden, Denver and Boulder my tri-city community is awash in color.
Three hundred days of the year, the weather comes in three flavors: sunny and cold, sunny and warm, and sunny and hot. The rest of the days we may have snow or some cloud cover, but mostly we get a lot of blue sky. And under those blue skies, the people are dressed in rainbows. I live in the fittest state in the union where people mindfully reside because outdoor recreation is their number one priority, so you can image that the workout-clothes alone are a kaleidoscope of color. Sunshine and physical activity, like the smell of baking bread, inspires happy and contented people. Residents are friendly and courteous, and quick with a greeting. Jewel-toned moods glimmer and gleam.
Strolling through the Marais last weekend, being nudged and knocked by Parisians cloaked in black and eager to play sidewalk games of “chicken”, I found myself shoulders squared and tense (dressed in black!) and ready to stare down the on-coming traffic. While in Colorado you purposely catch someone’s eye to smile and say “hello”, in Paris I find eye contact to be a territorial marker, a penetrating moment of snap judgments or criticism. You very rarely catch a twinkling eye or friendly wink.
With the eternally sunshiny Kitcat in town, and the weather steely and dull, we decide to search for the tints and hues and blushes hidden among the gloom. We were delighted to find them in Belleville on Paris’s most painted street, rue Dénoyez, an original alfresco art gallery. Here’s a glimpse of some blazing graffiti and mosaics. Profitez!