At the entrance of the luxury store Galeries Lafayette, security guards, doubling as hygiene inspectors, pump generous cleaners into the outstretched hands of shoppers.
Throughout one of the busiest traffic arteries of the French capital, cars and scooters were replaced by a regular convoy, some of which were pedaling regularly, but in a hurry, in suits, some riding bikes on the skirts.
And finally, on Thursday, the iron steps of the Eiffel Tower began to once again enter the footsteps of visitors who want to climb the city landscape while the elevators are not running.
Welcome to Paris after the crash, where the new normal is characterized by face masks, bookmarks, plexiglass and hand sanitizer. And a lot.
As the city gradually reopened from June 2, most importantly it allows residents to return to the city parks and leave the house freely (previously they had to fill in forms to justify their trip), as of June 15, restaurants and cafes were finally locked in Paris. reopen with the clearest and highest mark that it is over.
Chez L’Ami Jean reopened in Paris with new outdoor seating on the sidewalk.
Because without the hum of its cafes, outdoor terraces, bistros and bars, Paris is a really strange city.
At Chez L’Ami Jean in the 7th district, chef Stéphane Jégo removed the banquet seating restaurant and meticulously spaced the dining tables to meet the three-meter physical removal rule in France.
To compensate for the loss of half of the 55 seats in the dining room, the chef created an outdoor patio in places normally reserved for the street park.
It is a big change for the bistro, which is popular with both tourists and locals due to the family style food where parties are jammed side by side and the atmosphere is noisy, lively and cheerful.
To preserve the ambiance, Jégo had to rethink the layout of the restaurant he has managed over the past 17 years.
He developed a concept that sold coffee, wine and sandwiches alongside the newspaper and brought the bistro back to its original roots while producing to local residents about a century ago.
The reinvented restaurant now has a small garden market selling local products – cherries, commemorative carrots and tomatoes, as well as homemade paté and terrines in the front window.
After work and to take advantage of the apéro crowd, bar stools, high tables and a tapas bar are installed in front of the bistro, and a separate place inside sells the chef’s favorite wines.
According to the chef, only a few reservations will be accepted at a time to make Chez L’Ami Jean more accessible.
The absence of tourists
“We wanted to give people a sense of intimacy, closeness and festivity at the restaurant,” said Stephane Jego, chef from Chez L’Ami. Says.
“Given that this famous virus cuts us apart, we wanted to give people a sense of intimacy, intimacy and festivity at the restaurant.” Said.
This is not a business strategy aimed at diversifying the restaurant, but also drawing to more local Parisians to compensate for the lack of tourists who make up half of their regular customers.
Witnessing Paris without tourists has given some locals an understanding of how international visitors have contributed to the city’s energy and environment.
French President Emmanuel Macron is fluttering in Paris to reopen after announcing the first wave of the coronavirus crisis.
During the last visit to the Montmartre area, 77-year-old Parisian Huguette Dauria said she was impressed by the emptiness of the streets.
“All the shops were closed and Montmartre was empty. It was strange to see. The city is really quiet. Tourists help revitalize the city,” said the retired. Said.
Patricia Servain, a 40-year-old Parisian museum worker, agrees.
“Good, because there is more space, but Paris has lost its cosmopolitan mood. I miss hearing different languages. If it continues like this, it will be strange.”
Despite the reopening of the city, Dauria said she was horrified to see that some of her Parisian friends were breaking the rules of social distance and not wearing masks.
“It seems that people don’t really understand what it is,” said Dauria.
“We have to be on duty to prevent a second wave. But people go around without a mask, gather in large groups … It’s not true.”
Dauria’s husband, Daniel, does not confirm that everything is back as before.
“As if we woke up from a dream and none of them happened.”
Servain said he has had more homeowners since the crash and avoided crowded areas.
“The virus made us think of different things,” adds Jégo.
What will it look like in the new normal French capital, from shopping, public transport and museum visits to a vaccine or treatment:
Some streets are converted to temporary bike lanes as an alternative to public transportation.
Result? It’s a pleasant respite for the nerves, as if someone has turned the volume of honking horns and roaring engines cacophony in the city.
Men in suits flaunt the winds in the wind behind them, pedaling next to women in the spring skirts and flats, students and bike couriers.
Dispensers filled with hand sanitizer are also placed in selected bus shelters, and masks are mandatory in all public transport and taxis.
There are also stickers and some seats on the floors of trains to help people reach passengers as far as possible social distances.
Many shops and stores require all shoppers to wear masks.
While masks are not mandatory in public spaces, many specialty shops, boutiques, and department stores require all shoppers to wear them during their visit.
Customers are invited to disinfect their hands with a hand sanitizer placed at store entrances, and in some boutiques, customers are asked to avoid touching and handling the goods.
This means being unable to color lipsticks or creams on the beauty counter or to closely examine home decor products. Shoppers are reminded to be at least three steps from the escalator in Galeries Lafayette – to be far apart, and plexiglass separates them from the sales partners in the vault.
Museums and places to see
The Eiffel Tower reopened on June 25.
THOMAS SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images
Mona Lisa does not get crowded. At the Louvre, which reopened on July 6, visitors must purchase tickets online in advance and attend a time slot similar to appointment or movie time to help crowd control.
Visitors should also follow popular paintings and exhibitions to alleviate congestion, a path set for Mona Lisa. On the same day, on-site tickets will be sold based on availability, but online ticket holders will be given priority.
Likewise, visitors must buy online tickets for the Musée d’Orsay and Palace of Versailles in advance.
Masks are mandatory for visits to all museums and important places.
All restaurant tables should be placed at least three meters apart to allow physical distance.
One of the defining features of the Paris bistro and cafe scene is that the tables stand side by side, almost next to each other.
To get a seat, it is necessary to remove the table from the line formation and carefully squeeze between the two tables and on your chair.
But not anymore. The Covid-19 directive in France now requires tables to be spaced at least three feet apart for physical distance.
To compensate for the loss of paintings, the city gives permits that allow restaurants to turn the street park and sidewalks into what Jégo calls “bistrotrottoirs” or sidewalk bistros.
Meanwhile, all staff should wear masks inside, and eaters should wear masks when going to the toilet or passing through the dining room.
Seats are limited to 10 or fewer parties. While some restaurants offer QR code menus that can be activated by smartphones to eliminate paper menus, contactless payment is preferred over cash.
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