The Paris “blizzard” of 2013 (photos)

While Paris is not generally a warm or even sunny city (think London, with a couple of days less of rain each year) it’s generally not cold either. Since I arrived back in 1997, I’ve hardly seen much snow compared to what I grew up with in the Philadelphia area, let alone what my friends in Cleveland were used to seeing.

That said, the last few winters have brought more snow than usual. I’ve seen maybe 3 or 4 inches of snow here before, but it was gone quickly as the day warmed up and everything melted. This weekend has been highly unusual. John says that he remembers a winter storm in the late 1980s where there was closer to 7 or 8 inches of snow and as of Sunday afternoon here in Paris, we’re pretty much around that number.

On Friday night, I snapped a quick photo of the terrace thinking it may all be gone by the morning.

Friday evening out back

Friday evening out back

Much to my surprise, there was more on Saturday morning.

January 2013

Saturday AM 19 January 2013

It did not snow until Saturday evening so here’s the view Sunday morning.

Sunday morning, more snow

Sunday morning, more snow

It’s so unusual to see here, so we figured we would take a walk and see how Paris was managing. The bus system has been shut down and cars were mostly staying off of the roads. Usually the intersection of Boulevard Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail is busy but today, not so much.

Empty streets in Paris - this is Blvd. Raspail and Blvd. due Montparnasse.

Empty streets in Paris – this is Blvd. Raspail and Blvd. du Montparnasse.

Rodin's sculpture of Balzac covered with snow on the corner by our place.

Rodin’s sculpture of Balzac covered with snow on the corner by our place.

 

Cyclist carefully riding on the slippery streets of Paris

Cyclist carefully riding on the slippery streets of Paris

For whatever reason, lots of Parisians were walking in the snow with umbrellas. I admit that I’ve never seen this before, but today they were everywhere.

One of many people walking with their umbrella, to keep off the snow, I guess.  Strange.

One of many people walking with their umbrella, to keep off the snow, I guess. Strange.

A not so busy car valet parking.

A not so busy car valet parking.

The Jardins du Luxembourg were busy with families playing in the snow.

Dad pulling his son in a sled through the Jardin de Luxembourg.

Dad pulling his son in a sled through the Jardin de Luxembourg.

More families playing in the snow in the Jardin de Luxembourg.

More families playing in the snow in the Jardin de Luxembourg.

Snow-filled Jardin de Luxembourg.

Snow-filled Jardin de Luxembourg.

Le Sénat in the Jardin de Luxembourg.

Le Sénat in the Jardin de Luxembourg.

Fountain at St Sulpice

Fountain at St Sulpice

What I did not see anywhere was the city snow plow truck. It’s probably still packed away from when they used it in the late 1980s. Sidewalks were also hit or miss in terms of being cleaned up. As I mentioned yesterday, I would have no idea where to find a snow shovel here because we just don’t need them most years.

It’s all nice to look at but I’m still hoping for warmer weather so I can get back to my winter cycling. January is usually around 42F and drizzle but we haven’t seen that in a week. Warmer temperatures sound pretty good right now and March can’t get here quickly enough for me.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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