Mourning In Paris

photo: bistro, cafe at alma

Transatlantic Flights Resume

Paris:- Monday, 17. September 2001:- At noon on Friday, France stopped for three minutes to remember those lost in the tragedy in the United States on Tuesday.

A few minutes before noon, all of Notre-Dame's bells tolled, while all radio and TV stations stopped their broadcasts for three minutes.

Président Jacques Chirac, together with the US ambassador to France, took part in a brief ceremony in the courtyard of the Elysée Palace, which was accompanied by the national hymns of both countries.

The scene was repeated at the Matignon by Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and his cabinet, and at the city council gathered in the Hôtel de Ville.

This three minutes of mourning was repeated throughout Europe, by persons in all walks of life, wherever they happened to be.

Many citizens of the United States in Parisphoto: memorial flowers, place de la concorde gathered at the Place de la Concorde in front of the US embassy, where an area had been set aside for the laying of wreaths and other mementos.

At La Défense - 'Manhattan-Paris' - some visitors unable to get flights home, joined the office workers from the high towers of the area in front of the church on the esplanade for three minutes of silence.

The ordinary life of the tourist stopped at noon in the Louvre too, with many visitors of many nationalities joining hands, while the guides present interrupted their multilingual commentaries.

At the Préfecture of Police on the Ile de la Cité, support was pledged to the police and firemen of New York and Washington.

At Roissy, where some flights had resumed, the usual bustle stopped for the three minutes too. Out at Disneyland-Paris, all the rides and attractions made a pause as well.

Transatlantic Flights Resume - on Friday two jets belonging to Delta Airlines and one American Airlines jet took off from Roissy, to resume flights to the United States. Some hours later the first Air France jet, carrying 294 passengers, departed for Atlanta. British Airways and Lufthansa also announced the resumption of flights to the United States.

Last Thursday, US aviation authorities announced stricter security measures for non-US carriers flying to destinations in the United States. An Alitalia flight to New York was turned back in mid-flight with 120 mostly American passengers aboard.

Stock Markets Tumble - many bourses resumed trading last Wednesday, interrupting hectic activity by a minute of silence at 14:15 in Europe. Despite large injections of cash by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank, stock markets that were open registered substantial losses on the day's trading - averaging about minus seven percent.

The US Federal Reserve Bank asked other central banks to minimize dollar transactions, and the exchange rate with the euro dropped from over 0.91 to the dollar late on Wednesday, to about 0.90 euros on Wednesday. The stock markets in London, Frankfurt and Madrid were slightly up at the end of Wednesday's trading.

Thursday's trading in Europe saw further advances. The world of moola is anxiously awaiting the effect of the reopening of the stock markets in the United States on Tuesday.

Security In Paris - has been reinforced dramatically since Tuesday's events in the Unitedphoto: parisien 15.09, deuil States with the reintroduction of the 'Vigipirate' plan, which calls for 1000 CRS troops and another 600 from the armed services to reinforce Paris' own 3400 policemen.

Apparently it is usual in times of crises for bomb alerts to increase, from an average of three or four per day - to between 30 and 40 on average last week.

In the case of a bomb alert, the street is sealed off and security agents establish a safety zone. Then the bomb experts take over and handle the case - usually an abandoned package.

On Saturday two teenagers were tracked down to their portable phone, which they had used to phone in a false alert to the Tour Eiffel.

A side result of the increased security, was the total absence of armed robbery in Paris. Other crimes fell off considerably too - especially with the frequent controls of personal ID papers.

French Return On Presidential Jet - 73 French citizens, stranded in various sorts of difficulty in New York, were flown to Paris Sunday morning on the Airbus 310 assigned to the Président of France, Jacques Chirac.

The official jet had flown a French delegation to New York to prepare for Mr. Chirac's visit there on Tuesday, and was scheduled to return to Paris empty.

The stranded French - some who had run out of ready cash - had contacted the consulate in New York in the hopes of aid, were selected according to need. They were bused to Washington to board their flight.

Nearly 200 French nationals were stranded in New York, without lodgings. Air France resumed flights today and most of these should be back in France by now.

Other French in New York - according to the consulate, all of the employees who were working for the six French firms with offices in the World Trade Center have been accounted for.

But it is believed that at least ten other French nationals were employed in the buildings that were destroyed, and as of Sunday evening there was no news of them.

Canceled In Paris - for reasons of security, the weekend's 'Journées du Patrimoine' were put off to another date, as yet unknown. The outdoor techno-extravaganza called 'Electrocadéro' - which was finally scheduled for the Champ de Mars, was canceled outright.

European championship football matches scheduled last week were reprogrammed for later dates. These rearrangements threw national league matches into disarray, with many game dates being altered.

Not Canceled In Paris - were the annual 'Fête de l'Humanité,' held over the weekend at the Parc de La Courneuve with 60,000 attending, and the gigantic production of 'Aïda' staged in the Stade de France went ahead as planned, despite the chilly weather.

Sunday's race, 'La Course des Femmes,' was held at Bagatelle with 3500 competitors. The next date for road racing n Paris will be on Sunday, 14. October, when the '20 km de Paris' will be held for the 23rd time.

The finals of the World Championship Fishing competition went ahead during pretty good weather along the banks of the Seine, although fishermen said the fish didn't like the cool breezes.

The British team captured first place, with the Italians in third, and the five-man French team landed in second place. Paris' own best fisherman only managed to hold onto 18th place in the standings in the first round on Saturday.

This year, the fishing competition was a stand-in for the Fêtes de la Seine. Paris' newphoto: resto afghan, camaro mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, has promised that this party will be back next year, grander than ever - and maybe even with some more fishing.

Outside my neighborhood 'Restaurant Afghan,' a car that may be sidelined next weekend.

Paris' Day Without Cars Revised - This event, scheduled for next Saturday, 22. September, was planned to be wider in scope than previous editions. But the increased security measures now in place in the city - needing more police officers - have required that it be scaled back a bit.

The Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes have been dropped as no-car areas. The anti-pollution and pro-pedestrian day will remain concentrated in the centre of the city, plus in parts of the 9th, 10th and 11th arrondissements.

Internet Life

Bus Life

For some time now my RATP bus line 38 has had its own Web site, called 'Bus 38 Online.' This has been put online not by the RATP, but by one of the line 38's bus drivers, who usually shows up for work with his saxophone.

The drivers are concerned about their image, and the fact that few passengers seem to notice them in their lonely place behind the big steering wheels. Drop a friendly note to them if you can - and also to the drivers of line 52.

Your Paris Web URLs

If you have any favorite Paris Web sites you think other readers should know about, please send them in. If they haven't been featured before and they don't crash my browser, you'll get a modest 'thankYou' here.

The 'Indian Summer' That Isn't

Paris' weather hasn't changed for the better and according to forecasts it isn't about to do so soon. It is cool and damp, withphoto: sign, avenue du new york high temperatures not greatly exceeding 15 degrees. Snow has been reported falling above the 1500 metre-level in the Alps.

If you are curious or need to know more, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts.

Météo-France has also begun its 'Vigilance-Météo' service. This consists of putting out special warnings about coming hurricane-speed winds, torrential downpours, heavy storms, tornados, blizzards and/or avalanches, within the next few hours.

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