I woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain, a welcome sound since California has been parched for too many months. I was scheduled to head out to the Bay Area for a trade show but the prospect of driving on wet roads today made me cringe for some odd reason. My mind was flooded with memories of hydroplaning on my way to San Francisco some fifteen years ago: the car spun 180º and I found myself facing incoming traffic, in the fast lane of the freeway. Not the most perfect moment, if you ask me.
I decided to follow my gut and postponed my trip, which turned out to be an excellent decision: I later found out an eight-vehicle wreck blocked all lanes of the freeway and I would have been sitting in my car for a long time, with no exit path. Instead, I lingered sous la couette for an extra half hour, listening to the gushing wind and the raindrops hitting the bedroom window.
Rain has become somewhat of an oddity for me; it’s the privilege of living in California. All bets are off when I go back to France: I’ve routinely purchased (and disposed of) many parapluies during my trips to Paris. It will ring a bell for those of you who have read my book!
February, May, July, October: for several years in a row, I just couldn’t get a break and I was getting soaked on every trip. It almost felt like payback for purging my wardrobe of manteaux and imperméables.
For a photographer, rain can be a friend: even lighting, no harsh shadows, interesting reflections.
On the other hand, juggling camera and umbrella presents some challenges.
Sometimes, the best course of action is to find shelter in a café and rester au sec.
Enjoy an espresso or a glass of wine.
Or hit a museum.
Or check out the unusual gutter system of the Canopée des Halles.
Or sit en terrasse, under the gas heaters, and watch the world go by.
Rain or shine, it’s still Paris after all.
Sous la pluie: under the rain
Sous la couette: under the duvet
Le parapluie: umbrella
Le manteau: coat
L’imperméable (masc.): raincoat
Rester au sec: to stay dry
En terrace: at the terrace
Les bouquinistes: used books sellers on the quais of the Seine