ways to stop traffic in Paris

Paris is a ville qui bouge, except when it doesn’t.

Film a movie on a Wednesday afternoon. Bring a bored security guard, a crowd of extras in postwar jackets, and a few hundred metres of security tape.

March to République to protest a new law.

Move to a flat in a narrow one-way street and hire a large removal truck. Park it in the middle of the street for as long as it takes to move. Develop an immunity to horn blasts and verbal abuse.

March to Bastille to protest a change to an existing law.

Follow pilgrims and nuns in stately silence along the Seine to Notre-Dame on the Feast of the Assumption, then break into a mad dash to get a good spot for Mass. Use your elbows. The Bible is silent on the matter of elbows.

Be the President (or the Prime Minister).

March back to République in solidarity with Palestinians.

Dig up the underground water lines. Only vaguely explain why.

March to the Sénat in solidarity with Ukrainians.

Dress up your firefighters in their best and parade them along the Champs-Elysées, or complete a lap of the country on a bicycle.

Wander the streets in a summer dress, mentally composing letters to the you of four years ago. Forget to look both ways before crossing.


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