After a couple of days rest Gergö and I went for a long stroll around Paris. This time we went to the 10th and 11th district of Paris, which is a bit east to the center. It was a nice stroll around town.
When we decided to walk towards city center, we happened upon the Bataclan. I had never been anywhere near the area. I even expressedly avoided it after the attacks, because I didn’t want to be that kind of tourist. Now, almost three months later, I wanted to check it out. Gergö was completely disinterested. He is not one for public displays of emotion in general, and especially not for people he doesn’t actually know.
The Bataclan is still closed. Gunshot holes in the windows have been taped over. There are people standing in front of the building, but all the flowers have been removed. The mayor of Paris put up a sign, saying that the flowers and notes were moved a bit further up the road away from the Bataclan. They are all photographed and archived by the city archive (article in French). There’s also a page dedicated to those hommages.
I thought that was an interesting approach to record the reaction of the city. I’d never heard of anything like it before. Then again, why would I?
After the Bataclan we walked to the Place de la Republique, which I also have been avoiding. It has been a place for memorials, candles and flowers since the Charlie Hebdo shootings. When we walked across the square there were at least two, maybe three different rallies going on and lots of police presence. They were small rallies, though, that didn’t interfere with what seemed to be the regular traffic of people around the statue that serves as a center for all the mementoes.
Seeing the Bataclan theatre and the Place the la Republique affected me. I think it’s the sheer number of names, some accompanied by photos of really young people. It only occurred to me, that had it been Vienna, I’m sure I’d have known some of the victims.
I saw something like it in Palaiseau as well. I took a photo last November on my way to the supermarket.
She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.