Streets are the theater of more protests today, youths confronting police armed for battle. At the place Denfert-Rochereau a stand-off is underway when I emerge from the Métro. The surrounding avenues are eerily vacant of traffic, cordoned off by the troops, and shops are closed. Here and there, people are huddled in little groups, murmuring, waiting, wondering, watching.
That’s a portrait of the neighborhood. That’s also a portrait of the country: Force vs. protest.
And it’s a perfect October day, not clear, not foggy, subdued light even in the sun, a crispness lingering over the boulevards as if to hint that colder days are approaching, that we have arrived here quickly and will be always where we are, quickly, like autumn turning to winter, without us knowing when or how or what.