Quiet is the New Loud: Calm in the Bois de Boulogne

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Clouds over the lake in the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris

Paris, for all its picturesque beauty, is a loud city. It’s not exceptionally loud by any means, but it’s a city, and that comes with noise. Honking horns, wailing sirens, barking dogs… it’s all here.

Cities are a love of mine. I think that Brookline is the country, and in Boston refused to live outside the direct center of the city for the past five years. I love being in the center of everything, in the diversity that comes with a bustling urban core, in having 12 amazing restaurants within a block of me.

But being such a committed city-dweller makes me appreciate the quiet even more. Today wandering in the Bois de Boulogne on the other side of Paris, I got a little taste of it. It was heaven. Just water and clouds and a few very chill dogs.

It’s not even that peaceful of a park: it has had a reputation as a haven of prostitution even in the 19th century, when Proust’s Odette de Crécy strolled the boulevards greeting admirers with her little courtesan wave.

But it was enough for an afternoon. Then I emerged out of the Metro at the Belleville stop to chaos and construction and several scooters trying to run me down and it was heaven.

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