We Feel The Pain Of Paris. What Can We Do Now?

The Eiffel Tower Shines On
The Eiffel Tower Shines On In The Night

The city of Paris has a Latin motto which is: ‘Fluctuat ned mergitur”. The translation to English is ‘tossed by the water but not sunk’.

When visiting Paris the week the before the November 13 massacres, I enjoyed the hospitality of a city full of spirit, wonder and warmth. The first night there I had long-planned a visit to the wine bar at Verjus to enjoy the explosion of informal drinking and enjoying smaller plates that has spread across the city.  Imagine my surprise. When I arrived I found that it was closed for a private party.  We lingered for a moment on the street and struck up a conversation with a man who turned out to be the host of the party. Seeing our disappointment, he invited us into his birthday celebration for a glass of red wine.

Doors opened to us.

Verus Wine Bar Paris
Verjus Wine Bar Paris

Now doors need to remain open for them.

I walked the streets of the 10th and 11th.  The district was packed with people out enjoying their lives in these vibrant neighborhoods.  7 days later hell would break loose.


The decision of whether to travel and where to travel will always be personal. Only you can decide whether to travel to Paris, or for that matter Beirut or Tel Aviv or whatever city struggles with the horrors of this modern world.

I ask you to go. When you do, think about this: By doing so you stand in defiance of those that who act without regard to human life. You stand in support of the working people of Paris, from the maid that cleans your room to the chef at a gourmet restaurant to the bartender who pours your wine.

Parisians are returning to their cafes.  They will not back down. Will you join them?

A glass of Calvados at Odeon.
A glass of Calvados at Odeon in the 6th.  The way to finish a night.

We are tossed by turbulent waters but our spirit must not sink.  When you wonder, when you doubt, do not give in.   Go to Paris for the first time or the 10th.  It is the loudest statement that you can make to honor the 128 innocents who died.



  1. I wanted to add some comments to this post that came to me through email. I appreciate everyone’s replies and thoughts and their positive words.

    From Phil L: Jules – we were thinking about or stay in Paris last year, and have been following closely the events there. Our hearts go out to the people of Paris, and we do look forward to a return visit in the not-too-distant future.

    From Peggy I: My husband and I rented an apartment in Paris during a vacation a couple of years ago. We have a friend who rents an apartment for a month in Paris each year. also. Renting an apartment is absolutely the best way to go. And your ‘Yellow Flat’ looks well located, comfortable and inviting.

    We will be in the UK next fall for our daughter’s wedding, so maybe on that trip we will make it back to Paris. If not then, we will definitely visit another time.

    Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Paris.

    From Suzanne K:

    Jules, thank you for your message about Paris. It was touching and elegantly written. My friends and I rented your apartment earlier this year and our intention is to return next year as well. Paris is my favorite city and I want to support the people and the city.
    Standing with you against the evil,

    From Judith G:

    We stayed in the Yellow Flat a year ago (February 2014) after bidding on it at the Meals on Wheels fund-raiser and it lives in our memory. Each night we would walk by the beautiful Eiffel Tour and when they turned the lights out last week, we both cried!

    Many thanks for your lovely email.

    From Reginald K:

    Great message! We hope to return to the Yellow Flat someday and stand with the people of Paris as they stood with us when in our disaster at the Twin Towers. We were visiting France at the time with family members down in Provence. The people were fantastic and I didn’t know there could be as many American flags in existence as there were at shops, restaurants and home windows.

    From Kelly H:

    Helen and I still indeed to make our trip to Paris next year. We talked about the situation and agreed there is no need to alter our plans.

    From Donna Y:

    Beautifully written. I was there 2 and 1/2 years ago for my first ever visit to celebrate my 70th birthday. Stayed at your yellow flat – and fell in love with your city. I have felt moved by the spirit and love for Paris by the Parisians as well as the world. Here in Seattle the French flag flew a top the Space Needle!
    I will not let these terrorists stop me. I will be back! Soon I hope!!
    Thanks for you email! I so enjoy! And remember. And anticipate my return!

    From Jeff J:

    Jules – our prayers are with all of you. Hope to get back there soon.

    From Susan B:

    Amen to that!

    From Hilda Z:

    We wept for Paris and the ordeal that they have suffered and are suffering. We love Paris. We did not let the previous problems stop us from our last trip. We will not let this last threat keep us from traveling to Paris when we are ready to visit again.Thank you for your concern.

    Thank you all for taking the time and supporting Paris and continuing on despite the struggles we all face. Every visitor counts.

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