One of the greatest thunderstorms of my life happened in Paris in the summer of ’03. The kids and I were staying in an apartment at 23 rue Tourlaque, not far from the Cimitiere du Montmartre and a few doors from the corner of rue Caulaincourt. The rain was coming down in sheets, and after a while there were rapids in the gutters. It felt like the city was under siege. The thunder was noisier and the general feeling of an angry, lashing-out God was more intense any rainstorm that I could recall.

Poor Paris has really been going through it over the last couple of days. I wish I was there. Hell, I wish I could live there.

The below video clip was taken in 2011, but I know this neighborhood like the back of my hand. The top of the concrete staircase begins outside Le Cepage Mounmartrois at 65, rue Caulaincouirt. The people huddling halfway down the staircase are just outside the entrance to the Lamarck Caulaincourt metro stop.