On any given day, if a man came up to me on the Pont des Arts and asked to take a photo of my left breast, I’d probably clock him one.
Yesterday was not any given day. It was the one week anniversary of the explosions as the Boston Marathon. Local marathon man, blogger, Phd student and over all good guy, Bryan Pirolli was inspired by events to organize a run, Boston Strong Paris, in commemoration of all those who could not complete their run, and others who will never run again.
Until recently I was very disconnected from the local expat community. My girls went to public school because I wanted to be an active member of my neighborhood. Blogging has changed all that and I am now aware of events that happen regularly across the city. Between my busy schedule, French friends and the very limited time I have with Mr French, I don’t attend very many events.
But Boston Strong Paris fascinated me. Here was a guy organizing a large event on the spur of the moment. In Paris!!! 130 runners with about a dozen paparazzi met at La Bastille, as 19h last night. Bryon had asked some friends to be our “guides” leading groups of 10-15 runners towards the Seine so that we wouldn’t stopping traffic, or getting run over by cars, as a large group. Then it was a direct line along the river to the Pont des Arts, where we stopped for a photo op before crossing over into the Tuileries gardens and ending at L’Orangerie where Bob’s Juice Bar had set up a table with refreshments for everyone.
In a refreshingly un-French way, we started our run on time, people respected their groups and there was no complaining. But there was a ton of yelling as a core group of French ran with shouting cheers for Boston. Running under the arch of bridge, along the uneven cobblestones with the Seine just metres from my feet, I looked up and there was Notre Dame, perfectly framed by the arc of the arch, a beautiful rosy gold enchanted castle in the intensely blue, dusk tinted skies. Breathtaking.
Tourist on the Bateaux Mouches cheered us on and after the photo op on the Pont des Arts another tourist stopped me, asking if he could take a photo of the blue and gold ribbons I was wearing in on of Boston. On my left breast. Absoluement ! I replied, proud to have been invited by a remarkable group of people who get things done!