Passionate Paris - The Street is Theater

As an American I've become accustomed to the time-honored ritual of arriving home after a long day or week of work and dropping my bags at the door and my derriere in the nearest chair.

Not so with my new French friends. With smaller apartments and bigger social appetites, many, if not most, Parisians come home just long enough to drop off their baggage and perhaps a late-night baguette picked up on the drive or walk home from work. Then, it's off to their living rooms and dens. Only these special rooms are down a few flights of stairs and less than a block or two away.

These "living 'rooms" can be found all over France where the street is stage, the cafes are front-row seats, and the show is always going on. In the open air, locals and savvy visitors grab a curvaceous wicker chair and while away the evening savoring the free community theater in rich sidewalk scenes. Who would want to sit inside with so much action unfolding out here?

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