Things that happen in Paris when it's hot outside

Everyone’s experience of a place is different. But I feel like all Parisians (natives and transplants alike) experience at least a few of these things on hot summer days, or during heatwaves like the one we’re going through (enduring) now.:

- You live in a dark world, behind closed shutters.

- It’s big, it’s loud, it makes you have to plug your window with vinyl. It looks like a somber R2D2 with an exhaust tube and none of the fun of the actual R2D2. But danged if you don’t fall in love with your big, clunky air conditioning unit…if you’re lucky enough to have one.

- With windows open at night to let in cool air, street noise becomes even more of an issue…and young petty criminals decide this is the best time of the year to go joyriding on stolen motorized scooters, revving them up and going back and forth down the streets until the wee hours. (Maybe they’re just too hot to stay inside and try to sleep like everyone else?)

- You don’t feel guilty at all about eating ice cream.

- …But your neighborhood grocery store is out of ice cream. And mozzarella cheese.

- You are sweaty all the time.

- You’re frequently grossed out by accidentally brushing arms with fellow sweaty Parisians.

- Some people start using paper and cloth fans — a charming touch in your otherwise sweaty, miserable day.

-You get constant judgy looks if your baby’s carriage isn’t covered with a blanket. And you want to say, “My kid has on suntan lotion! And a hat! And if I put a blanket up, he’ll just pull it off!” Instead, you stare ahead and keep moving.

-….And in spite of yourself, you end up wondering why someone else’s carriage isn’t protected by a blanket.

- You worry for your co-workers, friends, and neighborhood acquaintances who are in the midst of Ramadan fasting.

- You see a lot of half-dressed and possibly undressed neighbors sweating it out through open windows and balconies. Sometimes you’ll even see a few balcony sunbathers — mostly older women (and you feel insanely jealous of how relaxed they seem and want your own balcony more than ever).

- You are amazed that, despite suffering from the summer heat, some of the aforementioned neighbors are holding hot cigarettes between their fingers.

- You look forward to going to places where there’s air conditioning — even work!

- And, if you’re me, you still can’t understand why weather announcers, and people in general, seem to be so fricking happy about more warm, sunny weather to come.

- Those happy people are probably the same ones who spend their time off sunbathing in parks or at “Paris Plages”, an event where some of the banks of the Seine are “transformed” into a beach (there’s even imported sand)…but there’s no water you can swim in.

- As much as you love this city, you seriously wonder if you shouldn’t think about moving somewhere else. Somewhere cold. Or at least mostly air-conditioned.

Views: 192

Comment by L in the Southeast on July 2, 2015 at 2:34pm

How hot is it?  I take air conditioning is not a foregone conclusion in Paris residences.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on July 2, 2015 at 2:40pm


Comment by Arthur James on July 2, 2015 at 2:44pm


bon appetite...


I recall sitting

on a park bench

in Paris. A Woman

saw me munching

a red apple. She

sain bon appetite

 and I was happy.


smelled bums?

urine. Homeless

lay sideways on

Park Benches and

urinate. The smell

in Hot Weather O?

So-So Gross. That

a Old Paris Memory.

`, '

Comment by koshersalaami on July 2, 2015 at 3:24pm
Thanks for the picture

Not what we usually hear
Comment by Arthur James on July 2, 2015 at 3:31pm


salami smell

stinky on hot

summer daze?


no eat kosher

salami on park

bench and smell

up the Paris Park.



`, '

Comment by Cranky Cuss on July 2, 2015 at 4:24pm

I'd heard that Paris was having 100 F temperatures this week and I wondered if you were keeping cool. Nice days to visit the museums, which I assume all have A/C.

Comment by Rosigami on July 2, 2015 at 4:45pm

My current home, on the Puget Sound in Washington State, is having 100 F degree days, too. Lots and lots of them. Our neighborhood is a bit cooler, lots of big trees, so we only get to 87. 

Being an older woman, I love the idea of balcony sunbathing. But I have no balcony and so I make do with a deck out back.

Alyssa, I remember the disapproving glances of my fellow New Yorkers when I took my babies out on warm sunny days, too. I was as careful as you are. When they were old enough to walk on their own, I had to have the twins on leashes so they wouldn't run in opposite directions while their older sibling headed somewhere else. People still thought it was awful, but I ignored the pointed looks, audible comments, and downright rude remarks. 

Comment by Out-on-a-limb on July 2, 2015 at 11:50pm

Hi Alysa,  It is also hot in Germany.  It is a love hate experience, the days are great, although, the nights can be a bit..! 

Hang in there, soon it will be winter and we will all be complaining about how cold it has gotten.  I hope your two men are doing fine and holding up under the heat.


Comment by Zanelle on July 3, 2015 at 12:28am

I always think of Paris in the rain!

Comment by Julie Johnson on July 3, 2015 at 4:52am

We have all these images in our minds of Paris from books and movies.  It's fun to read about every day life from someone that is really there.


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