Sunday mornings are my favorite time in the apartment. The apartment is really spacious by Paris standards, with lots of light, a great view, and beautiful herringbone-pattern hardwood floors. However, it is located on a pretty busy street with hotels, which means buses. Even six floors up, it’s noisy. But it must be a lot of business traffic, because on Sundays, it’s much less. So I can fling open the giant windows (no screens) and let in lots of fresh air and light without being bombarded with noise until about 10 am. During the day, I mostly keep the big metal shutters closed to keep out the heat because there’s no air conditioning. There’s still quite a bit of light in the main living space. At night, there’s no choice. I must sleep with the windows open or it would be way too hot. The shutters have ventilation holes, so you can get some privacy, but they also cut the air flow significantly. This morning I’m a little tired because some guy was having a loud conversation in the street on his cell phone for a couple hours in the wee hours of the morning, and even with earplugs in, I could still hear it.
I’m still rather amazed by the motorcycles here. They make a LOT of noise, way more than the cars. Having a motorcycle in Paris seems like a great solution to the traffic and high gas prices. But they are a hazard to pedestrians. They drive much faster than the cars, go through the green “walk” signals if they feel like it, and even drive on the sidewalks sometimes, usually relatively slowly, but COME ON … motorcycles on sidewalks? Paris sidewalks are almost always crowded, often narrow. The last thing they need is motorcycles.
Bicycles are also common in Paris for both men and women, and there are bike lanes pretty much everywhere, even on some of the narrower streets. Most of the bicyclists are far more considerate and safer than the guys on motorcycles.
Btw, nearly every street in Paris is a one-way. If they are two-way, they are usually boulevards.