Woody Allen’s depiction of Paris – regardless of one’s position on how ‘biased’ or unbiased his perspective is – is absolutely spot on with regards to one point: She is an absolute stunner: Paris is by any measure, one of the most attractive urban spaces anywhere.
This is particularly true when one gets to walk or ride through empty streets late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.
However, what differs from Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” is perhaps the more ‘down-to-earth’-ness of living in Paris. There are no magic cars or glorious pasts to participate in after midnight in the city. The Paris of Ernest Hemingway actually never quite existed for many Parisians – and is less evident for Parisians who live here. The clock strikes twelve and a dash for the metro ensues, to make it home before the metro stops operating. The “Noctilien” – the night line, night bus comes to life as “Parisians” try to make their way back home ( the majority of people who work in the city tend to live on the outskirts of the city). It makes for quite a different experience living in the city as opposed to the delicious picture of life in paris depicted in “Midnight in Paris”. What is undeniable, either way is that Paris at night is certainly gorgeous. Here are a few random images from walking around Paris round about midnight. Non-descipt parts of the city they are – but they hopefully capture the tasty darkness and seductiveness of quiet, demure Parisian streets and byways after midnight: