NEW FEATURE: THE LIVES OF PARIS CARS: Stationary Dreams – An Insiders Q&A
New Feature: One of the more amazing treats available to anyone choosing to walk or saunter Paris streets, avenues and boulevards is the chance to come upon and appreciate a riveting and often enchanting array of cars and vehicles spanning any number of years, eras and temperaments.
And while something ineffable may catch ones attention, it is the little things that owners choose to adorn said possessions with i.e. stickers, notes, etc., which alchemizes them into such interesting statements*. Urban artifacts, if you will, testifying to inner dreams, goals or, more often than not, sheer gritty attitude.
In this ongoing series we will share our discoveries and intrepid Reporter questions with you. (All questions are spontaneous and no cars are primed or helped in any way with answers nor are any responses substantively edited, save for language clarification).
*(I’m still inordinately proud of the bumper sticker I received after toughing out a particularly gruesome western Canada winter with about a two-week spell of -40C temps). It read, “Minus 40 Keeps out the _____” . (Use your imagination). As the local DJ used to quip, ‘folks it’s so cold, you can see dogs frozen on poles’. My then 1982 v-8 Chevy half ton, code-named Lassie, got me out of (but of course firstly, into more jams that I can remember).
Interview with VICKY, September 2nd – 5th Arrondissement:
Q: Tell us your name and a bit about yourself: Mais Oui: Allow me to introduce myself. I am Vicky. My name is a long story…which is kinda’ an inside car joke…(I’m rather short-framed so a little humour, s’il te plaît). I’m 290 cm if I stretch my bumpers real hard. In winter, eh, a little shorter… mayby 286…cold temps are tough for aging frames. My factory name is FIAT 500L, but when is a name ever the reality, eh?
Q: Your color is very upbeat and the sun roof, …is it fun? This is what the English call a ‘rag top’! In summer I zip thru traffic and can see Paris’ famed rooftops –soon to be designated a World Heritage Site!—and soak up the sun. My riders often make ‘oooh’ sounds, which is wonderful. I wasn’t always red, no no no! Factory Brown to start with! Horrible color! I was depressed for years, no accelerating at red lights, you can’t imagine the feeling. Then one day, toch!…into the shop, and the next thing I know,…oooo la! I felt 10 years younger! It’s silly, so childish, but I can’t help a revving a little at the lights and now when I get parked next a boring old blue Peugeot well, I can feel it cringe!
Q: Your have good skin, and it looks like new glass? You can see the shine on my back fenders and trunk! My headlights and glass are impeccably clean and clear. This makes a huge difference when you’re often parked under trees and there are crows everywhere! It could be a nightmare. But I can’t complain.
Q: Do the larger cars like SUV’s bother you? Non! It takes a lot to upset me at my age…we have a saying, “Bien dans sa peau” …which means ‘to be at ease, or comfortable with oneself’. That’s me. It’s never about size or weight. Those things don’t matter. I can park anywhere, go virtually anywhere and can get fixed up in a few hours without it costing a fortune.
Reporter: Thanks for your time.
Vicky: “Il n’y a pas de quoi”