Paris After Curfew: A Photo Odyssey by Meredith Mullins

Paris After Curfew: A Photo Odyssey by Meredith Mullins
The clock struck 6 pm — the bewitching hour in the current era of Paris couvre-feu. I could hear distant church bells marking the hour with their own six chimes. I raised my camera, waiting for that last flurry of movement before the curfew, a government-mandated measure to contain COVID-19, went into effect. The Night Will Be Calm © Meredith Mullins Perhaps naively, I was thinking that at 5:30 pm, people would be running for a bus or metro, rushing to the boulangeries to grab their dinner baguette, or savoring a last sip of wine by the river so that they could be home with the door latched by curfew time. And that by 6:01 pm, the streets would be relatively empty. A last dance of freedom on the Pont des Arts © Meredith Mullins The church bells finished. The curfew had started, but no one was moving. The musicians played on. The crowds on the quais continued to laugh and drink. Couples embraced. The urgency of the moment seemed to be lost in the setting sun and the gentle breeze. A bridge of one’s own © Meredith Mullins I had underestimated the rebellious nature of Parisians. I had heard about the secret cafés, defying the current closure rule and the wild parties that went on until 6 am when the curfew is lifted. Now I was witness to the “transition time” that was apparently in place, an unwritten grace period that gave people a little extra time to mosey home. Going home © Meredith Mullins

Lead photo credit : Paris After Curfew © Meredith Mullins

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Meredith Mullins is an internationally exhibited fine art photographer and instructor based in Paris. Her work is held in private and museum collections in Europe and the U.S. and can be seen at or in her award-winning book "In A Paris Moment." (If you’re in Paris, a few rare, signed copies are available at Shakespeare and Company and Red Wheelbarrow.) She is a writer for OIC Moments and other travel and education publications.