Place Petrucciani

Paris, early June 2020, twilight.

It’s been a week since the French authorities have lifted the lockdown. From our apartment, in Rue Sainte-Isaure, Arianna and I can hear people chatting and having a beer in Place Petrucciani, just down the road.

It’s a festive atmosphere. We love the square. Small, unpretentious, dedicated to the author of (among other feats) this moving performance, it brings together three different bars, one supermarket, and one bakery. It just got a beautiful restyling after this lockdown: people cannot spend time indoor, so the bars are allowed to expand their outdoor area and reclaim space from the cars that would otherwise make their way through the square.

A rainstorm suddenly breaks out. It’s a deluge. As the rain pours down from the sky, we go to the window and watch, and so do our neighbours. We are in awe. Normally, the people in the square would run away and seek shelter. But not this time: having spent the last three months locked inside their houses, they are thrilled to get a good shower and dance. Watching from our window, we wish we were there with them.