I like the transformation of Paris in August. If you stay away from the teeming routes of visitors and spend time going from one neighborhood to another, you will immediately notice an intangible quality to your walks.
For one thing, the city is half closed. Shutters come down on grocery stores, cafés, fashion boutiques and bistros. The streets are virtually empty of humanity, as if a blitz were impending. Then, the life that runs thorough the city arteries seems to pulsate with more energy, not less. Buildings give the impression of breathing and reclaiming their space. You look at them and you see them for the first time. They hanker for your attention.
Those that stay behind in this vacation period, let themselves be caressed by a reigning peace. The benches in the parks and gardens acquire a benevolent attitude towards their occupants. Stretched, amassed in a group or embracing one another, they welcome the quirkiness of all who want to use them.
An invisible hand hovers over the city in an uncertain hour of the afternoon while you rest in the corner of a garden. And you let time pass. A form of magic takes you over. Then it is time to go and you do not know quite what happened to you, but you wish you could recover the moment. This is Paris in August in a city garden.