I went out yesterday to check out the site of Charlie Hebdo where the shootings took place in Paris and also to take a look at Republique where the first spontaneous gathering happened the night after the shootings and where the famous walk started on Sunday where over three million people marched against violence and for hope.

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The street where the offices of Charlie Hebdo are located was blocked and people had stacked flowers, notes, books and candles against the barriers. There were also still TV crews set up there.

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A closer view.

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Death of laughter. There were also full bottles of wine left.

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And, of course, many pens.

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Then over to Place de la Republic which, a couple of years ago, had been made into a wide open space which was good for gatherings.

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The statue in the middle had been climbed on during the Sunday before and was covered with all sorts of items having to do with the shootings. This monument had recently been cleaned and I hated to see permanent graffiti on it. I suppose they have ways of removing it.

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There are little tableaux all around the monument relating to events in the French Revolution and these were used to put in things having to do with the shootings.

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This was the next cover for the next issue of Charlie Hebdo. Once again they are using an image of Muhammad for the cover. I have to say that I didn’t like this magazine. I’ve never been a fan of most satirical art, especially when it borders on pornography which a lot of drawings in Charlie Hebdo did. You wouldn’t believe some of the things they did, things which drew the ire of fanatics in the Muslim world. They didn’t limit their satire to the Muslim world, of course. Everyone was fair game. Still, I believe in freedom of expression. I just don’t have to look at it or buy it.

After the upheaval and unbelievable happenings of the last few days here in Paris it was nice to get back to normal life and have some hot chocolate with a friend.

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In this case, it was Mexican hot chocolate with a hint of cinnamon and something spicy underneath. It was so good and nice on a cool day.

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We had the hot chocolate up on Montmartre at an American owned place called Soul Kitchen. They have very tasty food there as you can see by these fabulous looking muffins.

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Afterwards we walked up the hill behind Sacre Coeur through a little garden. We went inside and lit some candles while we were there for the victims killed in Paris as well as for some friends.

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Sunday in Paris certainly was historic. The last time there were this many people marching in Paris was at the end of WWII at the liberation of Paris. President Hollande and leaders from over 50 countries also marched.

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Here is a grainy photo of the TV screen I took showing the beginning of the march.

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I live near Nation where the march was to end. Here you can see the crowds gathered there waiting for the over one million marchers to join them. I headed up the street towards Republique where the march began and finally had to turn around and head back to Nation as people poured in. It took a lot of work to make it back to Nation. I finally went home to watch the rest on TV. Hollande and the rest didn’t do the whole march due to, I’m sure, security reasons.

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People on the fountain in the middle of Nation.

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These signs were everywhere.

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Lots of feelings demonstrated. It gives you hope that things will be better now.

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A food truck along the way feeding hungry marchers.

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Another sign, this one on a news agent stand. I’m glad I was just a very small part of this day.

Of course, everyone has heard of the tragedy here in Paris where two terrorists, brothers again, killed twelve people in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that made fun of every religion there is. Among those killed was a policeman who happened to be a Muslim. This isn’t about being Muslim, it about being full of hatred, fear and enemies of free speech. I am not political and am not able to speak of any of this, really. I do know the gunmen were connected to Al Qaeda. I was here in Paris when the attacks of September 11th occurred and now here I am still in Paris when this attack occurs. Maurice didn’t want me to leave the apartment yesterday as the gunmen were said to be headed back to Paris for a final suicidal finish which didn’t occur, by the way. So it’s scary but I think the best thing is to continue living our lives, unlike so many in the world are unable to do, such as those in Syria. We aren’t being bombed, innocent bystanders. The night of the attack we went out to eat at a couscous place in our neighborhood with friends, a normal activity, lucky to be alive and living a good life.

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I had tagine with beef, prunes, almonds and potatoes. It was really good.

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The pretty interior.

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At the end we had a glass of mint tea which was poured into our glasses from a high height. They did this in Morocco too so it must be a custom.

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Our tea pot and tea glass. I don’t understand why they don’t serve the tea in cups with handles because the glasses are too hot to pick up at first-ancient tradition.

A very dear friend of mine is here in Paris. We set out to Montmartre the other day and I wore my light winter jacket which turned out to be a mistake and I just about froze to death before I got home. It barely got above freezing all day. I survived however and we had an interesting walk through the Montmartre cemetery as we headed toward the metro.

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A grandiose tomb devoted to the Polish who died in war.

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A very unusual family tomb. Note the leaden gray skies.

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I took her to see this tomb of Dalida, a famous French pop singer who lived in Montmartre. She was actually from Egypt.

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This is the tomb of the famous cancan dancer painted by Toulouse Lautrec.

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I took this one because the flower looked so yellow against the gray statue. It’s a bit out of focus. I think I will have to get a new IPhone soon.

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By the time we got to the metro it was dark and it was nice to see the Moulin Rouge lit up at night.

I am back in cold, gray Paris but am still thinking about some food, namely Paella, when we were in Spain sitting outside in the sunshine (although the French I was with still kept their coats and scarves on).

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Isn’t this lovely? This was at a birthday lunch the day before we left. I feel like all I did while there was eat.

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A plate of paella there.

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A Spanish door knocker.

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On the last day we went to a place in a part of Nerja that Maurice and I hadn’t seen before. There was a rather rustic restaurant on the beach called Ajo’s and we ate there and I had my last sangria.

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They cooked their paella over fire so it had a smokey taste in these enormous pans, about three feet across. It wasn’t as good as the first one pictured here because it only had chicken and shrimp with a few little clams in it but I loved it.

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