Couple with photographer wearing masks
Billet d'Humeur

Fashionable Paris Masks

I am no longer desperate to find just any kind of face mask. Finding a mask has transitioned into its fashionable period in Paris. Face masks are no longer hard to find. They come in various shapes, prices and patterns. One day I saw a mask that coordinated with the skirt a girl was wearing. What would you think of fashionable Italian designed masks? The Italian-designed face masks are sold at the Casino grocery store on Rue Chemin du Vert. Piled together in a cardboard box without any fanfare, they sell for 3,50 Euros. They are comfortable, lightweight, washable, perfect for summer. The Italian-designed and imported to France masks include a built-in filter.

There was a period when finding a face mask during the pandemic was very difficult. I had to ask the guy selling cotton candy where he bought his black one. Anne, the lady at the pharmacy, was selling masks her friend made. I bought one. I called and ordered two more. I made arrangements to pick up the two and met Anne along the small street Commandant Lamy. She was smoking a cigarette and on the phone. Coincidentally, she was calling me to arrange the pick-up; she had the masks. The scene and the feeling were intriguing, clandestine. There we were —  on the street leaning over the envelope. I passed over the ten Euro bill. She gave me two fashionable masks.

Government-issue and disposal issue

The French Ministry of Health and the Paris Mayor’s office were to supply us with masks by the beginning of May. The separate envelopes arrived one day around the 11th. Each envelope contained four bluish, surgical masks (not fashionable). Blue is not my color. Suddenly, I went from searching desperately for masks to being overwhelmed with masks.

Masks are everywhere, including thrown down along the street with cigarette butts, plastic bottles and other trash. For a while, the streets were not being cleaned. The workers were afraid of possible contamination by masks and gloves being thrown in the trash or those that missed the trash and landed on the ground. Paris was very dirty.

The Ministry of Health has come out with a short video on Twitter how to dispose of the masks and gloves. Collect them in a proper, sealable bag, let the bag sit for 24 hours, then dispose of the bag in regular not recyclable trash.

I am looking for masks to appear in the souvenir shops or Monoprix designed with Parisian monuments next.

This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history a few decades ago with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. In 1990 for American Airlines I began working as a flight attendant, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines after 20 years. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on Colleensparis.com - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/colleensparis and I am active in Toastmasters. Enjoy!