What greets you when you enter the Annual Christmas Market at the Tuileries Gardens? Nutcracker Soldiers. And before the market opens? Where are they? Hidden, waiting to get out in the open. I noticed them while crossing the gardens on November 18. My eyes fell upon rows of black hats. The trove of Nutcracker Soldiers holding horns or standing at attention were lined up. Their expressive eyes were waiting for a magic moment. The magic moment I later learned was November 19, 2022, the opening day for the Magic of Christmas market (La Magie de Noël aux Tuileries). The Nutcracker Soldiers reminded me of the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s funerary…
One day last week the blackbirds (merles in French) were chirping away in a choral cacophony of song at at 5:30 am. I wondered if springtime was around the corner -- in mid-January! That springtime moment was short-lived. Thirty-two departments, including Paris and Ile-de-France, were placed under snow warnings. Saturday was going to be a snow day in Paris. Météo-France and our Echo-dot, Alexa, confirmed that the snow would begin by 11 am Saturday.