In August every year, Paris, renowned as one of the world's most lively and sophisticated cities takes on the aspect of a deserted mining town in Arizona.
GV Various of almost empty streets(3 shots)
SV Various shots closed shops, empty Pavements, signs "En Vacance" (9 shots)
GV Eiffel tower: tourists swarming around tower(5 shots)
SV Souvenir stalls, icecream clicking near fountain (3 shots)
SV Tourists walk, sit, ogle in area of Trocadero (5 shots)
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Background: In August every year, Paris, renowned as one of the world's most lively and sophisticated cities takes on the aspect of a deserted mining town in Arizona. On the first of the month the city empties as Parisians flee to camping sites, the traditional seaside resorts or the sun-drenched fleshpots of the south. The city itself is seemingly granted a month's holiday in which to rest its arteries and lungs before the seething turmoil resumes once more in September.
SYNOPSIS: Perhaps no other large city, and certainly no other metropolis, in the world cuts back its summer heartbeat as emphatically as Paris does in August. It is reduced to a murmur.
Almost everybody has cleared out of town: traders, bankers, bakers, shopgirls, restaurant owners and their waiters. Even a lot of pick-pockets, who prefer such places as the underground Metro stations and trains when they're churning with travellers, treat their fingers to rest and recuperation. Life becomes tough for visitors wanting a shirt laundered or a chemist's prescription filled.
Although the City of Light has been transformed into the City of Empty Spaces and shuttered windows, a reverse tide of tourists still keeps pouring in. Like so many iron filings, they're sucked in their thousands towards the Eiffel Tower.
A few kindhearted traders have stayed behind to harvest the tourist francs. Some visitors, like these busily snapping the fountains of the Trocadero just across the Seine from the Tower, actually prefer a subbed Paris. After all, the food is still superb, even if you have to hunt around for an open restaurant. And life is more serene freed from the mechanised anarchy of Parisian drivers.