From Poulsbo to Paris: Brenda Prowse says Parisians ‘not afraid to celebrate life’


Josh Farley writes: 

Like many of us, Brenda Prowse and her husband, Hugh, spent Friday night watching the harrowing coverage of a series of terror attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris.

But Prowse happened to be watching it from her apartment near the Eiffel Tower.

The former Poulsbo realtor has lived in Paris since January 2013. As gunmen and suicide bombers carried out the worst violence in Paris since World War II, she arrived at their apartment for the evening in the 7th arrondissement not knowing it was happening.

“We were unaware of the horror last night until we returned from dinner and started receiving text messages from friends,” she told me.

They watched the news until almost 4 a.m. Saturday. Only days earlier, they had gone to a bar near Place de la Republique, where two of the shootings occurred. While it feels close, in some ways, it also feels distant, this being Paris, she said.

“Three miles is not that far away but in a city this densely populated it is almost another world,” she said.

When they awoke Saturday, she went for a run. Their apartment manager lit a candle in the foyer. And while the streets were a little quieter, she said people were still going about their business.

“Buses, metro, taxis were all operating this morning,” she said, adding a visiting friend took the train to London without incident. “Cafes were serving lunch.”

Even as the memorials grow around the city, it seems there’s an incredible resiliency in the City of Light, though its iconic Eiffel Tower is dark for the moment. 

“Parisians are out and about today and though wary, are not afraid to celebrate life,” she told me.

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