Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

Probably the most frequent question I was asked during our trip to the U.S. was "what's the weather like in Paris right now?" My response was "grey, damp, and hovering around 40 degrees." Well, that was pretty typical for last winter but the last few days have been anything but. The snow here was the headliner; the real news is the cold. And I'm talking seriously cold. When I got up this morning, it was just 10 degrees (Fahrenheit, that is). Yesterday, I don't think it got above 20 or 22 and the outlook for the next week is more of the same. Fortunately, there's no more precipitation in the forecast and so the only thing to do is layer up and deal with it.

I've got a bone to pick though with Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris and champion of all things green...more bikes, recycling, eco friendly bulbs for the Christmas lighting displays around town and that sort of thing. He seems to have left one detail off his green agenda: energy efficiency. There doesn't seem to be anything resembling a storm window here with the result being that the geraniums are staying in good shape from the heat leaking out (see my post from earlier this week) and we're shivering inside from the cold air whistling in through every crevice. Undoubtedly it would cost a fortune to retrofit these old buildings and perhaps this is a matter for national, rather than local, policy. By the time I figure it out, my guess is that the temps will be back to the 40s and a nice gray drizzle will be falling.


jonnifer said...

Great point about the windows. There are so many old drafty windows and it makes heating almost worthless (like in my office, where it is 12 degrees C). Replacing them would save tons of energy and make this season much more agreeable overall.

At least someone is happy (your geraniums).

Laurie said...

Three words: double-glazed windows. You have to put them in yourself, and they're not cheap--but what a difference they make. Not just weather-proofing, but SIGNIFICANTLY diminished noise from the street. You can get a kind that open from the side AND from the top, so you can open them just a bit for ventilation but no one can climb through them. I paid 900 euros for a set of 2 and they are worth every penny!

Starman said...

There is a window shop on rue de la Butte aux Cailles (around #8, I think) that sells double-glazed windows.

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