Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge

Today I completed my mission in Paris, to visit all of the sites of the terrorist attacks of 13 November, 2015 by visiting Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge in the 10th. and exactly on the corner of Rue Bichat and Rue Alibert, right across the street from each other and only about a 5 min. walk from La Bonne Biere and La Casa Nostra both of which I had visited on Tuesday.  As I made my second visit to the 10th I began to get a sense of the place that I did not have during my previous visit.  I will admit that on Tuesday it was with some trepidation that I alighted from the Goncourt Metro stop, onto the Rue du Faubourg du Temple, with the feeling of being an unwanted voyeur at a wake.  Today however as I walked the short distance to the Rue Alibert I somehow felt that I belonged to the 10th.  Le Petit Cambodge, as the name states was “Little Cambodia” and if one looks up their website, which as of today was still up, one sees a shiny, clean, modern looking restaurant and the photos show several inviting looking Cambodian dishes.  This morning however, only the name remained on the corner of Rue Alibert and Rue Bichat, the main window having been whitewashed over.  My distress at contemplating the fate of the patrons of Le Petit Cambodge was made all the more poignant because I have a very good Cambodian friend, who is one of the moat gracious and beautiful people that I know.  Just across the street, on the opposite corner of Rue Alibert and Rue Bichat, is Le Carillon, the bell tower by name whose patrons were also attacked on the 13th.  Several written and drawn tributes to those murdered innocents led me to believe that the spirit of hope and freedom in Paris is not dead, in spite of the terrorists attempts to sow distrust and fear.  I did notice, however, that the appearance of the 10th and it’s residents is different from that of the 6th, the 10th being the homes and shops of the mixed, working class of Paris, characterized by mulri-ethnic and racial faces and streets and buildings in need of repair and virtually no tourists.  The 6th in contrast is almost completely made up of white faces and full of both tourists and locals, in fine clothing and patronizing chic shops and restaurants.  The 6th was not touched by the violence of 13 November and so there is no visible mark nor evidence of fear there, never- the- less, the threat of violence remains, not only for “The City of Light” but for all of the world.  My experience these past 3 days in Paris and my visits to the 10th. and 11 th., which I had never visited before, has helped me to understand the difficulty, of the many immigrants, to be a part of the life and ideals of Paris, France and the western world.  My heart, my friendship and my hope goes out to you all.

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