If you take a look at the meteo, you will note that not just Paris, but all of France got nailed by snow and cold weather. Perhaps it was due to their major source of hot air heading south and west for Christmas break.
Anyway, below freezing temperatures and maybe three inches of snow does not seem like much to us stoics in the US Northeast, but it was devastating, I tell you, devastating to Paris.
The haze is actually smog.
My stomping grounds are in a place called Suresnes, which, like Somerville, is a rapidly gentrifying industrial city. Also like Somerville, it is very hilly. Was very interesting to see something like four accidents within the first hour of snowfall around the block from the house*.
Walking was pretty difficult, as things had iced up a lot. Given the grades of some of the hills and the lack of snow cleanup, I probably should have brought my crampons in addition to the boots and winter coat. Still, it was pleasant to be out and the change in weather (first Christmas snow in more than 10 years?) seemed to provide a much-needed lift to folks' spirits. I noticed a lot more people smiling this last time than on past visits.
*That's right, Paris, like Boston, has more than enough a$$hole drivers. Perhaps Paris has even more, proportion-wise. The Frenchie's always trying to get me to drive there, but I won't. Haven't driven here at all in four years because the freaks on wheels scare me so. Don't see why I'd start there, where the laws are different and the roads more treacherous.