​Paris attacks: A bruised city moves forward

As it happens, David Turecamo, Our Man In Paris, was in New York during this weekend of mourning. His thoughts, though, are focused on the city he calls home:

They say that Paris is a city of a thousand villages, and no more so than at a moment like this.

Sometimes those villages are just a street with its own bakery, café, newsstand. And everyone is on a first name basis -- when you enter a shop it's always, "Bonjour, David, comment ça va?" (How's it going?) Even though it's a city of more than 2 million people you can't walk down the street without greeting two or three of them. It can be a little annoying sometimes to realize that everyone knows your business, and that's when I long for the anonymity of New York.


Because in those villages, no one is ignored; everyone is part of a community

The morning after the Charlie Hebdo attacks my district was in shock. One of the artists killed had lived for many years just around the corner, and everyone knew him. It wasn't just a terrible event that happened elsewhere; a neighbor had been murdered. And that's why in January the city marched and proclaimed "I am Charlie."

I watched the events Friday night helplessly from New York and tried frantically to call friends and make sure they were safe. But that will be just the beginning.

As the names of the victims are released, there will doubtless be people whose death will touch someone in our village.

Some people I spoke with complained about the lack of security -- How could this happen? Why weren't they more vigilant? The police and government may tighten security, but it won't be so easy, because above all the French cherish their liberty. They won't allow a Patriot Act or metal detectors to constrain their freedom.

A friend of mine who owns a bistro wrote that he and his staff have opened as usual even though they aren't far from the site of the killings. Paris is bruised, he said, "but the light of the city must not be extinguished, even for one day."

It won't, and it's because those villages, that sense of community, are what give Paris its strength.

And that's why, for me, all of Paris is my village.