Although I have enjoyed Le Jardin du Luxembourg many times, I have never had the pleasure of being there at closing time. Until a recent Sunday evening at 7:15, that is. And it was such an experience I knew I had to share it with you.
The park was buzzing with people, as it typically is on a warm, fall afternoon. Mark and I strolled in, walked around for a bit, and then grabbed a couple of the green chairs and relaxed into them. We hadn’t been seated more than a few minutes when an animated police whistle began chirping in the background. We commented that someone had clearly committed an egregious violation of park rules, such as sitting on the grass or kicking a soccer ball. But the whistle didn’t stop, and soon it was joined by what sounded like an entire chorus of whistles, in all different sound patterns. Then we began to see them- throngs of park police spreading out over the park, all blowing their whistles and yelling, “FERMETURE!”. People gradually began moving around us, dispersing toward the many different park exits, but at a leisurely pace. No one seemed concerned about the noisy whistles or commanding voices announcing the closure of the park. I guess they were used to it. After a few minutes the police began addressing people individually if the poor folks were not moving quickly enough to suit them. It was quite a sight- all those lounging, strolling people standing up and moving towards exits at once. The sudden activity kind of reminded me of an ant hill that got kicked over.
So just remember that closing time is serious business at Le Jardin Du Luxembourg. You don’t want to mess with the park police. No siree.