On my first sojourn in Paris I arrived New Years Day and stayed until June. I had a friend, Winnie, with whom I worked, who had a car like this one, a Citroen 2CV called a Deux Chevaux, except it was a wreck as only a car that’s cheap to begin with can become a wreck. The seats were unupholstered tubular metal frames with canvas seats and backs like beach chairs. The passenger seat was missing the canvas on the back so one could sit up straight or with the steel tube across your back, one solution as bad as the other. But I’d never seen a Deux Chevaux before in my life and I loved the shape of it. My dream was to buy a car like Winnie’s and bring it home. I knew nothing about what might be required to drive it legally on American roads nor could I remotely afford to buy & transport the thing so it was a moot point. But I’ve never, before or since, been so smitten with a car.
Flash forward to 2012 when I arrived in my old Paris neighborhood at the studio apartment I’d rented for a week. What you see in the photograph is exactly what I saw when I looked up with my back to the door of the building, this lovely Deux Chevaux, the toy of my dreams, and the sign over it reading “brocante”. Junk. Beautiful junk. My perfect Paris moment. If only Winnie had been there.