Paris post-'Charlie' ...

Friends often ask me what Paris is like now, three months after the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo office in January; in effect, asking how the capital has changed after the violence that shut the city down, while thousands of police searched for the gunmen.  

Maybe it is the nature of life in a big city that events can happen like this and even though it is close to you in terms of proximity - the Charlie Hebdo shootings happened less than half an hour away from where I live - you feel cocooned from the hard-edged reality. (I had the same feeling when riots broke out in 2013 triggering two nights of violence in Trappes and everything remained calm in central Paris).

The day after the massacre, the métro was quieter than usual. Police around Gare du Nord were stopping drivers and in my neighbourhood, on the edge of Barbès,  stopping young men asking for their papers (again more than usual), but aside from this it felt like nothing had changed.

The impact of these crimes will  surely have a political impact, though, as the far-right National Front led by the media-friendly Marine Le Pen continues to rise in the polls - even encouraging some to imagine that the unthinkable might indeed strike twice and Le Pen fille will be in the first round of the presidential elections in 2017.