I've spent most of my nights in Paris in the same apartment. It is on rue Maître Albert and looks out on the street with an immediacy and an intimacy that one cannot find in a hotel. We leave the windows open and listen to the quiet heartbeat of Paris. The street is narrow and has been in existence for over 1,000 years. Up until about the 16th century it was called rue Perdue. It has survived all the changes that Paris has undergone during those 10 centuries. Even Haussmann left it alone. Because it is narrow it gets little traffic but magical things happen in it. The bells of Notre Dame echo in the street, the sounds more like a mob than a symphony, playing a tune no one could hum. We can hear the bells of St Severin as well, they are more disciplined, almost harmonious. From time to time the knife sharpener walks up the street pushing his grinding wheel and ringing his bell. He doesn't like to have his picture taken and I respect his wishes. We have heard the clop clop of horse shoes as the gendarmes take a shortcut from the quay to Place Maubert. At night the lights from the Bateaux Mouches flash faintly on the wall across the street calling us to the window. We can see the street above the quay and watch the moving shadows of the trees, cast by the boat as it passes Notre Dame. We've had small bands perform under our window, two drunks with slide trombones playing way above any reasonable expectations, and today, a bagpipe band came by. This is Paris as I know her, predictable only in the sense that she will continue to surprise and please as long as your window is open.