As I walked out this morning to find some Destop to unblock my kitchenette sink, I realised I live pretty much in the red light district. Not quite - this side of the Rue Royale is quite devoutly Muslim and the only meat is kebabs - but going down towards the Gare du Nord I was suddenly aware of pinkish striplights in the windows to my right. And then I saw some rather fine dark brown legs.
When you read Orwell or Hemingway or look at Brassaï's photos, and there is the distance of some seventy or eighty years, it all seems a bit seedily glamorous and daring. When you are trying to find your local Brico because you can't wash up, and just about everything is closed down except these little knocking-shops (and a Ladbrokes), it just seems a bit sad. It was surprising they were open so early but there was a Best Western hotel nearby so maybe they get post-breakfast custom.