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Old 09-06-2008, 08:06 PM
 
338 posts, read 92,171 times
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Default Paris

How is Paris? How is it like there to live? How is the weather? Expensive? Many things to do? Is it nice city?
Please post pictures too if you have
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:16 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 9,382,247 times
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I don't live in Paris but I have been there before, I'm obsessed with the place, and I'd kill to go again!

Paris is a very fast-paced city by European standards. It's not as expensive as London, Tokyo, or New York City but it is still very expensive nonetheless. It stays pretty cool year round with the occasional heat wave in mid-summer. I always hear people say that it is a very dirty city but when I was there I found it to be very clean. Maybe it's because I was there in April and it rained everyday. It might be dirty in suburbs (banlieues) too because I didn't go to any suburbs other than Boulogne, St. Cloud, and Versailles which are all pretty affluent.

As far as if there's much to do... YES! Paris is probably the entertainment capital of the world! I can't even begin to list all the stuff there is to do in Paris. Culture, Art, Theater, FOOD... it's all in Paris!
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:45 AM
 
7,081 posts, read 23,773,380 times
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Paris is very beautiful, full of gorgeous architecture and art, wonderful food and incredibly expensive. I've been there more times than I can count, my father was raised there and went to Lycee there and it's a city I don't really need any street map for.

It's hard to get a bad meal in Paris. The museums are unbelievable wonderful. The public transportation is abundant and reasonable.

Being able to speak at least GOOD French is a distinct advantage. Many French citizens speak English, however they won't speak it to others because the general sense is that one must speak a language perfectly before using it with others.

I LOVE Paris.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 1,180,274 times
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Never been there, but it doesn't interest me much. I'd rather go to Amsterdam or Prague.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:34 AM
 
3,918 posts, read 5,108,758 times
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Well, my friends, I live in Paris (was born there 53 years ago actually) and don't love it one bit (and never have, it was worse when I was younger, I wanted to FLEE this city, didn't manage to make it-YET).
I only stay because my job & family are here but I hate the social life, it's difficult to describe to a foreigner, it may all seem funny to them, I find it not, it's very superficial.
Monuments and castles do positively get old after a half-century there.
Transports are a nightmare -like in any big metropolis I guess-
My fellow Parisians have always that air of smugness of know-it-all about them, seldom smiling , hurried,very unpleasant, I call them in private "the domineering race".
They seem very open outwardly, especially when they are younger, but beware! we are in a class society almost like England here and there are very stringent (if discreet) social codes ("le non dit", "what's-not-openly-said"), and once you enter Suburbia, well, it's like in America, Conformity, Families, Cars (more and more SUVs), soulless (and especially ugly) malls, derelict "banlieues" (ghettoes of concrete silos).
Nothing worth the effort of travelling!
One positive point : the DOG POO plague seems to have decreased (thanks to the efforts of our Mayor I guess).
And as for the weather ...if you like Seatlle's or Vancouver's or English weather (minus the scenery , because there are no mountains or ocean near Paris, only a flat cornbelt),
maybe it's a positive point.
Personally I loathe the Parisian weather, I like it sunny and warm/hot.

I
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:49 AM
 
286 posts, read 1,048,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
Well, my friends, I live in Paris (was born there 53 years ago actually) and don't love it one bit (and never have, it was worse when I was younger, I wanted to FLEE this city, didn't manage to make it-YET).
bien fait !


Quote:
I only stay because my job & family are here but I hate the social life, it's difficult to describe to a foreigner, it may all seem funny to them, I find it not, it's very superficial.
I don't agree with you. Paris is very interesting, you can find everything and it's not superficial. never seen other city in the world ?


Quote:
Monuments and castles do positively get old after a half-century there.
Transports are a nightmare -like in any big metropolis I guess-
No, the transports is not a nightmare for the size of the city. Cities like London NY are worst than PAris about that.


Quote:
My fellow Parisians have always that air of smugness of know-it-all about them, seldom smiling , hurried,very unpleasant, I call them in private "the domineering race".
It tells a lot about who you are....


Quote:
They seem very open outwardly, especially when they are younger, but beware! we are in a class society almost like England here and there are very stringent (if discreet) social codes ("le non dit", "what's-not-openly-said"), and once you enter Suburbia, well, it's like in America, Conformity, Families, Cars (more and more SUVs), soulless (and especially ugly) malls, derelict "banlieues" (ghettoes of concrete silos).
Nothing worth the effort of travelling!
lol Do you understand the supid comment you write ? Of course for you or me nothing worht the effort of travelling but actually, for a foreigner Paris is great.

Quote:
One positive point : the DOG POO plague seems to have decreased (thanks to the efforts of our Mayor I guess).
It has always been largely exagerated, of course dog poo exist, but all in all PAris is among the cleanest cities in Europe and especially regarding the size of the city.

Quote:
And as for the weather ...if you like Seatlle's or Vancouver's or English weather (minus the scenery , because there are no mountains or ocean near Paris, only a flat cornbelt),
First english weather as little to do with the one of seattle or Vancouver. As for the english weather, it is not exactly the same one we have got in PAris. Paris has got more sunny days.

Quote:
maybe it's a positive point.
Personally I loathe the Parisian weather, I like it sunny and warm/hot.

I
Nobody in France like parisians, and you are not an exception....
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,039 posts, read 14,534,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
Well, my friends, I live in Paris (was born there 53 years ago actually) and don't love it one bit (and never have, it was worse when I was younger, I wanted to FLEE this city, didn't manage to make it-YET).
I only stay because my job & family are here but I hate the social life, it's difficult to describe to a foreigner, it may all seem funny to them, I find it not, it's very superficial.
Monuments and castles do positively get old after a half-century there.
Transports are a nightmare -like in any big metropolis I guess-
My fellow Parisians have always that air of smugness of know-it-all about them, seldom smiling , hurried,very unpleasant, I call them in private "the domineering race".
They seem very open outwardly, especially when they are younger, but beware! we are in a class society almost like England here and there are very stringent (if discreet) social codes ("le non dit", "what's-not-openly-said"), and once you enter Suburbia, well, it's like in America, Conformity, Families, Cars (more and more SUVs), soulless (and especially ugly) malls, derelict "banlieues" (ghettoes of concrete silos).
Nothing worth the effort of travelling!
One positive point : the DOG POO plague seems to have decreased (thanks to the efforts of our Mayor I guess).
And as for the weather ...if you like Seatlle's or Vancouver's or English weather (minus the scenery , because there are no mountains or ocean near Paris, only a flat cornbelt),
maybe it's a positive point.
Personally I loathe the Parisian weather, I like it sunny and warm/hot.

I
PigeonHole, I am so sorry you hate Paris so much and never got to escape from somewhere that obviously makes you very unhappy.

Nobody should have to live somewhere they plainly dislike so much. I hope you make it out one day.

I have to say I don't really recognise your vision of Paris but I guess we all have different eyes and souls and that is what makes us interesting. As a French person ( now living in the UK), I have to admit that I do miss "La Ville des Lumieres" a great deal. London to me is an abomination and I never really got used to it, though thank goodness I do not live there.

Paris to me is one of the great cities on earth, I love the Architecture and the cultural vibrancy and I never found that the Museums, sites etc.. ever got "old" for me.

Paris to me is just a glorious place to wander around aimlessly and though I still remember my hours of commuting from one side to the other with dread ( I am now a hater of public transport), I have to say the public transport was just about the most efficient and reliable I can think of with the exception of Vancouver.

You are of course right some "banlieues" are indubitably drab and some downright ugly and nests of social inequities. Parisians are not known for their friendliness that is certainly true but then again as someone who has lived all over the world I have found that pretty much all big cities have unfriendly people ( London is the same, Amsterdam was possibly the most unfriendly city I ever went to ( especially if like me you are disabled-despite all their claims to being very socially conscious), NYC and Boston were pretty bad too. Don't even get me started on Madrid or Frankfurt...

I don't remember ever putting my foot in dog doo but maybe the natural Parisian instinct kicked in and I just missed it.... I never found Paris any dirtier than any other major world city though I do remember the smell of urine in some street corner as being pretty pungent...
It did seem to get a lot better in the last decade or so. And for some bizarre reasons a lot worse in other countries !?

I guess Paris just happens to suit me perfectly as far as big cities go ( I am not a natural "urbanite" and tend to avoid them like the plague if possible).

As someone who is passionate about Architecture, History, the Theatre, and the Arts, Paris is just about as good as you can get. I miss the restaurants ,walking along the Seine on a crisp Autumn day enjoying the "bouquinistes", skating on the ice rink at Christmas time outside the Hotel de Ville, Mint tea in the Grande Mosque, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the Tuileries on a cold winter's day, all the fantastic art in all the fantastic galleries and museums, a lazy Sunday spent reading the papers in some little cafe, or going to "les Puces" in Clignancourt never knowing what you will find. Going to the Opera or the Comedie Francaise or some "vernissage" in some little art gallery. I miss "Le Marais" and "Le Quartier Latin". I miss "le Salon des Antiquaires" and watching kids doing "Parkour" near the Trocadero. I miss all the little Art cinemas and cinema festivals.

I do not miss the metro, the snooty waiters and the smell of diesel engines on the peripherique. I do not miss the crowded buses and the tourist hordes descending down on the city, I do not miss almost being run over every time you try and cross a road, I do not miss the people who triple park on main roads. I do not miss some Parisian women with their chi-cho dogs and their leather skin and Chanel suits in "les Beaux Quartiers". I do not miss "Les Halles" and "Beaubourg" .


Paris is not perfect, no cities are but it is IMO a very, very special place and I am so sad you have had 53 years of unhappiness living there.

I hope you do find your place in the sun sometimes soon...

I will always love Paris but to me real France is Brittany ( Finistere) , The South-West , the Auvergne, or Inland Provence. Those places truly speak to my soul and I try to go there as often as I can .

Pax Vobiscum PigeonHole and I hope you do make it out. I would feel the same as you if I lived in London ! I can barely spend a day there without wanting to leave...
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:31 AM
 
3,918 posts, read 5,108,758 times
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As someone who is passionate about Architecture, History, the Theatre, and the Arts, Paris is just about as good as you can get. I miss the restaurants ,walking along the Seine on a crisp Autumn day enjoying the "bouquinistes", skating on the ice rink at Christmas time outside the Hotel de Ville, Mint tea in the Grande Mosque, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the Tuileries on a cold winter's day, all the fantastic art in all the fantastic galleries and museums, a lazy Sunday spent reading the papers in some little cafe, or going to "les Puces" in Clignancourt never knowing what you will find. Going to the Opera or the Comedie Francaise or some "vernissage" in some little art gallery. I miss "Le Marais" and "Le Quartier Latin". I miss "le Salon des Antiquaires" and watching kids doing "Parkour" near the Trocadero. I miss all the little Art cinemas and cinema festivals.

I know all of that and I must admit I like it (especially the steam bath in the Mosque).
But I am not a Museum aficionado (everything I learned I did at school&university and Books not in Museum and I hate to tramp in a crowded space ).
Maybe you're right, I had quite a lot of negative experiences in Paris (which happens to be my hometown) so my view is too personal, I think I'll scrap the topic.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:29 PM
 
7,397 posts, read 10,432,332 times
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53 years in a city you dislike and you have not taken it on yourself to leave? How about Lyon or some other city? You would only be a few hours away.

Anyway, I love Paris. Best thing to do is just sit in a cafe or even at a fountain and watch the world go by.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:13 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 3,243,378 times
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I lived in Paris for 6 months. Here is the run-down:

HOW IT IS TO LIVE THERE -- If you are female and speak French, fabulous! If you are male and speak French, it's still great! Fun galore, lots of sight-seeing and things to do, the city is indescribably gorgeous. It's a little harder to make friends than in the States, but still wonderful. I felt completely at home after only a couple of weeks.

The city is served by a GREAT public transportation system, so there is no need to get a car.

WEATHER -- Better than New Jersey, that's for sure. Winters are gray, cold and drizzly, but not oppressively so. There is certainly less of a tendency towards "inclement weather" than we have in the US. Summers are usually only slightly hot (low to mid-eighties throughout) and spring and fall are lovely.

EXPENSIVE -- Yes but ... compared to what? Paris is much less expensive than London, Moscow or Tokyo, for instance. Rents are VERY high, that's for sure. However, I found prices on food, ordinary household goods, etc. to be reasonable -- not as cheap as at your neighborhood Costco, but reasonable. Clothing, too, can be found at very good prices if you know where to look (like the shops at Les Halles or a Tati). Dining out is much more expensive than in the States, if done American-style -- but buying a mere pot of tea will get you at least an hour of relaxing in a sidewalk cafe without the waiter breathing down your neck. So "dining" out with friends actually isn't expensive if you do it French-style (less eating, more conversation). In short, Paris is a living, breathing city with residents -- which means that you can easily find things at reasonable prices, if you do a little bit of research and steer clear of tourist traps.

THINGS TO DO -- Lots and lots. Of course, I can't give you a more specific answer simply because I don't know what you like to do. However, just strolling in Paris -- along the Seine river, in the neighborhood of the Three Musketeers (just north of the Luxembourg Garden), around St. Louis Island, to name just a few, is an immense pleasure. So is sitting in a sidewalk cafe, sipping your "petit café". Much of what it is "to do" in Paris and France generally is simple, quiet pleasures. There are museums, of course, and I assume everyone should do their duty and have their wallet stolen while waiting to go up the Eiffel Tower or languish with the crowds at the Louvre -- you know the tourist things; but those are just obligatory. There are day trips that can be made from Paris, also, to various very charming towns.
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