A Travellerspoint blog

A Month in Paris in Winter

Day 10: Paris is NOT Manhattan

Manhattan is still the heart of NYC in spite of the buzz about Williamsburg, and Brooklyn in general, being the new Manhattan. Manhattan is still Manhattan; the true NY. Paris and New York have much in common. They are both sophisticated, cultured, and fashion conscious. Although Paris is similar to NYC in many ways, it has several glaring differences. I will list a few.
1. Dog poop. Really, people. Parisians love their dogs. They bring them everywhere and no one minds. Restaurants accept them, they wait patiently outside the patisserie while their owner buys a daily baguette, and they walk leashlessly through parks. Fine. I too am a dog lover. But I am not a dog poop lover, especially when I step in it. In Paris, it's hard to avoid. No one scoops the poop. You must therefore walk eyes down trying to avoid the mess.
2. Safety codes are rather lax. Third world country lax. My apartment, for example, has more extension cords than the boulanger has croissants. It also has three space heaters. Both seem to be common throughout Paris.
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The elevator fits one person. Two if you are very intimate.
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3. Police ignore scam artists. Scams are everywhere. But here I've seen police walk past scam artists and not even tell them to move on. Clearly, the police in Paris have bigger poisson to fry but I guess the broken windows philosophy doesn't hold up here at all. The most common scams are the string men who tie a string bracelet to your wrist, then demand you buy it. Or the woman on the street waving a piece a paper in your face demanding you sign a petition. If you do, she shows you that what you signed means you owe her ten euros.
4. Smoking is still a Parisian pastime. One of the last western countries to ban smoking in public buildings, bars, and restaurants, Parisians still love their ciggies. They sit outside at cafes in the cold, in the rain, bundled and lighting up.
5. But as much as I love NYC, you can't get these views of le Tour Eiffel or Sacre Couer in Manhattan. There are so many differences between NYC and Paris. Vive le difference.

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Posted by teethetrav 07:08 Archived in France Tagged paris france dogs nyc manhattan williamsburg brooklyn safety le_tour_eiffel dog_poop poop sacre_couer scams vive_le_difference

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