A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about dogs

A Month in Paris in Winter

Day 15: Could I Live in Paris?

I got an email from a friend in the USA asking me if I would consider living in Paris. In a heartbeat, I emailed her back. My response? "Oui." I didn't stop to ponder, waffle, consider pros and cons, or think. Wow. That's not characteristic of me at all. I tend to be a ponderer. Sometimes, even a waffler. Why the quick response? I had to consider why I was so sure I would think about moving here.

I've always had a visceral response to France. Some of that is inexplicable. Some, I can explain. In France, people like food and meals. They appreciate sitting at a table for hours with good, simple food made with good, simple ingredients. The food is complemented by the people and the conversation. I have found this in other places in Europe, as well. Italy loves a good meal, good wine, good company, and good conversation. But, as much as I find Italy to be a phenomenally beautiful country, I don't think I want to live there. It's a masculine country.

In France, I feel like women are more respected and appreciated for all of their qualities. France is a more feminine country. Even the architecture is feminine. It is curvaceous, sensual, appealing.

I like that people appreciate art and architecture in France, as well as a good meal. My good meal tonight came from Le Jardin d'en Face on the Rue Trois Freres in Montmartre. It's a tiny place with about twelve tables and a chalkboard menu. I had an insanely good fois gras tarte cooked with an egg on top that was light and impossibly delicious. I followed that with a fresh sea bass, salad, and rice. Simple. Perfect.
5F2913C7BBFF6B0A92319962863A298B.jpg5F26E6AEE7C85F66C2A924BD3CF95E01.jpg5F2811D5EDDF2EF3C7122A7AF6264416.jpg

But I digress. What I love about France, and about Paris is there are still bookstores. With real books. A lot of them. And on the Metro, people read those books. Sometimes, they are so engrossed I've seen them miss their stops. I love that.

I love that children eat out with their parents and talk and eat. They don't have tablets with games to entertain them so their parents can eat and not be interrupted.

I love that dogs hang out with their owners and wait for them outside restaurants and sit next to their owners outside at cafes.

I love that history is respected and still discussed. I love that "fast food" is a fresh baguette and real cheese or chicken, not processed cold cuts.

I love that people buy bread daily. And croissants. And pretty much everything else to eat.

I guess the most important point is : what would I miss if I left the US? My family, my friends, some TV shows (don't judge), and...I think that's it.

I have a lot to consider. Stay tuned.

Posted by teethetrav 14:41 Archived in France Tagged paris france dogs cafes Comments (0)

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.
4C65496E0449D860317229E0FA1ABAA9.jpg4C6668F0D5A2600886CC0CA8AA2F53C2.jpg4C678153F8B1C0A9EEF70968D5300C2E.jpg4C688680F11948D7D48B9448F862E89E.jpg
The elevator fits one person. Two if you are very intimate.
4C7AD40FE9F52A4E0540AA9DBFDE1110.jpg
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.

4C77E72D9936A3D9DFACAD225934CFC4.jpg4C79BD13B10EA1678C68AB3B37287AD9.jpg4C76B908E16302496400BFF3A8B4E4ED.jpg

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 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]