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Pat Feb 15th, 2001 02:00 PM

I don't really have anything to add but to say that I agree with almost everything above. I was introduced quite accidentally to Paris on business travel almost 20 years ago - supposedly at the height of their rudeness to Americans. I found none of it (well, just once)and fell in love with the city. If I was polite and smiled, I almost always got the same response. I also kept reminding myself that I was in a big city (not unlike New York) and how would the average person in NY respond? <BR> <BR>I am traveling this fall with a friend who has never been to Paris. Of all the places we could have chosen I felt we could truly have a "vacation" there. Easy to get to, easy to walk around and see everything, great food, wonderful history. We don't have to drive from place to place or haul our luggage on trains every other day - just experience the city. And unlike New YOrk where the streets are canyons because of the many storied buildings, Paris central is limited to 6 stories (or so). Makes for a more welcoming atmosphere (at least to me). <BR> <BR>And to Patrick - I am not a historian but know that this dislike/distrust between the English and French is rooted somewhere in history. I used to travel to London and Paris on business and the Londoners would tell me not to trust the French and when I got to Paris, the Parisians would shake their heads and tell me not to trust the English. Who knows!

Caitlin Feb 15th, 2001 02:29 PM

I strongly disagree with the statement that "there is only one true american city--NYC." San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, to name just three, all have distinctive local cultures and outstanding, non- "cokie cutter" architecture. The oldest buildings in NYC may only date back 200 years, those in Chicago 150, and those in SF 100, but that does not diminish their architectural worth. Apparently you've never seen the cheap, crowded, architecturally depressing suburbs of Europe. They exist, but travelers don't go to see them. Likewise, if the American equivalent depresses, you stay out of it and stay *in* the interesting and beautiful cities here. That's what I do.

Kittie Feb 16th, 2001 04:02 PM

panahs, <BR>I am a vote for 'not obsessed with Paris'. <BR>I have no desire or inclination to visit Paris. <BR>If I ever went to France, I would visit the northern or southern coasts. I have heard wonderful things about those areas. <BR>Kittie <BR>

ldsant Feb 17th, 2001 12:51 AM

Panahs: <BR> <BR>I guess I'm one of "those" Americans. I've been to Paris 7 times and really can't get enough of the city! Just walking around is a great experience. Even if I only get to spend a day there, it's always on my list of cities when visiting Europe.

Steve Mueller Feb 17th, 2001 09:49 AM

If someone gave me a free ticket to Paris, I would return tomorrow. If I have to pay myself, there are many other priorities that would come first. Although I didn't find the Parisians to be any more rude or indifferent than in some other parts of Europe, I did think that Paris is highly overrated. I suspect that the "infatuation" that some people claim to have for Paris is the result of having internalized too much tourist industry advertisement. I have met at least one person that claimed to love Paris even though she had never been to Europe.

Tony Feb 20th, 2001 04:37 PM

<BR>And the envelope please. <BR>The award for the most inane post and thread of the year goes to this one. <BR>

Art Feb 20th, 2001 07:48 PM

Hi Panahs, welcome to the travel forum. From your post, I assume that you've been to Prague and Budapest. I love both cities expecially Budapest. I've been to Paris several times and in honisty have enjoyed it, but like some others I think that there are many other more beautiful cities. Caitlin you forgot Boston, actually more like 400 years old twice as old as Paris. Buda and Pest are almost 1000 years old. Patrick, nicely said. I've been in 47 states and there is much beauty in the US. NOTHING anywhere in the world matches the Grand Canyan or standing in the middle of a grove of giant Redwoods. There is beauty almost anywhere that you look for it, certainly including the US.

Caitlin Feb 20th, 2001 08:11 PM

Art, I was referring to the age of the oldest extant buildings in the cities, since the US's detractors were citing lack of interesting architecture, not the age of the cities (San Francisco buildings mostly postdate the 1906 quake). As far as I know, there aren't any 400-year-old buildings in Boston...but you're right, I should have included it. And you, know, Paris (and many of its buildings) were there before the Revolution :-). Paris as a city dates back well over 1000 years. IMO one of the most spectacular--as well as oldest--"structures" in the US is the giant sequoia! It's too bad when people can only find the prosaic and ugly here at home.

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