Any special "Paris moments"?

Nov 25th, 2004, 08:19 PM
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Any special "Paris moments"?

After my last trip to Paris, one of my friends asked me if I had had any "Paris moments", in other words, anything that happened to you or you saw or experienced that makes you think "ahh, this is Paris..."

I think I have two that really stick out in my mind.

1) It was about 1 am or so and I was leaving a friend's place in the 3rd to walk back to my hotel. It had rained that evening but the rain had stopped, and the streets were slick and shiny. It was also pretty quiet and deserted.... except for the fact that one of his neighbours was having a loud party. They were blasting "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra, and they were all singing along. They sounded like they were young, in their 20's.. and the way they were singing (loudly and slightly off key, with lots of laughter) they were pretty drunk but having a great time. The contrast between the music and the light from their apartment window with the dark and otherwise quiet street was really wonderful.

2) I was waiting on a métro platform (I forget which one). A very pretty girl in her early 20's came onto the platform. I forget what she was doing, but it must have been obvious the way she looked or maybe she was stretching, but an older black man approached her and asked "ah, vous dansez, mademoiselle? êtes-vous danseuse?" and then right then and there he started to do a very impressive tap-dance routine. When he stopped about a minute or two later, several people applauded...

Much better entertainment that those buskers who get on the métro (especially around the tourist areas like the Eiffel Tower or on the RER to and from CDG).
goatee is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 08:45 PM
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Two that stick out in my mind...

1. On my first trip to Paris, my girlfriend and I broke up.

2. 2 days later on that same trip, I was mugged.

I am completely serious about the above two events. I hate Paris!
sbp17 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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Yikes! that's awful! You did however write "first trip to Paris".. you went back?
goatee is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 08:57 PM
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Yes, I returned a second time against my will. I am living in Europe at the moment and my parents visited from the states. They wanted to visit Paris. No other fine European city would do. So alas, I decided to return with them for a couple of days. This second trip was more or less event-free but I still did not develop a fondness of the city.

sbp17 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 09:02 PM
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That's a shame. I guess because I'm a Francophile, but I adore Paris. I went to Barcelona on my last trip and I didn't really like it as much... Couldn't wait to get back to Paris.
goatee is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 09:25 PM
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I am the exact opposite. I love Barcelona. As I have stated here many times, it is my favorite European city.
sbp17 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2004, 12:47 AM
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Mine was when I fell!

Heres the story....
richardab is offline  
Nov 26th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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What a bummer sbp. Richard, so you still have the pants?

On our first trip to Paris I was standing at a cafe table very early in the morning at Gare du Nord. I was enjoying a croissant and coffe while awaiting a train to London. I remember looking around me at all the hustle and bustle of the morning rush, still unable to believe I was in that marvelous city. As I looked at my husband with a big smile on my face, he beamed back at me and quietly said, "Happy birthday, sweetheart."

I had turned 30 years old that morning and was living out a dream.
Statia is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 03:59 AM
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statia, I love your moment.....

I personally love my early morning escapes from the room (while dh snoozes) , finding an open cafe, and having my first cafe creme and reading quietly...... early morning Paris just thrills me.
mitchdesj is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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After dinner on our last night, we were walking back to the hotel when we saw a man wallking his gorgeous black lab. We have a yellow lab that I missed terribly, so I began talking to the man about his dog. We chatted for only a few minutes, but I learned his dog's name and age and told him in my best French (it gets so much better apres vin!) about how Lucy would love to play with India. We decided they should be penpals! Well, not really, but it is one of my fondest memories of being in the city, talking about dogs, not being a tourist at all!
ilovelabs2003 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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A few years ago I took a group of High School students to Paris. During an evening cruise on the bateau mouche, we witnessed one of the most incredible sunsets ever. After the ride, as we were walking by the tower the lights began to sparkle. The reason I had to answer this post is because 2 students who were on that trip stopped to see me over Thanksgiving and talked about how special that night was to them. (One of them has been back to Paris and may be working there next summer)
Beatle is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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We still joke about our stop in a boulangerie near the Eiffel in 1997. We bought premade salads topped with chicken for lunch. Hubby asked the shoplady for "le sel et poivre, s'il vous plait"...We got the classic response:
"Noh. Eeet's een thare."
Of course we know better now.

I can say that the very first time we saw Paris was at the conclusion of our 1996 Trafalgar tour. As the bus entered the center of Paris, the Tour Eiffel came into view. The entire bus oohed and ahhed, grabbed cameras, jostled for position, all as if they might never see it again!
Travelnut is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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goatee: I have enjoyed reading these. Good idea. Two "moments" come to mind.
We had made dinner reservations at La Fontaine de Mars at #1 Rue de L'Exposition. It was Friday night and the place was very busy. All the outside tables were taken. The Madame took us up three flights of stairs to a small dining room where their were two tables, the other ccupied by a young couple. It was like eating in a private dining room. The Madame was very freindly (she had apologized all the way up the stairs even as we assured her it was all right). As is our custom, we ordered a bottle of wine and had our appetizers and it came time to order our entrees. I ordered the veal kidney chops and with that she put down her pad, bent toward me and gave me a big hug saying "you are the first American to order veal kidney chops in my restaurant". Well, I am not sure this was true, but we had a great dinner. The Madame trudged up and down those stairs I don't know how many times to see to our enjoyment and always with a kind word. A truly wonderful evening.
The second "moment" was upon our arrival on our first trip to Paris. We stayed at the Hilton and when we were taken to our room, I glanced out the open French Doors and saw the Trocadero across the River Seine. I thought to myself, "nice view" and began to unpack. In a few minutes, I stepped out onto the balcony and "wham", there it was, the Tour Eiffel in all its glory. I spent late evenings (after dinner) just taking in the lighted Tower from our balacony. What an introduction to Paris.
I hope we can keep this thread going. Brings back great memories.
joegri is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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What beautiful stories!!! Thank you everyone.
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 03:34 PM
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Walking at night in Pigalle and seeing two Parisian whores getting into a cat fight, pulling at each others hair and screaming like hell - not a happy sight but a memorable one.
And the one when a delivery truck double parked, blocking in a young lady in her parking spot. When i walked by the lady was going crazy about being stuck and she saw the truck driver and lit into him immediately - she had no patience or diplomacy in her reaction but just screamed at the guy. So he starts moving slowly towards his truck and then fiddles around inside, just to provoke her further then finally scoots his truck ahead just enough so the lady could barely liberate her car out of the spot. As she was frantically trying to do this the delivery guy got out of his truck and yell loudly for everyone to hear: A seche, A seche, while pointing at his pants. (For the non-French speaking crowd seche means dry, like in suck me dry!) I've seen many hot arguments involving cars and parking in Paris but this was the most bizarre.
PalQ is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 12:22 PM
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The first time I went to Paris, my very new SO and I took the Chunnel into the city from London. It was February 14th (Valentine's Day) and an unseasonably warm 80 degrees! We went to the Eiffel Tower around 8:00 PM. The weather was so warm and the Eiffel Tower was so lacy and amazingly beautiful. When we went back to the hotel, "Casablanca"-in English was on the TV. Tres romantique! I fell madly in love with Paris and my SO.
gomiki is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 10:43 PM
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Hehe, reading about some of the fights you have seen brought to mind one that I saw. I must have had a sheltered life because I have never seen a real fist fight in real life. That is, until my first trip to Paris. I was riding on the métro and at one of the stops, someone peddling some sort of magazine got on and loudly tried to sell copies of it.. I didn't understand everything he was saying, but as the train came to a stop at a station and the door opened, he must have said something, probably something like "buy this magazine or keep snoozing in your petty bourgeois lives" (at least that's how I imagined it). Anyway, this really provoked some older gentleman because he got up, yelling at the peddlar, and they both got off the métro and started swinging at each other right on the platform! I would have seen more but the door closed and the train continued down the line...
goatee is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 04:14 PM
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I have had many wonderful Paris moments but the mental snapshot that haunts me in the loveliest way took place two years ago on an overcast February Sunday in the garden of the Place des Vosges.
A Jewish wedding had just ended in the oldest synagogue in Paris and a stunningly beautiful bride in a gorgeous white strapless gown and her handsome groom were posing for photos.
At the same time a beautiful little girl, I'd guess to be about 4 or 5, was walking in the park with her father when she came upon the bride. The little girl was mesmerized by the beautiful bride. The bride stopped in front of the little girl, bent down to eye level, plucked a rose from her bouquet and handed it to her. The looks on both their faces could have been a Richard Avedon photo. It was utterly charming.
jddet is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Drinking beer from a can through a straw at a Quik fast food restaurant in the Belleville area with 5 others in order to say that we'd had a drink in that arrondissement as part of our plan to drink a toast to my husband in each of the 20 arrondissements of Paris on his 60th birthday.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Two -- one magical, one miserable.

1. Sitting on (in?) the Eiffel Tower writing postcards home, while waiting for the rain to stop.

2. Having dinner in a lovely restaurant, but, seated next to a newly married, young couple from America and listening to the bride rip her new mother-in-law to pieces -- with a few other relatives thrown in for good measure. Seems she was disappointed in some of the wedding gifts. I wanted to reach across and smack them both. Her for being horrible, and him for not sticking up for his Mom. They spoiled what was otherwise a very nice dinner.
Tries2PakLite is offline  

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