Living like a true Parisian

Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 02:36 PM
  #1  
Patricia
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Living like a true Parisian


I am sort-of fulfilling a daydream of mine to travel to Paris for several weeks and pretend to be a Parisian.

What things can I do to experience the real and true Paris as the Parisians do?? (or to come as close as I can)?

Many thanks!
Patricia
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 03:25 PM
  #2  
SharonM
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I think the above "Help Me with Dress Codes" thread would be of utmost assistance to you. I don't see how you could go wrong with such insightful advice!
Let us know if we may help you further!
Oh yeah....wear a beret! (pink, of course)
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 03:34 PM
  #3  
Pepe
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Don't bathe and be rude to the tourists. Complain about America as you eat a Big Mac and frites
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 03:46 PM
  #4  
Me
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Grocery shop daily at the street marches. Buy only what you need for the day so that you enjoy everything at its freshest.

Spend time in the parks and squares - Parisians really know how to enjoy their outdoor environment.

Go to the basement of the BHV and marvel at the hardware section.

Have your morning cafe creme standing at the bar rather than seated. Have your afternoon vin rouge seated outside to enjoy the people-watching.

Learn to carry a baguette everywhere (with the required small white tissue paper wrapper!).

Eat dinner at 9:00 or later.

Most of all, enjoy every bit of every day!
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 05:00 PM
  #5  
joan
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rent an apt!
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 05:40 PM
  #6  
PatriciaV2
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Thanks everyone so far. Great responses!

Pepe-
I intend to complain, throw big fits and pout as much as possible ;-) -- that's just me!!!

Sharon-
I will try your suggestion, but will wear a pink tube top with a fuschia colored skirt...and lime green socks (to match of course)!

To Me (I mean you --I mean me)-
Those are great suggestions! I will try the marketing thing. Just imagine to be able to buy fresh bread daily!! What a luxury. What is BHV?

Joan-
I did actually think about renting an apartment. But it seems kind of expensive. If you rented one, what did you think about it? That is another dream... ahhh to dream....maybe one day....

Thanks everyone so far for the dramatic and humorous ideas. Loved them. And please, keep the ideas coming in!

Patricia

 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 06:25 PM
  #7  
terry
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Yes--I also want to know what BHV is so I can go there. How about it, ME?
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 06:48 PM
  #8  
SharonM
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heheheeh....ee...
OH! and take a train into Paris after being awake over 48hrs...ck in...take the metro at Place Monge...eat great mussels, meet some Greek guys that don't speak english and only a little french...(i know spanish and portuguese...)...hang out in a loft, miss the last train, get back, meet the australian fashion guy...oh yeah....etc, etc...
The Louvre was good too.
Sharon...

PS..."Mauve" is soooooooooo gauche! Oh! and I do Love the tube idea!!! It gets so warm sometimes! It's called "layering"...
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 06:50 PM
  #9  
SharonM
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Oh yeah...pouting IS good!
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 07:00 PM
  #10  
traveler
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Patricia

Lose 30 pounds before you go and learn how to gracefully drape a gorgeous silk scarf around your neck.

Bon voyage
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 07:22 PM
  #11  
Me
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Hi Patricia and Terry,

The BHV is the Bazaar Hotel de Ville - a wonderful department store across the Rue de Rivoli from the Hotel de Ville. It has EVERYTHING! The fabric section on floor 5 or 6 (I forget!) is great. I buy remnants at great prices and bring them home to make tablecloths & napkins. They have fabric that looks like Souliedo (sp?), but a fraction of the cost. Great kitchenware, clothes, and stoves with the rotisserie function built right in. (I love this store!)

For apartments, check out www.chezvous.com. We've used them three times and been very pleased. Here's a hint - in November, you can take 30% off the prices shown on the web.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 07:24 PM
  #12  
elvira
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I've rented an apartment in Paris to fulfill *my* dream of being a Parisian; they are affordable if you give up the "penthouse in the 7th with antique furnishings" and look at "comfortable studio in the 19th".

Buy a monthly metro pass; buy a coffee bowl and drink your cafe au lait every morning from it, eating your croissant or bread over it; read constantly - books, magazines, newspapers; wear simple, basic colors and styles; learn to tie a scarf with panache; find a boulangerie that you swear is better than the one next door; choose a brand of bottled water that's good for your liver; learn about French politics and form an opinion (even if you never share it with anyone); learn to jut your lower lip and shrug your shoulders to show either disdain or nonchalance; get a library card; buy the purse that everyone is carrying; go to church on Sunday or shul on Saturday; patronize the same restaurant until they recognize you and remember where you like to sit; ditto the greengrocer, patisserie, boulangerie and wine shop; buy a newspaper every morning; stroll after dinner; ask at the Sorbonne if there's a student who'd like to teach you French in return for practicing English with him/her; find the current hot spot and go at least once; walk with purpose during the day, and amble at night; walk, take the metro, learn to ride the buses.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2000, 08:34 PM
  #13  
Me
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Yes - thank you Elvira - bottled water is essential. The last few times we've been in Paris, the brand in vogue seemed to be Badoit.

Also forgot to mention Monoprix and Prusinic (small dept. stores - kind of like a Mervyn's with a market) - good prices. Also the G20 for quick market items (yogurt, water, butter from Normandy or the Poitou, paper towels, etc.) and Nicolas for wines - yum!

If you happen to rent an apartment, you must buy a rotisserie chicken from a traiture who lets the chicken drippings drop down onto small new potatoes roasting underneath. There are several on the Rue St. Antoine in the Marias. Great - now I'm hungry AND missing Paris!
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 12:14 AM
  #14  
francesca
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Drag yourself out of bed in the morning and down to the cafe across the street.

Don't forget to say hi to the concierege, who is kind enough to do your ironing and keep you posted on local building gossip.

Shake hands with or kiss on both cheeks nearly everyone in there, then eat your
cafe and tartine (buttered bread--croissants are for tourists). Peruse the front page of Liberation. Gag on the smoke, leave.

Walk to the metro, where, for technical reasons, "service is perturbed" with a 20 minute wait for a train. Resign yourself to walking 3 kilometers (around 2 miles) to work, through the
Champs de Mars and up the steps of the Palais de Chaillot--it'll be raining and cold, since we are talking August in Paris, not California.

Have an unproductive morning at work as you are the only one there--everyone else is on vacation. Decide to take advantage with a 3 hour lunch (only one hour more than usual) with a girlfriend. Go to the brasserie across the street (NB: not listed in Cheap Eats), sit outside and have a perfect sole meuniere with half a bottle
of wine each. Check out what's left of the summer sales (not much, unless you're a size 4).

Return home in time to run a few errands. Curse the lack of service mentality at the dry cleaners
and the post office and then go to the "supermarket" (locals rarely have time for the outdoor market, and it's considered way too expensive). Bemoan the nearly bare shelves---we're talking Moscow in the 70s here. There is no milk or sugar--they are simply "out".
When you suggest that such items are basics, get the indifferent Gallic shrug (see Elvira's post).

Take one tearful moment to miss your Star Market in the good ol' USA, open 'til midnight with its bulging shelves, icy air conditioning, smiling cashiers...

See the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the twilight, as it does every hour on the hour for 10 minutes (at least for the rest of this year) and thank God that you live in this beautiful city. Swear that you will never take it for granted.
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 05:49 AM
  #15  
SharonM
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Read "Paris Trance" by Geoff Dyer.
Oh...and go to art school.
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 06:09 AM
  #16  
elvira
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oh oh oh oh oh francesca, I love it! I totally forgot about the 'perturbed' service! And we both failed to mention (probably because it's part of the landscape): on any given day, some service or other will be interrupted by a strike...see: Gallic shrug...
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 12:38 PM
  #17  
Oliver
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More please, this is fun!
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 01:42 PM
  #18  
terry
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Yes--plz continue. It's wonderful to read these ideas from seasoned Fodorites, especially since I'm leaving for Paris on Tuesday. Q: are the Metro steps really as steepand multitudinous (killer) as some threads indicate? HELP! Merci. Terry
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 03:07 PM
  #19  
Me
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Hi Terry,

The steps in the Metro vary from stop to stop. Some have very few steps (the Pont Marie stop comes to mind), and some are killers (like Abbesses (sp??) in Montmartre).

Many of the stops have escalators as well as steps, and the exit (sortie) signs will show a picture of an escalator if there is one. Others, like Abbesses and Cite have an elevator.

Have a wonderful trip!
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 05:22 PM
  #20  
Caitlin
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Francesca, you've never spent an august in coastal northern California, have you?
 

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