PARIS - LOVE IT OR HATE IT?

Jan 30th, 2009, 12:56 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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I love Paris and I really didn't think I would... Not sure why, just always thought I'd love London (which I do) and probably not like Paris. I have been there 3 times now and would go back again and again. For some reason it seems magical to me. Unlike a lot of people, I don't really like Venice.
GirlScoutMom is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 01:30 PM
  #22  
 
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I do love Paris. I love big cities and big museums and city sophistication. I love to look at all the different types of people: the ones that are chic; the ones that are tourists; the business people; the artists.

I especially love the availability of great art from so many periods, including in the present. I love the food and the markets. I love the guy that was dancing to a funky techno beat while he rang up my purchase and stopped to twirl around before finishing our transaction.

That's the sort of thing that hardly ever happens to me in tiny towns.

I love New York. I had a friend that hated it with a passion.

I hate Napoli, but people here think I'm nuts. A woman there punched in the arm, two nasty teen girls yelled at us, I don't like garbage. I don't think Neapolitans are particularly rude; I just think I ran into a couple of nasty ones. We had very bad service (I mean VERY bad) in two restaurants, and a less than helpful desk clerk at our hotel. I still don't think it was all the people, but the ones that were put in my path.

However, experiences influence our desire to revisit a city. I would go almost any place before Naples.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Jan 30th, 2009, 02:13 PM
  #23  
 
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Micah-What specific type of "rudeness" was it? You said that you were given examples of it. I'm just curious. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 02:17 PM
  #24  
 
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Interesting post. If I had my way, every vacation I take would be to Paris, I love it so much.

But a co-worker who travels a lot went last year (early 60's, with his wife), and came back complaining that Paris had "gotten dirty and loud." Didn't have a good time at all.

I can't argue with his perception, but I do think his expectations must have been a bit skewed. Paris is fantastic because it is both a working city and a living museum. One of the many wonderful things about it is that you do have to deal with lots of people and cars, but then you get to one of the dozens of historic oases, and its as if the nearest car were 100 miles away.

Near the end of our trip, we were walking back from the Eiffel Tower and Musee Quai Branly toward the 6th, and came upon what I would describe as the back end of the Invalides: a huge open grass area that spanned from the Invalides complex all the way to the Seine. It was just awesome in scope, and even though it was just grass and I've never noticed it mentioned in any books, it was like walking into a massive relaxation vat, and all the traffic and noise was suddenly gone. Just one of dozens of wonderful moments in a wonderful city.

To each his own, but for me, I love Paris!

laughingd2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 02:36 PM
  #25  
 
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First of all, the word fiasco means failure, I think you meant furor and certainly not Fuhrer.

We have traveling to Paris for over 35 years. I am tired of the rudeness debate since we have been the beneciary of largesse and the object of derision.

Traveling is not about you, it is about where you are visiting. One should do their homework and understand what they will like and what may surprise them.

Parisians are judgemental, accept it. I was 22 when i first visited Paris. The onus was on us to find what interested us, the burden is not on the city.

So both sides stop your whining. France is the most visited country in the world by a wide margin, so take the tourist dollars and shut up. And visitors should grow up and learn the world is a bigger and more interesting place than you.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:03 PM
  #26  
 
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I do think the young aren't as enamoured with Paris as the old. My mother loved Paris, the wide boulevards, the courtyard apartments, I liked London better because of it's "vibe" and it's nightlife. However, for me Paris took a number of days to get used to. The language difference was the biggest hurdle, especially with my phrase-book French. It was only when the lady in the corner bakery remembered me as we exchanged greetings that I began to enjoy it. Paris is not so much the sum of the museums /sites as it is relaxing and enjoying the little things like people watching. I found the best treatment, from shops outside the single digit arrondisements.

I did encounter some rude staff, but I've encountered the same in London and here at home. As one of the other posters said, shopkeepers and waitstaff in France and Europe aren't the BFF-type found here in the US.

In the end, it's just different strokes for different folks.

emily71 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:13 PM
  #27  
ira
 
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Hi M,

>I guess I just have to go myself to find out<

Absolutely.

Enjoy your visit.


Who first fell in love with Paris about 45 years ago.
"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety".
ira is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Ok I swore i never would go to Paris because of a bad experience during
a lay over experience on my way to Switzerland. However I did go last
month and had an excellent time and
contrary to my expectations I was treated quite well by everyone I met
I was surprised because of the 1984 experience people were helpful with
directions everyone was nice so I plan to go back
mediaqueen is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:22 PM
  #29  
 
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France is the most visited country in the world by a wide margin

It's true, 82 million to France, and it's closest rival is Spain at less than 60 million, so somebody's not bothered by all that rudeness (just kidding, the only time I noticed the rudeness was when I traveled there as a poor student).

sf7307 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:24 PM
  #30  
 
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I loved Paris when I was a kid.
I loved Paris as a young adult.
I loved Paris as I matured (well, not too mature)
I love Paris as I have become well into being middle-aged.
I'm sure I will love Paris when I'm an old geezer in the not-too-distant future.
In closing, I love Paris!

maitaitom is online now  
Jan 30th, 2009, 04:21 PM
  #31  
 
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We love Paris and have visited some 30+ times but after our first visit over 35 years ago, we swore we'd never return--and didn't for a good 8 years or so. Found the traffic too scary, the hotel staff (at the Intercontinental) too snooty, and everything too uncared for in comparison to Austria which was so clean and orderly, etc, etc. Eventually we lightened up and went a second time and enjoyed ourselves enormously as we have continued to do ever since. A lot depends upon what happens to you on an initial visit--even the weather can make a big difference in forming that first love/hate connection. So give it a chance. And if you're not smitten, give it another.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 06:19 PM
  #32  
pdx
 
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I love it, my feet hate it.
pdx is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 06:41 PM
  #33  
 
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I didn't really like Paris the first two times I visited the city (stayed only a few days), but the third time I went there I stayed for longer (a few weeks, and eventually on subsequent visits, an entire month), and that was when I really discovered how much I had missed from my first two visits.

I think that people "see" what they want to see in a city; if they want to see all the negative aspects of a city, they will. If they want to see all the positive points of a place, they will. I had a similar experience with many other cities -- when I allow things like homeless people and rude waiters bother me, I start to think the entire city isn't as beautiful as people say it is. But when I choose to see the beautiful architecture, history, and enjoy the local cuisines, I realize how wonderful the city actually is.
nancicita is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 06:45 PM
  #34  
 
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I am on the fence.

I was there in 2001 and am going again this year in Sept..

The Marias was a great area and I really enjoyed all the little Jewish bakeries ( ok, all the bakeries )

People were reserved and slightly rude compared to what I am use to.

We were there for a week and didnt see even 1/2 of what we wanted to.

Looking forward to seeing d'Orsay especially.

One thing I loved is how there were dogs everywhere... in cafes..stores


dandj2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 09:48 PM
  #35  
 
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My husband went to Paris when he was in college and didn't much enjoy it. He never wanted to go back, but when I finally threatened to go by myself, he gave in. After all, what kind of husband would he be to let his wife go to Paris by herself?

We both loved it. That first trip there still ranks as one of our very favorites and we've been back twice since. It's very walkable, the Metro is easy to use, and the people-watching is fantastic. We've never been pickpocketed and when we've needed help, people were quite willing to tolerate our bad French and give directions or help us find a taxi. We had one rude waiter--not formal, just bad--but heck, it wouldn't be a trip to Paris without at least one experience like that. More often than not, we've been very pleased with the service in restaurants and hotels, but we're not really the type to chat up the waiters or expect them to be buddy-buddy with us.

I hope you go and have a wonderful time.
Kmania is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:22 AM
  #36  
 
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After all, what kind of husband would he be to let his wife go to Paris by herself?

Why, he'd be a really, really sweet and generous one!

gruezi

(a Paris lover who has been 4 times, so far none with her husband.)
gruezi is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:43 AM
  #37  
 
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As someone who lives in the capital of the World and it's greatest city Paris is always going to struggle in comparison.

However it is a good second to London. It's more expensive, the foods worse (really it is) and the public transport's pony.

But because they are surrender monkeys the architecture is great, the cityscape is fabulous and it is so dinky you can walk everywhere.

And there's that whole MILF thing that the women can pull off so well....
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Jan 31st, 2009, 05:43 AM
  #38  
 
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Planning our 3rd trip to Paris, in September for a month. This is second time for an apartment.
What have we learned about Paris? Parisians aren't rude, they are reserved. Americans need to remember their manners and be very polite. Listen to Parisians on the metros, bus and in restaurants. Rick Steves said in his Paris 2009 book, Parisians would rather have you speak a little bad French and they will correct you than loud English . They speak softly and don't stare at people. They think Americans are loud and we are. We have learned to blend in. We have learned to seek out the side trips and views of the city and to just sit and enjoy the cafes and parks. We ask questions about food and wine even though my husband bought and sold fine wine.

We love Paris because of the experiences we have had and quite frankly, could live there.
tucsontraveler is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:24 PM
  #39  
 
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I loved Paris as a 14 year old with my family. My brother and I felt like we were completely on our own, touring, and shopping, and yes, drinking carafes of wine at the cafeteria on Blvd. St. Germain and another near the Arc Du Triomphe. I think both are long gone. I love Paris just as much now that I am a grandmother. I have been 9 times over the years. It was a long spell of not going between 14 and 46 and then I was free again to travel. If I miss a year going to Paris I have withdrawal pains. I'm in pain this year. We are heading to Istanbul instead, but it's back to Paris in 2010.
opaldog is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:42 PM
  #40  
 
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If there is a God in heaven I will retire in Paris. I have encountered rude people in Paris and I have encountered rudeness in cities all over the world. I personally feel Paris and the French have a bad reputation. I think we misinterpret their formalness with rudeness. Paris isn't for everyone and I don't believe anyone else needs to love it just because I do. I avoided NYC for years because as a kid we were treated so rudely in many places throughout the city. When I finally went back as an adult I couldn't believe how gracious and nice everyone is and I can't wait to return to New York City! It's all about preferences.
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