Paris Never Disappoints

Apr 1st, 1999, 02:42 PM
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Claudette: Two girls travelling together will have so much fun. If you like to cook, check out Dehillerin at 18-20, rue Coquilliere in the 1st arrondissement. The department stores have great stuff in their housewares/glassware departments; they also have 'supermarkets' for fun stuff to take home. The Rodin Museum is wonderful; the man loved women, and it shows in his sculptures. The Balzac house in the 16th is a haven in the noise of the city. The Marmottan Museum in the 16th has Monet's Waterlilies (although I think they're on tour now); the Hotel Carnavalet has all sorts of stuff about the history of France; the flea market in Clignancourt has incredible antique; so does the Louvre des Antiquaires across the street from the Louvre. Rue Mouffetard has a great street market (food); the flea market at Vanves has really tacky stuff as well as fun bargains. Women dining without male companions is very common, and considered a non-event to restaurants (theory is that, after WWII, there were so many widows who'd lost their husbands during the war that women alone became commonplace). Oftentimes, you'll be placed near the window or closest to the sidewalk (theory is that it's a recommendation to passing people that this is a good restaurant). There's been a thread about the snottiness of Parisians, which is true...part of it is the difference between American 'service' and Parisian 'service'. No Parisian waiter will ever come up to you and say "hi my name is Pierre and I'll be your waiter this evening"...nor will they stop by every few minutes "is everything ok?". One, they DON'T want to be your friend; they get paid to serve you. Two, they don't need to ask if everything is ok...because they know it is. If you need something, you just turn around, and they see you and come on over...
Have fun...
Apr 1st, 1999, 05:47 PM
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Vincent, you must be jesting about the "vacation deprived" french worker.

Elvira, don't you wish more french waiters would emigrate to the US? I do miss their professionalism.

I also like the waiters in Italy. Often, they are more animated.
Apr 1st, 1999, 06:13 PM
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John: I would love it if French waiters emigrated here...but I think we'd have to reconsider how we look at the profession. In France (and I think it's throughout most of Europe), waiting on tables is considered a profession, and the waiters are in it for life (more or less). Here in the States, waiting tables is what you do in the summer to earn spending money for college...or while you're waiting for your break on Broadway.
And yes, I like Italian waiters for their animation...things do seem to get done with a flourish.
My favourite waiter story: by myself, in Tours, first one in a seafood restaurant for dinner. They sit me in the window, I order trout. As my waiter brings me my food, the gaggle of waiters huddle behind the serving bar and stare, whispering amongst themselves. I knew what was afoot, Watson...the fish came with head and tail, and they were all waiting for me to either 1)gasp or 2) puke. Foiled the little wiseguys; I had learned how to de-head, -tail, and -bone a fish from a waiter in Italy. Never saw so many crestfallen faces in all my life...but I think I won their grudging admiration because they all started coming to talk to me (practicing their English). I still giggle everytime I get served fish with all its part...
Apr 1st, 1999, 07:49 PM
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My family of 6 are traveling to Spain and then to Paris in May, 1999. I have written down your hotel and restaurant ideas and hope to be able to find/use them when we get there. Would like to find somewhere to stay maybe in Versailles which is just outside of Paris I think so if you have any ideas about hotels in Versailles would appreciate it. Really look forward to experienceing/living Paris!!! Will be with husband, son, daughter-in-law, daughter and son-in-law. Look forward to a wonderful holiday with my family. Any special sites to not miss or other hotel/restaurant ideas, please let me know. Thanks.
Apr 1st, 1999, 11:47 PM
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Mary, after reading about your wonderful trip to Paris, I dropped everything, gathered the whole family and before you knew it we were in beautiful Gay Paris. Well I don't know were to start to tell you what a wonderful, fabulous time we did have. We stayed in the hotel you recomended, it was as absolutely spotless as you said! You should be a restaurant critic, you're right on the mark (merci, merci, merci). My Mother who just turned ninety-one had the best time of her life, she just loved the Eiffel Tower and that fantastic boat cruise you went on with your first daughter. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end - Mother slipped and fell at Versailles and banged herself up pretty badly! We had her air-lifted back to the states. After we got Mother off, we went on to Disneyland, Thanks so much for your recomendations - au Reviour
Apr 2nd, 1999, 05:59 AM
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Thanks Mary and John for the restaurant information. Yes, I do like Italian food! I'm married to an Italian.

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