You Say Arrondissement, I Say

Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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You Say Arrondissement, I Say

Near the Eiffel Tower! or Montparnasse area....

Would it be too much trouble to add a landmark or area when referring to a specific arrondissement? Unless you are totally familiar with these areas (or a posturing phony-LOL), mentioning arrondissement without further info means nothing to me. Am I alone in this?
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:13 AM
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This should help, bookmark it and you are good to go:

http://www.beau-paris.com/vacation-r...n_parismap.htm
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Thanks DebitNM but that's an extra step I'd rather NOT have to take, hence the request.

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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:36 AM
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Not totally, because it would still be worth your while to not only have the locations of famous tourist sights, but to start by looking at a good birds'-eye view map of Paris and getting a grip on the urban layout.

http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/arrondissements.htm

Familiarize yourself with the idea that Paris spread out over time from an historic core, and the numbers roughly follow concentric rings of development. The city has been renovated many times from its birth, but it still bears a certain imprint of its medieval beginnings, so that the lower the number of the arrondisement, the more medieval the layout (roughly speaking).

If your attraction to Paris is 19th c. fin di siecle, you might want to stay in the parts of Paris that flourished when the vision of the city was to usher in an age of New Art or Art Nouveau. (6 to 9). This is probably the Paris most people are most sentimental about.

If you are more interested in the streetscape of pre-revolutionary Paris, stay in 5 and below. Above 9, you start to get into independent villages incorporated into greater Paris, and they can have interesting remnants of their former selves, and also have great local histories for being the "cheap" places artists fled to in search of affordable rents.

Of course you can find examples of every moment of history throughout Paris, but that might give you some picture of where you want to locate yourself in Paris.

If you have a long list of disconnected tourist sites -- one day the Louvre, the next day Moulin Rouge, another day Laduree, better to just get a good detailed street map of Paris that also delineates the arrondisement. Put a circle around every sight you know you definitely want to see. Pick a hotel near the greatest concentration of your circles.

Parisians identify with their arrondisement in the same way New Yorkers identify with their cultural neighborhood, so it is worth getting some feeling for their differences. A New Yoerker, when asked where he or she lives, will most often answer: "Lower East side" or "hell's kitchen" or "Chelsea." Although only a handful of Parisian neighborhoods go by a name instead of a number, Parisians have an attachment to their corner of the city.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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You're probably not alone in not knowing what landmarks are in what arrondissement but what is the context of your request?

The only time I recall people mentioning arrondissements is in responding to the "where to stay" question or in trip reports. Aren't guide books organized by arrondissements so that would give people a reference.

I would love to help out with this but I have no idea what you mean. Please help the responders understand your request. Thanks!
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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Another question - if people don't understand where arrondissements are located (and they are clearly noted on maps) then will they understand where Montparnasse is (for example)? Will they understand a reference to the Cluny Museum as a landmark?
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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Funny! DebiNM and I were posting at the same time.

I don't know what to say TDudette, if you want to visit Paris but you don't want to "take the extra step" of understanding the layout of the city. To me, it's like somebody complaining that someone told them the Metropolitan Museum was on the upper east side of Manhattan, while the DIA foundation is in Chelsea, and they don't want' to take the "extra step" of learning the difference between these two locales.

I've really nothing against people parachuting into a city with a sightseeing list and checking it off. I've done it. (I've been to Brussels more than once and still have no clue about the city of Brussels. I simply bee-lined from one sight of interest to another.)

But if you want to know Paris, the arrondisement are essential to its urbanity, and you can't skip that step if you want to come to know the greatest urban space ever created in Europe.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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Sorry for persistently misspelling arrondissement in my posts! (I'm not setting a good example, but I hope you catch my drift.)
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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My dear friends, my request was as simple as I am. There are many folks who are new to this forum and new to traveling. If someone says, "I want to stay near the Eiffel Tower", then knowing the names of the hotels is what's important to them. I suppose that's the context, adrienne.

DH and I visited Paris several times. We never once said "Let us pop over to the 3rd and see the Montparnasse Tower"! Indeed, the DK book we used over the years shows a map of Central Paris. Although the map IS color-coded by arrondissement, the areas are named (e.g., Latin Quarter, The Marais) not arrondissement number. The word arrondissement is not to be found on these map pages (1997 edition, pp.12-13). In later sections, DK further refines its introduction into those time frames which Zeppole named, but DK again refers to sites and street maps.

Get it?
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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It is pretty easy to remember where the Eiffel Tower is located and still not know it is in the 7th and what is the necessity of knowing the arrondissement number when you already KNOW where something is located?
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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I understadn where you are coming form TDudette, I have been to Paris 4 times and I agree. I think I have the lay of the land now, but if I was just researching for the first itme I ouwld rather know the landmarks to start...
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Hey TD,

>that's an extra step I'd rather NOT have to take, hence the request. <

Why should I spend extra time helping you with each arrond if you can;t be bthered to look at a map and learn them for yourself?

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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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After Zep mentioned the areas in New York City, I took myself to that DK book (sorry Fodor's but DH and I loved the DKs). Its intro map does have areas marked by name but the print is quite smaller than the Paris one and the photo insets (or are they outsets?) are much larger. Again, the emphasis is on the site.

There's nothing wrong with mentioning the general area-just make it a little more "newbie friendly".
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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If I say you should head to Oberkapmf or Belleville, does that mean more to you than if I say you should head to this or that arrondissement? I'm not sure I understand the inherent connection between an arrondissement number and a name designation for a certain part of Paris.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:06 AM
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There's a difference between giving map references (arrondissements) prior to a trip and talking about going some place once you are in Paris. I think if people are so new to Paris and have limited knowledge they won't understand Latin Quarter or Marais any better than 4th or 5th.

Knowing the arrondissement is helpful when looking for hotels as the last 2 digits of the postal code is the arrondissement. This gives a good reference if you don't know where the street is located.

Even though Let's Go taught me to identify Paris areas by arrondissement many years ago I will try to be more helpful to others and identify the area and arrondissement, if I know what the area is called.

The problem is that I only know the names for a few areas - I have no idea what the alternate name is for the 1st, 2nd, 7th through 15th and the 17th. I don't have a DK book and I'd rather not take the extra step either to find out. Oh well.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Good points, StCirq and adrienne. But you would know the name of the site, yes? Again, I'm just trying to make it easier for some of us....
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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A tad snarky, ira. Surely you understood what I am asking.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:29 AM
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TDudette,

I'm not clear as to why you think the behavior of you and your husband is typical or relevant. I have been in Paris many times with my husband and said: "Let's go up to the 18th and get some exercise!" (Or vice versa: "Oh, please. That's in the 18th! I just don't feel up to it." I also have feeings about the 14eme, and the 2eme.

You brought this up, and I think you've gotten many nice responses. I'm also not clear why your accusing people of somehow making your life miserable.

It is common parlance in many cities to talk about a general area and expect other people to know what they are talking about. If you were visiting New York, I suppose I could say: "The restaurant is not far from where the Naked Cowboy stands," but most people wouldn't be too confused if I said "It's near Times Square" (even though the Times building is no longer in Times Square).

Learning how to orienting yourself mentally by arrondissement is much easier, I think, than memorizing where Murray Hill is in relation to Morninghside Heights if you want to get from the Morgan Library to the cathedral of St John the Divine. If you know you are in the 2eme, and your guidebook gives an address of a restaurant with a "zip code" ending in "15", you know you can't walk there to for lunch.
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:31 AM
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Sorry for all those many typos! I really must start using the preview button!
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Old Sep 4th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Let me try this:

To me it is just as easy to keep in my head where the 7eme is in relation to the 2eme as it is to keep in my head where the east 20s are in New York in relation to Queens or the west 50s. I had to learn both by looking at maps, but it wasn't very hard. Paris is easy, but if you refuse to take the step of looking a map, of course finding places is hard!
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