Paris Local Custom Tips by GUYON
Paris Local Customs: 788 reviews and 839 photos
It may be a vulgar topic but also a practical concern.
The solutions :
* PUBLIC LAVATORY : there is a sign (generally not free, some in the metro stations).
* TRAIN STATIONS (idem);
* MUSEUMS (but often after the entrance);
* DEPARTMENT STORES : at the ground floor ;
* PUBLIC PARKINGS : at the -1 floor (generally free). If you do not find them ask the cashier, he does not check your parking ticket
* SANISETTE (small booths on the footpaths as shown on the photograph. Now free in Paris -
See : http://www.atkielski.com/inlink.html?/PhotoGallery/Paris/General/SanisetteSmall. tml);
* FAST FOODS (if there is a code on the toilet lock, find a ticket from a customer : there is the code on it OR wait at the door),
* Enter in a crowdy COFFEE SHOP and go directly to the toilets.
The free toilets can be dirty and the paying ones are sometimes not clean.
The staff (in French : Dame Pipi) is often rude.
I advice you, as an example, to try the managing director of the toilets which are at the bottom of Sacre Coeur, on the right. You would be lucky if you don't understand French.
Since the January 1st 2002, the currency in force in France is the Euro.
One face is common for all the European countries which are in the Euro Area. The other is special for France.
BUT YOU CAN USE THE EURO EVEN IF A COIN OR A BILL IS ISSUED BY AN OTHER EURO COUNTRY.
4 years after the launch of the new money, I can tell :
- we speak "Euro" except for large amounts (the price of a building for example)
- we know some prices in € : the "baguette de pain", meal at the restaurant, a theatre ticket,
- the main change stays in the huge number of small coins (1, 2, 5 €) we handle.
I can say : IT WORKS.
To see all the coins : click on the photograph.
The Paris districts map looks like a snail. The first one is in the center and the 20th is in the periphery.
The 'arrondissements' are a common way to identify an area in the capital.
... And an inhabitant. Those of the 16th are considered richer than somebody living in the 19th.
Initially, Paris was shared into parishs and, during the Revolution, sections. At the beginning of the 19th Century, there were 12 arrondissements.
In 1860, Napoleon 3rd decided to include within Paris the villages which are protected by the fortifications recently built and he added 8 new 'arrondissements'. Some of them have kept their village atmosphere : Montmartre for example.
Paris is wrapped in the Boulevard Peripherique which is a highway (see the special tip page on "Transportation"). Often, the quicker way passes by the Peripherique eventhough it is not the more direct one.
There is also a quay ('voies sur Berge') which crosses the Capital W - E (one way) on the right bank.
My GG uncle, Alexandre, tinsmith 130 years ago
If you search your family roots in Paris you can go to the Paris Archives 18 Bd Serrurier (Metro : Porte des Lilas) 3220.127.116.11.23, fax : 318.104.22.168.34.
Mon 1:30 - 5:20 PM; Tu - Fr 9:30 AM - 5:20 PM. (entrance on the photograph)
Ancient vital statistics restored after the Big Fire of May 1871, lot of files (i.e. : marriages during the Revolution), tax registration.
See also the Archives Nationales (see my travelogue 'Pl des Vosges) 11 rue des 4 Fils (métro : Rambuteau) : the lawyers archives. It is the main genealogical ressource for 16 and 17° centuries.
The number of communications are limited at the same time and per day. The staff do not speak English and has no time 'to spoil' with visitors. You have to do the search by yourself.
But it is totally free.
See on the travelogue of my Annapolis page, the story of the ancestor who was a follower of John Paul Jones, the first commander of the US Navy.
The walls of Paris are invaded by drawings and tags which have not generally the quality of this one.
On the picture, a drawing made for the "2002 Paris Plage" (see "off the beaten path").
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