Paris Local Custom Tips by davequ
Paris Local Customs: 773 reviews and 797 photos
Had an dejeuner with ExGuy in a very interesting and beautiful setting, Musee Jacquemart-Andre.
After lunch at the pleasant cafe in the museum, we took a leisurely tour of what was a highlight from my Paris trips.
Musee Jacquemart-Andre lives up to and I think supasses its billing as a "magnificent 19th century residence built by Edouard Andre and his wife Nelie Jacquemart."
It is a wonderful trip back in time to what is in my opinion the glorious and beautiful era in Paris history, filled with art and furniture from the period, but even more important it really took me back to and shared a special lifestyle few in the history of the world ever were fortunate enough to experience. Highly recommended (food was good too).
Website for the museum is here:
so take the visual tour, but as Paul originally recommended years ago and I now heartily agree, find it at 158, bd Haussmann (Metro: Saint-Philippe du Roule or Miromesnil work pretty well), have lunch in the cafe, and enjoy a beautiful Paris treasure.
PS ... Like an insensitive ignoramus I took some fotos (non-flash) in the museum (they don't want you to) until a security guard discreetly and in a pleasant way informed me that was not policy. For that reason I'm only posting a couple of them.
Update: They finally posted some excellent interior photographs for everyone to check out.
Phone: +33 1 45 62 11 59
Be polite.... or else..
How polite you are in French to Parisians will most likely determine how polite and helpful they are to you.
Every time you encounter someone you meet or do business/pleasure with, begin the conversation with "Bonjour" and when your conversation is finished and you are ready to leave, end the conversation with either "Merci. Au revoir, monsieur." or a less formal "Merci, bonjour."
"Bon soir " if the sun has gone down..
It doesn't matter if you just saw or spoke to that person half an hour ago.... do it every time.
Everyone except intimate/close friends is to be addressed formally as "Madame, Monsieur, vous", etc.)
Please (sil vous plait ) and thanks (merci ) cannot be over-used.
I try never to initiate a conversation in Paris without first saying:
"Excusez-moi de vous deranger" ("Excuse me for bothering you")
and I almost never fail to actually get giggles, even hugs, and lots of extra warmth, help & attention when I tell someone who assists me how kind/pleasant/helpful
"Vous etes tres aimable"
or how kind/nice they are (if they really go out of their way for me):
"Merci, c'est tre gentil de votre part. "
Granted the usage above is my terrible french, but even the most tourist-hardened Parisian citizens and merchants seem to melt & "light up" just because of the effort.
Using polite, formal conversation seasoned with lots of sil vous plaits and mercis will grease the wheels greatly for you.
Here are some excellent videos
that literally spoonfeed you all you need to know.
If you practice the phrases listed at the video link above or the website below on this tip, I think you will find out how truly polite, helpful, and special Parisians are.
get your mind out of the gutter
François "rôtissant ses châtaignes"
Smoke haters must lose their minds in Paris.
I quit (for health reasons) some time ago, but when others smoke it doesn't enrage me like it does some people. I just figure they (smokers) are as stupid as I was, and everyone is allowed to be stupid at some time in their life. I've made a career out of it.
Truth be told I still smoke (only outside or in my favorite bar) when I go to Paris, then quit when I go home, so feel free to start throwing things at any time.
"La mort à l'hypocrite ! !" ..... (thunk ...)
Watch out in Paris if you don't like smoke, as it seems like people smoke everywhere, though this appears to be definitely changing, and despite the 'group-think' / political correctness of the non-smoker lobby, all things considered that is probably a good thing.
UPDATE 1/17/'07 -
Art Buchwald, a world-class columnist who lived, ate, loved, drank & wrote in Paris for almost 2 decades (post WWII until the Kennedy administration of 1960) died today at age 81.
A true Paris gourmand, writer, flaneur, and former notorious cigar smoker, known for ruining other peoples meals at Coupole and Tour d'Argent with his awful stogies-
had some great quotes about Paris / smoking in his Washington Post column:
Adieu to the City of Lighters
written in the last year of his life. Some quotes below:
"It is hard to imagine France as a smoke-free country.
Only the old movies will show people smoking. If "Casablanca" were filmed today, Humphrey Bogart's nightclub would have signs all over it saying "Sans Fumee" (No Smoking).
Imagine the hookers in Pigalle standing in doorways, biting their nails.
A French friend, Henri Fouquet, said, "When Americans stopped smoking, their culture went downhill. It will happen in France." "
Adieu Art - we will miss you.
All the above - © 2007 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive & Art Buchwald
I may be easily amused and know little about architecture, but I love all the beautiful pillars all over Paris, from Place Vendome to the faux gold ones outside the Tuilerie,
especially during "magic hour" right before sunset.
Collingnon... down the john!
I can't help but laugh at the French sense of humor expressed in the film Amelie
(Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain)
during (Jamel Debbouze) Lucien's recitation of the merits and character of the vile "Collignon."
One negative effect of the film "Amelie" is intensified overcrowding and gentrification of Montmartre,
but let's face it, parts of this movie are funny and overall it's a good film.
One of my Paris guilty pleasures:
Admiring the basic style, "Bon gout" or good taste - one of the reasons why sitting at a cafe is the joy that it is.
Style is buyin' your moms a house
Style is a clean mouth
Style is puppy breath
Style is no fear of death
non merci, had lunch awready ....
Wonder what the special is here?
A cafe / brassierie south of Place Pigalle on rue Jean Baptiste Pigalle
Il est temps pour une douche froide.
Paris fashion models are a reflection of what in my opinion is the Paris essence of style, found nowhere else in the world.
My friend Anthony sometimes gets lucky enough to photograph the glamorous models of Paris.
Tough duty Anthony.
Some other photos can be found here:
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