"Paris - Over 40 years of love and hate." Top 5 Page for this destination Paris by pfsmalo
Paris Travel Guide: 22,902 reviews and 56,819 photos
Having first come to Paris in October 1970, I moved from London in March 1971. Stayed just 18 months, during which time I married, and went back to London. We then decided to come back in May 1975 and have stayed in France ever since, albeit since 1980 in St. Malo.
My love/hate relationship with Paris has been an ongoing thing since those early days. Driving a taxi in Paris is no easy thing and I hated the place for it's traffic, noise and Parisian attitudes. Over the years a fondness for the streets of Paris has developed, a thing that I can't say about London anymore. Although Paris has been re-developed since the 70's there are still pockets of urban life as it was back then. The great thing about Paris is its manageable size. If you get tired walking, you're never that far from a metro station. And walking is the way to see Paris, keeping your nose off the floor (the Paris town hall doesn't allow dogs to s**t anymore) and being aware of your surroundings.
** - Words spoken by Arletty, taken from the 1938 film "Hotel du Nord", directed by Marcel Carné.
Having so many friends around Paris means that you won't find much in the way of hotel reviews here. Having so many friends also means that I don't have to eat out that often but you will find a few restaurants reviews, although now, since I wrote that, in 2012 a couple have now gone on their last journey, so you may now see the odd review for a hotel or restaurant. I am not a museum buff and not an art gallery person so you may not find much in that direction either. I also believe that there are enough tips by Vters like Beatchick, Guyon, Shrimp56, my friend Nemorino and others of the main Paris sights, that I don't feel the need to include them myself, although there may be one or two tips that do include photos of these places.
I certainly do not profess to know all of Paris or discovered all its little passages and courtyards, but if you are looking for the pretty side, the little known, the out of the way, the oddity, then you may find a photo here somewhere. I am trying to organise things by arrondissement to make things a little easier to find them on foot. There is no better way of seeing Paris, just use the bus or metro for the longer distances or getting home. If you prefer a bicycle to walking, I can only reiterate the tips by my friend Don (Nemorino) for cycling around Paris are top of the class and are to be read.
I would like to dedicate these pages to my wife and my father in law (RIP), who first took me to those parts of Paris (Belleville, Menilmontant, Charonne and Croulebarbe) where tourists don't seem to go much, and where the real heart of Paris is. Also to Patrice, who was my first friend in Paris in 1970, and stayed my very best friend until he passed away in May 2010.
I must also say that I have been inspired by many of the VT'ers here that have written about Paris. Thanks also to the following in helping plan my routes.
www.parislenezenlair.fr (also good for historical facts and some great anecdotes.)
Leonard Pitt for his book "Walks through the lost Paris".
Editors "Parigramme" for a fine series of books about the lesser known Paris.
Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis and Gerard Lavalette for being human before being great photographers of Paris.
And lastly to Vt'er Elodie-Caroline for telling me I could write as well as take photographs.
** As we are often asked about toilet facilities in Paris, follow this link and you'll find a full list of the emplacements of the "sanisettes" free of charge maintained by the city council.
I have now added these lists on my "Local Customs "pages to save you the trouble of searching.
- Pros:So many things to see and do!!
- Cons:Traffic can be a pain in the a***
- In a nutshell:There's always something new to see.
At no 4 rue Monsigny and also having an entrance in Passage Choiseul is the theatre of the "Bouffes-Parisiennes".... more travel advice
Out in the far-flung wastes of the 12th arrondissement is the Villa du Bel-Air, whose only real interest lies in the... more travel advice
pfsmalo's Related Pages
Paris Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
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- "Paris - Over 40 years of love and hate."
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