I’ve been in Paris since May 10th and thought I would compile a list of my random observations so far. This is by no means scientific 🙂
1) le fashion: The Smells Like Teen Spirit crowd tends to favour the following look: le jeans, le Converse sneakers (or canvas shoes by Bensimon with zero arch support), le scarf (must protect the neck at all times) and for women, usually a nylon Longchamp bag. Note – this look differs for the older, more moneyed crowd, where you will see an awful lot of Hermes bags…
2) le smoking: Thankfully restaurants are now smoke-free in Paris. There is an awful lot of smoking in Paris nonetheless. Do not sit near the open door of a restaurant/cafe or you will inhale an awful lot of second hand Marlboro smoke.
3) les dogs: Paris is a dog friendly city and there are plenty of the fluffy critters around. Too bad cleaning up after them appears to be optional. We watched one woman go to the effort of covering up the mess rather than picking it up.
4) les anciens: I’m all for respecting my elders and learning from their wisdom. However, in Paris being older is most often equated with cutting into line ups and going ahead of anyone and everyone. I guess they figure their time shouldn’t be wasted waiting in lines.
5) le parking: Sidewalks aren’t just for pedestrians. Often times you can turn around to see a motorcycle right behind you driving on the sidewalk in search of parking. It reminds me of those Bourne movies with Matt Damon, only the chase isn’t quite so high speed…
6) les sanitation workers: Only in France are sanitation workers chic. Their outfits are colour coordinated with their brooms and their trucks. C’est super fantastique!
7) pas des helmets: Unlike North America, in Paris helmet usage is the exception rather than the rule. I’m guessing the only helmet-wearers I’ve seen here are either neurologists or related to them…or North American.
8. les capris on men: This is an overall European tourist look I’ve seen at a lot of tourist attractions. Kudos to North American men for not copying this rather tragic trend. Sorry guys, but if you don’t look like Audrey Hepburn, ditch the capris!