Paris is truly splendid. The art deco Metro access points, the range of art galleries and art museums, the food, the quirky window displays, the public gardens, endless glorious doors that beg to be opened, cobble-stone streets (still), quaint coffee shops, and more – combine to make it a place you will never want to leave (assuming you, like me, enjoy traveling).
The downsides are few, but important to watch for; dog shit on the sidewalks, gypsies handing you gold rings (to distract you while a compatriot picks your pocket), and your own expectations that Parisians are going to be like anyone else on the planet.
The first two are self-explanatory, I hope. The third is also obvious. Parisians live in a place that is one of the most beautiful and celebrated cities in the known world. It would be hard not to have a teeny tiny superiority complex. After all, they have chosen to live there. Their wisdom is self-evident. I can’t argue with that.
Given that, they’re surprisingly kind to people who mangle their language and ask for things they consider gauche… like butter with their fabulous baguettes. Their sense of style is evident in the way they dress, how they set their tables, the layout of their homes, even their contemporary art and their cemeteries have a quality I have rarely encountered before.
And did I mention their window displays? Only in Paris are you so grateful that you cannot afford all the stuff displayed in their windows. It’s enough just to enjoy the witty, exotic, erotic, whimsical, and even cruel displays. Paris is, in my opinion, the best place to window shop on the planet. (I’m not THAT well traveled, so I may change my mind… but so far – oh yeah)