Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts on Parisians

Everyone in Paris smokes. Teenagers, the young, the old, everyone. Sitting outside at a bistro you may sit between a smoker and a dog, dogs are allowed almost everywhere including on your lap in a restaurant. Very dog friendly city, only problem is the massive amount of dog sh*t on the sidewalks. Oh and the cigarette butts, they litter the streets like confetti after a parade.

Fashion. Paris is a more casual city than I remember from the 90's. Men and women wear jeans and sneakers and seem to be dressed more for practicality and style than statement. Many of the clothes I see on young Parisians are American brands, Levi, Hurley, Gap, Old Navy and Converse. Converse sneakers are very popular here. Another popular trend, US college t-shirts and sports team wear. I've spotted NYU, Ohio State and Michigan t-shirts in the shops. Overall Parisians don't seem to be as coutre as in the past, I think Italians may hold that title. French men have the thickest most beautiful hair I've ever seen. Men and women are aging beautifully here.

I've walked miles of streets in Paris each day and passed only 1 health club, 1 yoga studio and seen only 5 joggers. Paris is not a City of exercise addicts like major cities in America. Most people are average size if not thin, in fact I have yet to spot more than 5 or 6 obese people and they were most likely tourists from the USA. The French seem to have found the perfect balance with food, they enjoy everything in moderation. Well except the smoking, they look fantastic but probably have black lungs.

Charm. I've met some charming men in Paris. At a private dinner party the other evening in a Paris art studio I met Michael. Michael spoke at least 3 languages to different guests at the party and seemed to know everything about Paris. He looked a bit like Michael Caine, had lived in Paris for 50 years but had a slight NY accent and had known our host for decades. He was fascinating, direct and funny. I appreciate the directness of European men. Another man at the dinner party, Victor said to me, most likely after loosening his tongue with the excellent wine, "I have to ask you...you are obviously attractive and intelligent...why are you not married." Needless to say we had an interesting conversation after that ice breaker and a lot of laughs.

1 more week in this wonderful City just won't be enough.

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