the travels & travails of an escaped lab rat


I have a great fondness for the city of Paris.

Beautiful architecture, an abundance of cultural/artistic treasures, fabulous public spaces, and wonderful food. Sure, there are some run-down regions and smelly/unsightly areas, but bear in mind you’re talking about a city that’s been continuously inhabited since around 4000 BC and has since grown into a metropolis of over 11 million people hosting over 45 million tourists annually. All things considered, Paris is doing all right for herself.

I do manage to spend a fair bit of time in the City of Lights (sadly, less these days than I have over the past four years). Whatever else you may say about Parisians, they’re all rather proud of their city and they’ve done well to protect the inner (older) arrondissements from modern development. As a result, Paris is a great walking city; while it is possessed of an excellent underground Metro system, all the charm, atmosphere, and joie de vivre is definitely found at street level. Whenever I have some time between work and meetings, I like to stroll through the beautiful parks and grand public spaces the city is famous for.

Paris is home to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d’Orsay, and about 1 million dog owners who never seem to pick up after their pets. Culture is everywhere — from haute (a fashionista’s paradise) to bacterial (mmmm…French cheeses), everyone is bound to have a virtue or vice they can indulge in Paris.

On the downside, living (or visiting) Paris isn’t exactly inexpensive. While day-to-day costs aren’t too bad if you don’t eat out every night, the rents (and hotel rates) in Paris will definitely take a huge bite out of your budget. Oh…and Paris traffic — it’s an absolute wonder to me how anyone gets anywhere on time and why mortality rates aren’t higher than they are on the Paris motorways.

Taking everything into account, Paris is still the world-class city that all other world-class cities measure themselves by.

No mistaking where you are when you see this.

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Posted in Journal by madsci on March 13th, 2010 at 12:44 am.

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