About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

October 8-12
The theme for the 81st annual Fête des Vendanges, the grape harvest festival, is Montmartre Fête les Poètes. Events include a parade, grape stomping, the food & wine tasting village, cooking demos, live music, and tons of other fun stuff. Check out the entire program, the online boutique (get your commemorative bottles of wine!) and other info about the festival here.

October 12 
Stock up on fall reading material for a handful of euros and support the English-language SOS Helpline at their Autumn Book Sale today from noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices (31 ave Pierre Ière de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau). Paperbacks €1, hardcovers €2, all categories for adults and kids, as well as bake sale items. Those who want to donate books can drop them off during the sale.

October 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Mendelssohn and Brahms exquisitely performed by a brilliant ensemble of young professional musicians. At the Institut FInlandais (Latin Quarter, 60 rue des Ecoles, 5th) from 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited. 

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

« Holiday Activities in Paris | Main | N'Importe Quoi Photo of the Week »
Monday
Dec192011

Le Figaro's "100 Things All Parisians Should Do at Least Once"

The Frech daily newspaper Le Figaro, which does a pretty decent entertainment and dining guide to Paris each week called FigaroScope, has just published their list of "Les 100 choses qu'il faut avoir faites dans sa vie à Paris", which is more literally translated as "100 Things You Should Do During Your Life in Paris". So it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be Parisian, but they seem to imply that most Parisians have done most of these things.

Some of them include:

- Eat a bowl of onion soup at Les Halles.

- Drink a mint tea at the Paris Mosque.

- Spend an absurd amount of money on organic groceries at the Marché Raspail.

- Rendez-vous at least once in front of Notre Dame, on the steps of the Opéra Garnier, or at the St Michel Fountain.

- Go jogging in the Tuileries at dawn [Heather's note: that's when the local firemen happen to be doing the same thing, for those who need more motivation.]

- Get lost in the tunnels at Châtelet-Les Halles station.

- Float your toy boat in the fountain at Luxembourg Gardens.

- Attend the Firemen's Ball for Bastlle Day.

- Dance to the DJ as the Batofar boat club sways on the Seine.

- Get turned away by the bouncers at Castel.

- Buy a record at Crocodisc in the Latin Quarter.

- Buy something (but not too expensive) at the Drouot auction house.

- Spend the month of August in Paris.

I counted 46 of them that I have tried at least once (some more than that, salut Ladurée!), and a good 30 that I would never bother doing because they're either silly (No Parisian with a hint of taste would waste any money on breakfast at Café Marly) or irrelevant (taking my kids to the Guignols show on the Champs-Elysées...does it count if I take my tour clients' kids?).

The best part of this post are the comments left by self-declared "real" Parisians (my translations):

- "What Bobo clichés…or the snobbery of a provincial who has moved to Paris."

- "Consumption, consumption. What about admiring the gargoyles at St Etienne du Mont?"

- "I’m a REAL Parisian and I haven’t done a tenth of this list."

And my favorite, which needs no translation:

- "C'est du grand n'importe quoi."

And in case you think bad things only happen to tourists, here’s a comment by another local:

"You forgot a few : have your wallet stolen by a 12-year-old gypsy who has already been stopped by the police; have the police laugh in your face when you try to file a complaint; step in dog poop (yes, it’s better now, but I couldn’t resist); get pooped on by a flying rat (pigeon); get insulted by a café waiter for no reason; get insulted and threatened by the person in the car behind you because you stopped at the yellow light; spend a week in hell while the metro and train workers strike because their absurd privileges are being revoked; etc."

Ah...to be Parisian is first and foremost to râler (bitch and moan). I secretly think they just don't want anyone else to know how great it really is to live in Paris. ;-)

 

 

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