This was my fourth visit to Paris, the last one was in 2006. There are some notable changes is the city. Paris is much much busier that I recall. People are everywhere. Bistros are mostly full to overflowing and the sidewalks are crowded.
One thing stands out. Not as many smokers as previously seen. Especially fewer women are smoking. Still lots of smokers compared to Canada but dramatically less than in previous visits.
Paris has excellent Taxis! Full sized cars including Toyota Camry’s, MERCEDES, Hyundai and Scoda. All Black. Mostly hybrids. Clean comfy and efficient. No Prius cabs here. There are also a few electric TUK TUK’S, which are silent unlike those in Asia. And one can even take a tour in a classic Citreon de Chevue.
Paris has not gone to the dogs. There seemed to be fewer than I recall and there was little evidence of poop on the sidewalks. However, grafitti is rampant particularly coming into town from Charles DeGualle Airport.
The French do eat some strange food. In one bistro I ordered scallops. The were presented IN Mashed Potato. No vegetables just potato. In another it was delicious Duck served with excellent scalloped potatoes. No other vegetables. Bread is always served but no sign of butter, ever. And French Fries are served with almost everything.
Disappointing that we did not see a menu which included Liver or Sole Meunière, two items we were expecting to enjoy. We did enjoy the professionalism of many waiters. Very gracious and very efficient. They know their stuff.
Strong coffee and a Buttery Fresh Croissant is the standard French breakfast and we thoroughly enjoyed that in a bistro near our hotel. Delicious.
We did not see much sign of homelessness but apparently there is, just not in the touristy areas.
Paris is still a wonderful city in which to walk and we did. But it’s harder work at our age. Did we do any museums? No. Been there done that. But we did park ourselves in many sidewalk cafes to enjoy a glass of wine and the ambiance of this grand city.
If you have not been to Paris, you must go. For me , 4 times is probably enough.