Some things change and some things stay the same. We all know that, but don’t we somehow want Paris to stay the same? The smoky cafés, the strolls down broad avenues, the delicious two hour lunches? Time spent with family and good friends?
We arrived in Paris on January 3, 2002, the first day of the euro. Since then I’ve noticed many changes in Paris. Here are four:
1. More coffee and food “on the run.” When we first arrived it was very unusual to see paper coffee cups on the street, or in cars. Now it’s much more common, with Starbuck’s cafés turning up everywhere.
2. Cigarettes. This is a big change. I remember sitting in smoke filled cafés and restaurants, with even the chef de cuisine enjoying a cigar with patrons! No more. Of course we now have electronic cigarettes, but that’s another subject.
3. Running in the street (for exercise). More and more Parisians are joggers, it seems. In addition to gentle strolls after lunch, Parisians in spandex are taking to the streets.
4. More Hamburgers. Yes, I know McDonald’s has been here forever. But now we lots of have “gourmet” hamburgers, à la Shake Shack–even a mobile hamburger truck called “Le Camion qui Fume”. These burgers are quite good, but expensive.
In a future post I’ll be back with some things that have NOT changed in this beautiful city. Please stay tuned.