We’ll always have Paris… (except for these 4 things)

LOCAL COFFEE©2014 Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas35 x 27 cm (5F)
©2014 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Panel
35 x 27 cm (5F)


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.


4 thoughts on “We’ll always have Paris… (except for these 4 things)”

  1. I think there are more things which changed than those not changed in Paris and it may be much harder to find the latter which are positive. For me, the first in the changed list is the disappearance of feces of dogs on the sidewalk and of the special cleaning team (with motorcycle) for them. The second is more working bending machine in the subway stations, the third is the performances quality degradation by metro performers, the forth is the shortened lunch time at the restrants with stars, etc., etc.. Those have not been changed include; the garbage collection in the small street, the advertisement in the metro stations, the driving manner (chaos) in Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile, and although much less, bus and metro passengers without ticket… How do your think? Hitoshi

    • Dear Mr. Shoji,
      Thank you for your comments. Many of the items on your list I had not thought of, especially the traffic in Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile (since I rarely drive in the city). I did not mean to imply that the four items on my list were either positive or negative, merely changes. I suppose one could take them either way. -Phil

    • Hello Kate, Yes you’re right, I like your optimism. But what’s the French expression? “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” -Phil

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