Sunday, February 15, 2009

25 Things I Love About Paris #11

11. People watching

People watching is a sport of Olympic dimensions here in Paris, with dozens of venues for seeing people at their best, worst, and everything in between. You can certainly sit in a cafe and let the world go by (the high price for that little cup of coffee is really the rent for the chair), take it all in when on the bus and subway, and get an eyeful simply walking around town. Regrettably, I'm never quick enough or sufficiently brazen with my camera to have an archive to share here on my blog. So I'll do my best to paint a picture in prose of some of the archetypes:

  • teenage boys sporting black puffy ski jackets and droopy jeans with keffiyehs wrapped around their necks and easily a tubeful of hair gel
  • their too-tanned girlfriends with long long hair, their skinny jeans tucked in boots, gigantic bags, smoking cigarettes
  • elderly ladies in stockings and sensible pumps, meticulous updos with tasteful gold earrings, woolen coats and silk scarves and pocket dogs on a leash
  • trim fashion plates in four inch heels, knife pressed blue jeans, fur vests, designer sunglasses, and armfuls of couture shopping bags
  • twenty something men in black duffel coats and cool eyeglasses
  • thirty something business women, dressed in chic suits and high heels, riding scooters with lap blankets
  • a group of six year olds lined up by twos for a class outing, girls in pink smocks and boys in blue
  • Orthodox Jews in black hats and long black coats
  • West African ladies wearing incredible headwraps lugging shopping bags from the discount store Tati that have been used again and again and again
  • North African men in long robes
  • a horde of Asian tourists snapping pictures at the Eiffel Tower, crowded around the Mona Lisa, and piling into a local restaurant reserved for their tour group's meal
  • a gaggle of American junior year abroad girls, talking way too loud on the metro and desperately trying to look French

Anybody you'd care to add to the list?

3 comments:

Starman said...

I've seen all of these (and more) and I always look at the school kids with envy. Imagine learning about the world in Paris.

Once while in a resto in the 11e, a group of Japanese tourists came in, ordered their meal, took one taste and left.

debbie said...

50 something fathers with their young sons both wearing scarves..

janegadfly said...

sounds like New York City

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