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Archive for August, 2009

Men in Paris

Posted by bert5 on 29 August 2009

There’s a fair amount to like about men in Paris, and a couple downsides.  Just about any non-tourist guy in ages 20-30s in Paris shares a few beneficial characteristics:

  • Not overweight:  How could they be?  It’s so expensive to eat in Paris.  If you want to live economically, you’ve got to cook and go grocery shopping for at least some of your meals.  Metro stations are denser in Paris than other towns, but you’ve still got to walk some.  Plus, many smoke, so probably the revved up metabolism helps.
  • Dress well:  I think the guys do pay attention to their clothes a little more or else the girlfriends do.  Following the latter reasoning, apparently, no self-respecting girlfriend lets her man dress like an American slob.  It is helpful of course, that European men’s clothes seem to fit better.  Whatever shirt they’re wearing, be it a t-shirt, polo or button down, they are form fitting, tight arm hole type showing slim muscular physique to the best advantage.  This is the type of shirt which I would only see on gay guys in the US.  But it is like on every guy here, like a uniform.  You can’t even buy this stuff in the US because huge percentages of guys can’t fit into them, and if they did, you’d see the beer bellies and saggy breasts and it’d be a comedy on the streets of Memphis (34% obese — talking obese here not merely overweight).
  • Like to be out in the sun and get tan:  As above, generally they have the body for it, so I have no objections as I pass or stop for a break in the park.  In combination with skin damage from smoking, all this sun probably results in premature skin aging, but that’s a worry for later.
  • Friendly:  As in not rude, in general.  I wouldn’t say gentlemenly because I think that’s reserved for men in London.  (In the London tube as we were stymied by the card readers, a worker gently called out to us: “Gentlemen” and kindly directed us to the correct turnstiles.  That nearly made my entire day.  I don’t think I’d ever in my life been called a gentleman by a stranger.  Ok, maybe a couple times in significantly more formal settings.)  In Paris, guys are pretty friendly especially if you speak and understand some French.

Now for the downsides: Read the rest of this entry »

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Music in the Paris Metro

Posted by bert5 on 23 August 2009

There weren’t any performers in London Underground, probably because it’s so expensive to just ride the Tube or because the ever orderly British just don’t allow it.  But in the Paris Metro, there are performers galore.  Probably more than in the New York subway.  I don’t like accordion players though, and generally the aggressive musicians which get on the trains are unbearable for more than one or two stops.  But I’ve donated change to a couple more serious musicians:

  1. A young to middle aged male saxophone player on solo — i.e. without the cheap sounding canned piano accompaniment other sax players had put on.  It was sad and haunting and beautiful and carried throughout the long corridor from line 1 to line 11 at Hotel de Ville.
  2. A middle aged Asian woman on the liuqin (or other related plucked Chinese string instrument).  She was raking it in, but it was beautiful and unique and also carried well throughout the station even perhaps to the platforms.  She was in the correspondance corridor at Franklin D. Roosevelt station.

It occurs to me that they could be just needing practice and lacking a soundproof place in crowded Paris, the Metro was their solution which also happens to make them money. Read the rest of this entry »

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