Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm in the mood for a good rant and I'll start here with this confession that he missed something. The problem with expats like Steve Erlanger is that the never seldom leave the single digit arrondissements and spend too much of their time socializing with other Americans while obsessing about the question: is there more to Paris than what is in the tourist guides.

Frankly I'm not sad to see the Pigalle sex shops driven out, but in a true NIMBY fashion, I'd rather they be declared historic landmarks, if it allows them to continue to serve as a buffer from the Williamsburgization of eastern Paris.

My little neighborhood, not far from there, has been reviving, but as a multi ethnic enclave where locals are investing in small shops and restaurants, and renovating housing. The area has a reputation of being reasonably safe (in part because it doesn't draw tourists) and inexpensive with good transportation. But in the last few months websites that cater to American expats and tourists, have featured a pair of local restaurants and have mentioned how the area is a good place to spend a romantic afternoon. Stop, leave us alone and stay in the Marais.

I don't care if you are a virginal old maid. Quit navel gazing and admit you missed some good times along with some worry and pain. Get on with your life.

Yes you are neurotic. I've been here 10 years as well and the question of returning the US, i.e. home, pops into my mind occasionally, but it is usually coupled with the question, should I become a citizen of France? But the whole go home discussion raises a different question, OK return to the US but where the hell is home? After all the US of A isn't Luxembourg or Monaco, its a big place.

My community of origin? None my family has lived there in nearly 15 years and none of the close friends from my youth stayed. Same with college friends, scattered. Anywhere that I would go in the US I would need to establish myself, find new friends and support systems. NY is the place that I'd have the most support, but NY no, shudder. In Paris I have close friends, a community and a personal sense of place, the question is when to I become a citizen? Probably when I have kids. Until then I'm going to quit reading the NY Times.



Anonymous Robert Taylor said...

Nothing wrong with becoming a citoyenne. What I have gathered over the years of reading you is that your home is Paris and your country is France. It happens. An American woman friend's work took her to Heidelberg, Germany and now she thinks of it as home.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Whether I knew it or not, when I came to Paris I was seeking a home.

Certainly that is not the case for those who's career or partner's career brings them here and not for the person who comes on a romantic notion or to spice up their life and then find themselves staying much longer than planned.


1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

atlanta rocks :) if you know how to do it, anyway. very very different from paris, though. from what i know of you, paris is most certainly your home.


12:51 AM  
Anonymous VJ said...

Well I'm closer to ATL than anyplace else, (other than E. TN), and for the foreseeable future it home. Less cosmopolitan than many places certainly, but you're seldom surprised, and mostly that's a good thing. Especially when you're getting older and running a business.

I'm eternally mystified by the larger than imagined 'virginal old maid' contingent (NYT story) I keep on running into. Worse are the forever 'rejuvenated virgins' who renew their 'vows' every decade or so, just in time to thwart meeting decent, likable but 'unexciting & predictable' men. Strangely though, they only seem to thrive (as declared Females) in fairly large, almost exclusively coastal cities. Anyplace else they'd have been thought so ridiculous as to be thought of as nascent nuns. If you're that serious about denying yourself (and others) this One sensual pleasure? Take on orders! Try to be a bit more useful to others perhaps instead of whiny navel gazing over not much. Just always damn amazing, and frustrating to comprehend. Cheers, 'VJ'

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Robert taylor said...

There was an hilarious French film released in Canada about 40 years ago called "Le Sex Shoppe", It was about a mom and pop couple running a money losing depanier in Paris who decide to convert it into a sex shop.

10:02 PM  

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