A Typical Parisian Day: Fourteen Hours, Nine Tickets, Eight Districts
Your taste of life in Paris and France Parler Paris Wednesday, October 5, 2011 • Paris, France
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
Yesterday was one of those marathon Paris days, having started at 9 a.m., ending at 11 p.m. This morning I emptied my briefcase and counted nine used Métro/bus tickets. I think that might have been a record.
Most people who live here and travel around the city a lot use a “Navigo” card, which when charged, allows them to take as many trains and buses as they like. The RATP Web site does a good job of burying the costs of the various transportation tickets, but if you took an annual pass for zones 1 and 2 (central Paris), then your annual transportation cost can be as little as 633,60€, or 52,80€ per month.
That’s pretty amazing when you consider that according o AAA (American Automobile Association, Inc.), the average cost to own and operate a medium sedan driving 15,000 miles a year is $8,588, or 6,500€…more than 10 times the cost of full public transportation in Paris.
(AAA has been conducting this annual analysis since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000miles annually cost 9 cents a mile, and gasoline sold for 27 cents per gallon. Now the composite national average cost per-mile for 2010: 58.5 cents.)
Of course, from time to time you may want to indulge in a taxi or rent a car for the weekend…but with an extra 6,000€ in your pocket, there’s no problem. In fact, this is one of the big benefits of living in Paris where not only is the transportation system top notch, but it’s also relatively very inexpensive.
I don’t have a Navigo card because my usual expense is only about 25€ per month for two “carnets” – books of 10 tickets. I prefer the buses which are grossly overlooked by tourists who think they are difficult to maneuver. “Au contraire!” In fact, they are every bit as easy to decipher as the Métro if not easier when you consider that you’re above ground and actually see where you’re going! In many cases, one bus can take you faster than the Métro which might comprise two changes to take you to the same destination. And on top of all that, there are no steps or escalators or long halls or smells of piss. If you haven’t tried the buses, you’re doing yourself a big disservice.
Still, living so centrally makes it easy to get most places by foot which is great for getting natural exercise, but yesterday was a big exception…too many places to go to, too many things to do, too little time.
It started at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie where seven artists’ works were just opening and a breakfast was held for the Press. Some of the artists were there to talk about their work – such as Brazilian Edu Simōes and Fernanda Magalhães. The William Klein photos of Rome from the ‘50s were a blast – the Romans were clearly happy people full of life! And the Albanians photographed from the mid 1800s to mid 1900s will take you breath away – the quality of the prints are absolutely silky. (I never miss a chance to see great photographic work!...and if you love photography as much as do, the don’t miss this exposition on until January 8th, 2012: mep-fr.org/)
The rest of they day included a client lunch at a little Marais café, two apartment visits (one for rent on the Ile Saint-Louis and another one for sale in Saint-Germain des Prés), the signing of a loan offer for the Nice apartment at the lender’s office, retrieval of my MacBook Air from repair at the Apple store (first I dropped it then it totally died), purchase of thigh-high black suede boots (yep, pretty sexy and cool – but needed to be brought home so as not to carry them all over town!), the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group (if you haven’t tried it, why not? It’s free to do so: Parler Parlor) and dinner at “Liza” – “Cuisine Libanaise Contemporaine” with friends. The districts I found myself in included the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th.
Are you tired just thinking about it? No wonder I took off my boots for all of Parler Parlor to give my feet a rest!
1. Don’t miss David Downie speaking at the upcoming Parler Paris Après-Midi on Tuesday, October 11th…visit Après-Midi for more information.
2. If you’re interested in Paris real estate, then you may want to come to the Free Residential Property Investing Seminar on the same day from 4 to 8 p.m. (I know it conflicts!...and yes, I’ll be at both!). For more information and to reserve your spot, contact: email@example.com
Don't feel bad about going to bed early. Even this short sample of the amazing fresh creativity of La Nuit Blanche was tremendously enjoyable. Along with La Fete de la Musique in June, these are some of the events I always mention when people ask me, "So what do you like so much about Paris?" Sheesh. What's not to like?
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