Other things I've noticed since I last came to Paris: (which is not to say that they are new, just that I just noticed them):
- Every second store on the podunk street my hotel is on is a fancy clothing store. Clearly the world-wide economic collapse has not hit.
- Speaking of world-wide economic collapses, it really hurts to have a weak dollar. $7 espressos, sigh...
- ....but it's always a pleasure to walk into a cafe and order a 'cafe' and just know that something good will appear. This is in contrast to the unbounded depth circuit needed to specify a proper cup of coffee at Starbucks.
- Speaking of Starbucks, how on earth can they even survive in Paris ? I mean, you go to a Starbucks here, and you get the same experience as in the US, ending with a paper cup of coffee of questionable quality that you drink perched on a high bar stool. On the other hand, you go to a cafe, and they serve you with nice cups, and a little cookie, and let you sit there for hours nursing your coffee, and will even give you the WEP key for their secured WiFi. It's no contest !
- You can change the world while nursing your coffee. I was staying in the 14th Arrondissement (the Montparnasse area) and had to have a coffee at the Dome cafe, a place apparently frequented by Lenin and Trotsky before the Revolution. I have to say that at the time I went, the clientele looked like they were plotting a revolution... in 1907.... I'd link to a verification of this, but I can't make any sense out of the search results on google.fr
- Speaking of which, how does one tell google NOT to return results in french ? every time I edit the URL to go to google.com, it sends me back to google.fr. Suivant !!!