Paris: The Good and the Bad

I must caution you.  Some people may think what I am about to say is heresy.  You’ve been warned.

Paris is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  There is so much to see, eat, and drink, that you could never possibly do it all.  While many of us see Paris this way:

Paris also has a less beautiful side.  There is trash, vomit, dog dodo (hopefully it came from a dog), hagglers, beggars, homeless, pickpockets, men following you, and every other typical city issues.  See examples with captions below.

Although Paris is très magnifique, it is also rough.  Getting to know a city is similar to getting to know a person.  In the beginning it is a polished exterior with opportunity all around.  Then the polish wears off and the grit is revealed.  With people, this is the time where you decide if this person is worth being around.  Especially with all of his/her flaws. In the end, I am still good friends with Paris because she has so much to offer, even if she is a lot to handle in large doses.  Part of getting to know a city is seeing all sides.  If you are traveling to Paris for the first time, be prepared for all versions of the city, not just the beautiful one.

Are there places in the world that teeter between good and bad, yet you can’t help but enjoy anyway?

10 thoughts on “Paris: The Good and the Bad

  • Hi LT, I think it has something to do with being in a city for a longer time than usual. You get to see its warts and all. I have a similar love / hate relationship with San Francisco. You might enjoy reading about my experience here http://wp.me/pL5Ms-hT
    Jude xx

  • It is inevitable that we see the seamier side. It’s like getting to know someone. New York is magnificent and terrible, so is London and on and on.

  • Having recently visited Paris for the first time a month ago I have some empathy with your observations. I would say, however, that Paris has a lot more upside than downside. BTW I had heard about the dog droppings in Paris and kept a lookout when walking but I can honestly say that after seven days I never saw any. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. Loved your pictures.

    • I agree that Paris has more positives than negatives. That is why I’m here :). I’ve stepped in some droppings this time. I try to watch where I’m going, but then there is so much stimulus around me that something loses my attention, and before I know it, I feel that familiar squish under my feet. Ah, c’est la vie.

  • Paris is beautiful …but their metro train stations smell of urine and watch out for those dog poops!

  • Hi LT … Yes I agree with you and all above, it’s the length of time in any place that matters. I was totally seduced a month ago by the Paris sunsets, the soft rain, the cold “spring”, the fromageries and baguette lunch every day …. But it may have worn off in a few months, not sure. I feel the way I did after being in NYC – I must go back and just live there for a few months and experience life from the inside not the tourist side.
    Love all your Paris work …. The memories are very fresh for me.
    Wes

    • Every place has its good and dark side. It just seems that Paris is romanticized a lot, and it is probably deserved. I think it is important that people know it isn’t all magic, but a good portion of it is. Thank you for following my journey. I’ve got a lot coming up these next three weeks. I hope you enjoy what I have to share!

  • Great post! It is so true as well. I’ve had some of the most terrifying, upsetting moments in Paris but overall I still love it 🙂 I just appreciate the safety of home so much more now!

    • Typically I don’t come home after traveling and think of how much I appreciate my hometown. Usually I can’t wait to get back out there. This trip is opening my eyes a bit to the comforts and safety I have at home.

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