17 March 2012

Stuff Parisians Like

By way of preparation for our visit in a couple of months time, I was given Olivier Magny's Book, "Stuff Parisians Like".   There's also a website - see
The book seems to be largely derived from posts on the website (although the book is a little more subtle in its promotion of the author's wine bar!)  And here's a link to the Magny's bio:
I read much of the book in an afternoon.   I am certainly no expert on the Parisian (or even the French) mind, but many of the observations seem very perceptive!  Part of this derives from the fact that the author, although himself a Parisian, appears to be able to see the Parisian through non-Parisian eyes.
Apparently Parisians regard themselves as very different from banlieusards and provinciaux.  This is consistent with one of the first things I remember about Paris from 1970-something, on our first trip there.  The tour bus guide (who was English) stated as we entered Paris from le périphéique, that we were entering the "real" Paris, in that for the Parisian, Paris began and ended at le périphéique.
But les étrangers can't criticise Parisians.  Only Parisians can criticise Parisians (and do so freely, apparently).   Only Parisians get it.

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