After compiling data all summer, I honestly have to say that I’m starting to like Parisians more than New Yorkers. This isn’t limited to a one time event or getting kicked out of Milk and Honey either – I realize that when faced with thousands of people every day everyone is going to run into a few bad apples. At this point in my travels, however, I’m starting to get the feeling that Parisians are just flat out friendlier than residents of the Big Apple.
To back up – I’m not the sort of person that makes broad generalizations about a city or culture based on a bad experience. I have tons of lovely friends in New York and am almost always thrilled to be in the city. I reap my opinion from days sown in each city, fumbling around in circles trying to order pizza or crepes, navigating the city streets in the middle of the night or underground, lost in a maze of subways.
As an example, on holiday in Paris this past month I spent three days wandering through the city with my girlfriend. Not once did someone scowl at me for butchering my French, nor did they shirk away when I asked for directions or stood on the wrong side of the escalator. To the contrary, people I met were pleasant, nice and even downright helpful.
Conversely, my time spent in New York has been marred with impatient commuters, surly public transportation employees and a general feeling of “you don’t belong here.”
What can I say? Paris has done a better job of making me feel welcome than New York has. Been across the pond this summer? What’s your story?