Tag Archives: Paris

You Can Take the Girl Out of Van Nuys…

Carl Raether's photo used through Creative Commons license

It’s been a long while since I have posted. Among other reasons (a bone-crushingly heavy work load, ennui and existential despair…) I have the lucky excuse of having been in Paris for a bit. Yes it was cold–a Jack Londony, Fargo-ish kind of cold–but heck, I’d rather freeze my ass off in Paris than be warm and toasty a lot of places.

And the food! Happily one of my foodie friends here, who lived in Paris for a couple of years, had sent me a meaty email with advice on where to get the best macarons (Ladurée) and falafel (Chez hanna) and steak-frites (Relais de L’entrecote). So, on C’s recommendation, we set out for steak at RE, a Paris institution. Steak-frites, understand, is all they serve. You can choose a dessert or a wine, but as far as a meal, they ask only “how do you like your steak?” and they are world-famous for that steak. The line, even in the cold, was long enough to extend into the middle of the street. We dutifully queued up and right behind us came an English-speaking couple, seemingly American. We got to talking and, yes, they confirmed that they were American. In fact, they were from Los Angeles. “Oh,” say I, “I’m from Sherman Oaks. Where in L.A. are you from?” The woman gets a look of consternation, hesistates, and says, “Er, we’re from just north of you.”

Which is to say, Van Nuys. Even as far away as Paris, apparently, a person will go to some trouble to avoid admitting as much.

Paris vs. Los Angeles

Harold at the Château de Vincennes on the east side of Paris.
Harold at the Château de Vincennes on the east side of Paris.

Over the holidays I left the warmth of sunny LA to visit mon homme, Harold in Paris and decided to reveal my comparative observations between these two great cities. Also, I can’t think of anything else to blog about this week.

Weather – I don’t even know why I am bothering to comment on this, as LA is the obvious winner. Visiting France in the winter didn’t help Paris here, but come on, no matter what the season, not many cities are going to beat LA when it comes to our average weather year round, which is quite spectacular.

Public Transportation – As a frequent rider of LA’s Metro system, I feel qualified to declare Paris the winner here. The City of Lights boasts many more trains per hour (like one train every 5 minutes) and is much more accessible than LA’s Metro system. You can get within a few blocks of just about anywhere you need to go. The one drawback is that it can be quite crowded, even during off peak hours.

Cost of Living – LA may not be the cheapest big city, but it sure beats Paris when it comes to housing and food values. Harold’s apartment is a good example. His place is smaller than mine, in a more suburban Continue reading Paris vs. Los Angeles