I run a business in Paris - Discover Walks - that seems to jive well with the interests of wikitravel contributors and users - namely interacting with locals in Paris. So I've been thinking about adding to the "To Do" section, to tell people what I know about that subject. I've read wiki's rules (about tone and content and style etc.), I've also read the comments and advice from docents on the Paris page, and as a result I tried to write in a neutral way, and include the competition and stay comprehensive and informative.
Would someone kindly review and let me know if you find the text below has value, if it needs additional information, if it should be posted and where etc. Merci!
If your idea of travel includes making friends with locals, Paris offers a range of ways you can do this, all without spending a fortune.
- “Paris Greeters” are resident volunteers who take small groups around their neighbourhoods (usually off the beaten path, resident districts). Tours are free, donations are appreciated .
- “Discover Walks” show small groups around main landmarks (Notre-Dame etc.) in the company of a native Parisian. Here also tours are free and tips and donations appreciated .
- If you are more independent-minded with an interest in the music scene, you can look up the bi-monthly “Lylo” listings for upcoming band concerts. Most concerts take place in bars, with no cover charge .
Addition to Do section
Hello, My wife and I have recently started a Vespa Rental business in Paris, Left Bank Scooters, www.leftbankscooters.com
I was planning on adding information about our service to the Do section. Just wanted to be upfront that this is our business. We have had great feedback from people on our business and turned one of the comments from a guest into our tag line "See Paris like a Parisien"
I hope to be able to add information from my experiences in Paris as well, such as the Terrace Bar at the top (9th floor) of Printemps, which provides one of the best views of Paris and costs nothing. I recommend it to first time travelers as a great way to orientate yourself with the city before hitting the streets.
Please feel free to email me or comment here if you have any questions.
Matthewdoyle 14:25, 15 August 2009 (EDT)
I just came back from Paris today. I spent a week there and on my second day, I went to the Eiffel Tower with my wife. We were taking pictures when I man walked past and (appeared to) picked something off the ground. He showed me it was a ring and walked away somewhat confused. Then, he returned to show me the ring didn't fit. He offered the ring to me. I put it on and he said his farewell and left. Quickly he turned around, yet again, and asked for some money for him to eat. I said no and he demanded the ring back. My wife and I followed him a bit and saw him performing the same thing all the way to the tower.
A couple of days later my wife and I were sitting across from the Arch de Triomphe and a different guy tried the same trick. It immediately hit me that this might be a common trick employed. I told my wife I would write a note on here in an effort to alert travellers.
Sidenote: Lots of people were warning us of going to Paris and we were so nervous when we went. I must say... Even with the language handicap, my wife and I had so much fun and the majority of folks there were very pleasant personalities.
Notes on the following Greetings from a New Yorker
To be sure there are some rude people in New York, but most are visitors and transplants from other places. We New York natives are generally kind and thoughtful even when we are in a hurry. One reason is that we know all too well that we might well be in the other guy's shoes at any moment. Those who fail to observe basic civilities are considered almost subhuman. To suggest that big city living justifies such behavior is laughable. --Beenthere 08:41, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
Greetings from a New Yorker
My compliments to the writer(s) of the article on Paris; I found it on the whole an accurate, concise, and enthusiastic review of one of the greatest cities in the world. I especially appreciate the caveat about Paris's big-city self consciousness, which Americans in particular take for "rudeness." Well, as a New Yorker, I have to note that "rudeness" goes with the territory regarding great, large cities. The article, to its credit, addresses this forthtrightly, deftly deflating an enduring American prejudice as well.
I have but three complaints: more should have been said about Paris' (and France's) Latin heritage; yes, Paris is has roots in a Celto-Roman past, but it was the Romans, after all, who bequeathed the language, the roads, and the very urban culture which provide the beating heart of the city and nation to this day. The second quibble: Paris is a great multicultural city, vibrant and on the very forefront of Post-modernity, due in no small part to its African/North-African, Asian, Jewish, Muslim communities and immigrants. This very mix has also given rise to racist sentiments in the city and the nation at large (rather like New York inspires in America before it was fetishized by the Right Wing after 9/11 for rather dubious Conservative adventures home and abroad). Paris is in that handful of cities that set world-wide trends; its vibrant racial/ethnic/cultural mix inspires hope among the more liberal-minded and fear among the xenophobic Conservatives, in France as well as abroad (America's "National Review" has run a number of crudely racist articles suggesting that the Muslim population of France has somehow compromised its democratic, Western legacy, managing to slander Muslims and the French all at once, and ignoring the substantial evidence in contrast to the malarky of such an offensive thesis). Something should have been noted about this.
Finally, no mention of Paris' importance in the academic and intellectual currents of the West. What?! How can this be? Paris is the home of the Sorbonne/Université de Paris, one of the great intellectual centers of the world. This institution has produced such luminaries as Madame Curie, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus; what of thinkers from Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau on through Franz Fanon, Pierre Bourdieu, Maryse Condé, Claude Lévy-Strauss, Itzvan Toderov, not to mention a painter or two, such as the impressionists and fauvists produced, as well as some Spaniard in exile, some bloke by the name of Picasso. Oh, and I believe the likes of Jean Renoir, François Truffaut, Jean-luc Godard, Claire Denis made some fairly "decent" films, too.
But, I'm just a querrilous New Yorker sounding comme un bon Parisien, bien sûr; the basics were just about right, anyway. Good job...but perhaps someone may revise the article to make mention of the aforementioned. THANKS!
Thanks for the kudos. Do feel free to make the changes you describe yourself, otherwise we'll try to sneak it in. I think a lot of this info would go into the individual arrondissement articles. -- Mark 08:32, 28 Feb 2005 (EST)
Hi again. I've been working on other things for a couple of months, but have finally found time to come back and try to do a writeup that satisfies this request. Hope it's useful. Please feel free if you stop through again to make any changes you like. -- Mark 12:13, 16 May 2005 (EDT)
Hey, I'm wondering what folks think about the districts. Do you think it's better to go by Arrondisement or to give them names like Montmartre? -- Uchuha 08:02, 2003 Nov 7 (PST)
Another possibility is using redirects; that is, Paris/18th arrondisement is just a redirect to Paris/Montmartre. Then they can be used interchangeably. The only wonder I have is if there are traditional names for neighborhoods that cross arrondisement boundaries, or vice-versa. -- Evan 08:48, 7 Nov 2003 (PST)
Interesting... but yeah, that would be the problem. There are a couple of instances. Like Pigalle for example which straddles the 18th and the 9th. Actually that's pretty much the only one I can think of ofhand though. I guess Les Halles is in both the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th so that's kindof odd. I dunno. I think I'll play with it and see what happens.. -- Uchuha 08:58, 2003 Nov 7 (PST)
If that's the case, I like your solution (just naming the arrondisement after the neighborhood name) the best. -- Evan 09:00, 7 Nov 2003 (PST)
Shouldn't we wait with creating subarticles until there's enough information on the Paris page itself? By then it will also be easier to see how to take parts out of the main article. Guaka 10:29, 15 Nov 2003 (PST)
Yeah, but I think we're going to be getting around to that pretty soon. Right now it looks like somebody out there at least prefers the arrondisements, since they put them on the page. I think I might prefer them too, since as I mention above since the very best pocket map the traveler can get splits Paris up this way too. -- Mark 06:58, 23 Aug 2004 (EDT)
I really liked the little map with the arrondisements. Very useful to get an idea of town.
Maybe someone could explain the local zipcode system on the page too. As I understand 75001 means 1st and 75008 8th. I find that easier to locate stuff (e.g. hotels) by than looking up the street names.
Are the types of drinks listed really Parisian specialities? If not - could we move them somewhere else? (France maybe, or drop them altogether if they're nothing too special.) I happily admit my ignorance on the subject... -- Nils March 14th, 7:53AM (CET)
Moved from article:
In 1992, in Les Tuleries, a handful of gypsy children clustered around me, some holding up newspapers as if to try to sell them to me, while others tried to work their little hands into my pants and backpack pockets. I caught on before they could take anything, and shooed them away.
Btw, it's "Tuileries". -phma 10:55, 22 Mar 2004 (EST)
I replaced the image of the Seine with one of the Eiffel tower. The original was:
The Seine River, Paris
I never quite liked the Seine photo as the "primary" Paris image. Anyway I was in Paris last weekend; I did make a few more photos. Find them on my website, let me know which ones (if any) you think are good for wikitravel.org and I'll upload them. -- Nils 12:53, 29 Mar 2004 (EST)
I'm in Paris for a few months. If anybody needs any resources (I have
digital camera for example), to put on the Paris page, just let me know.
, JanSlupski 09:59, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Sure! Of course anything you provide would be super welcome. Maybe get a photo of Bat-O-Far, and Sacre Coeur, and.. I'm sure any pictures you take will be great.
Often the hardest thing is to get hotel info. If you really feel like spending some time on it maybe if you could scout out some places? That would rock! It's a lot of work of course. -- Mark 10:15, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)
This is a potential data source:
www dot 75018 dot org/piscines/ Les piscines de Paris, swimming pools in Paris
Now that we have the arrondissement pages I've been moving the full listings for each item to it's correct arrondissement page. Obviously however we need to have highlights on the main Paris page, both for the traveller, and because people are going to keep adding those things if they don't see them.
So I'm trying to develop a brief form listing for those things. Does that make sense to everybody else? -- Mark 06:28, 12 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Great work Mark! The main Paris page is shaping up really well.... You've anticipated exactly the approach I was going to take (with the bare listing followed by a small link to the relevant arrondissement page), had I more time at the moment to get onto it. Keep up the great work! Pjamescowie 15:05, 12 Sep 2004 (EDT)
English vs. French Typesetting
There are a couple of tiny differences (and one big one that we probably don't have to worry about). Mainly unlike in French English typesetting doesn't call for space before an exclamation point, question mark, or colon. I kindof like the French way of doing it myself, and find myself using it in email, and chat and stuff, but I figure we should probably stick to the Enlish way here. What thinks ye? -- Mark 07:42, 12 Sep 2004 (EDT)
On the floor
Hey Parisiens/ennes! Can sombody research this potential sleep listing for
the 7th which was left by an anon user? Otherwise I will do it next time
I'm in town.
"Backpackers, hitchikers and other travelers might find an interesting place to spend the night in a used-books store in one of the corners of the square with Eiffel tower. I was told the owner of the store just wants you to write down something poetic in his guestbook and help him a little with the books, then you can sleep in your backpack in between the shelves. Just please be nice, clean and friendly. [more information welcome]"
No doubt there are others, I suppose we could make redirects for each of the more famous plazas, like Paris//Place de Bastille as well, I guess. -- Mark 04:08, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)
maybe we should do something like this at some point:
parisinconnue dot com
It's a collection of walking routes from one edge of town to another. Neat idea. -- Mark 09:16, 17 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I am a Wikipedia User living in Paris. I don't have time to contribute to your project (besides I have different philosophy about licencing), but if you wish you can take whatever photo from my gallery and upload on your site. I have still many more photos of Paris, so if you need a particular building or street ask for it on my wikipedia talk page. Chopinhauer 08:30, 7 Dec 2004 (EST)
Hmm. You haven't made it clear that you're willing to relicense your images for our copyleft license. In fact, it sounds like you're opposed to it. Unless you're willing to change your mind, we can't add your images to our site. Just wondering: why don't you like our license? --Evan 10:09, 7 Dec 2004 (EST)
Mhhhh... I shall read the licence before judging it. I thought it was CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, but now I see that NonCommercial is missing, so it is fine to me. Yes, I relicence my images to your copyleft without problems, even if I wonder why you chose CC instead of GFDL. Chopinhauer 07:49, 8 Dec 2004 (EST)
One of the main reasons is that the GDFL would make it difficult for somebody like, say, a hotel owner to print out our guide just for the relavant destination and make unlimited copies for the guests. Allowing for this sort of use of the guide is one of our goals, but with the GDFL the person copying and distributing the article would have to copy and distribute a changelog, and provide "source". The BY-SA comes much much closer to satisfying our goals relative redistribution.
One of the biggest draws to ANY major city is shopping.
As a tourist to be of Paris, I was hoping that other "wikians" & parisians could make some shopping recommendations.
Examples I would appreciate include : Contemporary Men's Wear, Shoes, etc.
If anyone has suggestions (even if it is simply districts to check out), I would appreciate the info.
EDITED : I disagree. The lines are in fact named by numbers. Local will tell you which line number to take, then the end station name. The Metro (urban Paris network) is named by numbers 1 to 14, while the RER (suburban network) is named by letters A to E. But it is true that colour codes are ignored.
Check out the seventh
detailed articles for some attractions?
Could we do a standalone article for some attractions? I was thinking of the Louvre or Notre-Dame, about which there's a lot to say... Toitoine 17:20, 11 Aug 2005 (EDT)
We try really really hard to avoid doing that. The main reason is that we want Wikitravel guides to be easily printable; you should be able to find the guide that you need, and print it out once, without worrying about finding all the links to all sorts of attraction sub-articles. For this reason almost all of our guides are about destinations, never attractions. You might want to give Wikitravel:What is an article a read, along with the associate talk pages. Also look at the talk page for Rome, where there was once some discussion about breaking the collosium out into it's own page. -- Mark 23:21, 11 Aug 2005 (EDT)
While adding the "Amusement Park" links I noticed that the layout is a bit... slicey. Is it necessary to divide every section into "editable" sub-sections? There's so many "edit" tags to the right there, and the bold on everything is confusing... I don't have the time to clean now but even then perhaps its for the person who created it to consider.
The editable subsections are a function of the Mediawiki software we use to build the site, or more precisely of the Monobook skin we are currently using. There are plans in the works to change the skin, and to offer alternatives, some of which will not have these edit links. -- Mark 10:36, 2 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I'd like to very much thank User:Submarine for his contributions to the section on Parisians and how best to approach them or how best not to. This is really valuable information for english-speaking travellers who wander through the City of Light. That said, I think perhaps the tone of this section is just a bit hard at the moment. I intend to try to do a re-write, softening up the tone just a bit. Criticism is welcome, especially from Submarine. -- Mark 11:03, 13 Nov 2005 (EST)
Riots - Oh come on...
OK, just so everybody knows there's been no rioting in Paris itself. Whoever posted that warning box clearly hasn't been to Paris in the last week or so. I have, and the only rioting I saw was on TV. -- Mark 22:34, 14 Nov 2005 (EST)
Hey there! I have got to say, the Paris article is fantastic, and congratulations to all those who work on it. I haven't been to Paris since I was younger, and I plan to go back in the Easter with a friend. Both of us are a little nervous about the prospect (but excited!) and I'll be using info from your page as advice (thank you!!).
But if someone wouldn't mind helping me, I'd like to ask a few questions about Paris before I travel. My French is rusty, and I don't really want to rely on it fully. What I'm asking is there anyone I can propose questions to about Paris? Preferably to someone who can tell me where is the most British-friendly places, or places to avoid? Any help I'd greatly appriciate. If you can help, please leave a message on my talk page at Wikipedia. My username is Cuahl. My Userpage. Thanks for your time all, and I hope this wasn't too out of place to request this 184.108.40.206 23:50, 7 Jan 2006 (EST)
Thanks MarkJaroski, I've replied on your talk page on Wikipedia 220.127.116.11 03:53, 9 Jan 2006 (EST)
Thanks for the help, Mark
Hey Mark, thanks for replying to my questions on my Wikipedia account. I created one here thinking my questions may help others and hopefully I might have something to contribute soon.
Everytime I have visited Paris (five times now) I have stayed at L'hôtel du Lion (website). I don't know much about Paris but from what I knew the location was fantastic, and the staff were amazingly friendly. They even remembered my face after about two years apart. I'm thinking about going back to visit this hotel, but as I'm a student I'm quite happy for just a simple bed to sleep in! This hotel is €86. Do you think that's worth the price? Would I be better off looking elsewhere for more simple? I also looked up a deal on the Eurostar website for a Eurostar/hotel package deal which sounded good.. I can't find it at the moment but I'll edit here when I do. Thanks so much again for helping - BarrY 10:25, 9 Jan 2006 (EST)
Here's a screenshot from the cheapest deal I've got from the Eurostar tunnel website. I guess I better do a bit of looking around for deals! - BarrY 10:33, 9 Jan 2006 (EST)
The Lion looks like a pretty average deal. The rooms look nice and the location is good for the tourist sights. If you are more interested in food and drink then something in the 4th would be better located (especially for your friend). Of course the Lion is in a good spot for exploring the 5th which is more student-oriented.
I think you can probably get a cheaper room though if you try. There's a new hotel-hostel listing in the 9th that you could try. They're offering rooms from 24 euro. If it's good let us know.
Also worth considering is the Elverado in the 17th. It's a super good value.
The hotel deal offered by Eurostar is just totally off. That sort of price looks more like London which I guess Eurostar figures they can get away with. Don't bother. -- Mark 11:53, 9 Jan 2006 (EST)
Thanks for the advice. You've been a huge help. I'm going to see what the money situation is and if I have enough I guess I'll visit the Lion again, just to reminisce. More than likely though I'll be checking out one of the hostels that you talk about, and I'll definately let you know what it's like. Thanks again, I really appriciated that. -- BarrY 19:25, 9 Jan 2006 (EST)
Glad I could help! The Elverado by the way is a hotel rather than a hostel. It just doesn't have any stars, but manages to be really nice anyhow. -- Mark 23:33, 10 Jan 2006 (EST)
Disambiguation of Paris
We will need to think about Disambiguation for Paris at some point. There is a Paris (Arkansas), Paris (Texas) and I am sure others. but there are massive links to Paris, France When we are ready, let me know and I would be happy to split is up with otheres. -- Xltel 15:59, 30 Jan 2006 (EST)
Paris is an example of the much-more-famous rule in the Wikitravel:article naming conventions. We will probably never move this page, unless those naming conventions change. Probably if absolutely necessary we can add a "Same name" notice at the top of the page, but I'm not sure that's even called for. --Evan 16:38, 30 Jan 2006 (EST)
Yeah! Paris (Arkansas) (3707) and Paris (Texas) (25,898) are fairly small. We can add the links in the states and regions when needed. Right now there is a link for Paris, Arkansas, but it is still a blank page.
This is making me think twice about keeping the link on this talk page, but it does seem like a useful guide, so I'm keeping it for now. Attn Go Go fans: Don't keep adding it to the article. We don't link to other guides. If you keep doing it I'll strike it from here as well. -- Mark 05:16, 1 September 2006 (EDT)
So I removed all listings in this article. In a comment, the persistent anonymous editor remarked that the apartments are citywide. This is a good point. Per ongoing discussions at Wikitravel talk:Accommodation listings, I've removed the ones which fail to meet the "has a physical office" criteria. Please do not re-add any without including an office.
Also I haven't reviewed these agencies to see if they meet the other proposed criteria -- for example, rentals of a less than a week must be permitted to be listed. -- Colin 13:42, 29 December 2006 (EST)
Yeah, this is a pretty touchy one right now... there seems to be two issues:
1. Do we want these links at all?
2. Where do the links belong?
According to my proposal (Wikitravel talk:Accommodation listings) the fact that they are "all over the city" means they are a service and not specific accommodations. But this policy is still under discussion, so maybe the fair thing to do is allow the links for now, let things cool down, find some consensus in the Wikitravel talk:Accommodation listings discussion and then come back to this article as we apply the new policy. Our anonymous editor can then voice his/her opinion as part of the broader policy development and we can move away from this edit war. Maj 17:36, 29 December 2006 (EST)
I only removed the agencies which lacked a physical address, and I support re-adding any for which a physical address can be found. We need more information from the anon user about what he thinks is not working out. - Colin 17:39, 29 December 2006 (EST)
As many people in love with the city of light, I think it might be very useful to indicate some good independant blogs about Paris ! A good way to share addresses ...
Well, nobody's going to remove stuff found on this talk page, probably. However, have a Wikitravel:External links policy which is intended to prevent Wikitravel from becoming a link farm. Links in the articles are likely to dissappear when somebody does cleanup according to the policy.
That said, I think you've highlighted a need for a Bloggywiki which could aim to be the definitive source for blog info organized by topic including a geo hierarchy. As a community Wikitravel has a history of delegating those tasks which do not seem appropriate for a travel guide. Therefore if you were to start a Bloggywiki I think you'd have a pretty good chance of getting Wikitravel:Cooperating with Bloggywiki started.
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia has a site called Wikia, on which you can start any old Wiki you like.
Or... I think I've heard talk around here of somebody starting a bloggy site which will crossreference with both this site and World66. You might want to crosspost your blog to there. -- Mark 02:40, 13 January 2007 (EST)
Airport & Public transport
Sorry, I don't get it.
I want to go from the airport to the center, spend a day, and go back in the evening. I realized that the Mobilis would cost 12,30 for one day. For Zones
1+2 only it would be 5,50 for one day.
But how much is a ticket from the airport to Zone 2? Not even the RATP website would tell me.
That section was just somebody whining that they got fined because they didn't realize the RER is not a metro. (Duh.) I've summarized the gist of the rant into a warning, and removed the rest. Jpatokal 04:27, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
For the record, this is the 'whiner'...and you are absolutely correct. A taxi to CDG should cost around 45 Euros. My recent experience, however, was that it cost my wife and I 50 Euros on the RER. As I indicated in my original post, this included the RER fare (which we would have gladly paid...had anyone bothered to tell us) plus the associated on the spot fines. My intent was to warn tourists and other first time visitors to Paris that RER appears to have set up their system specifically to exploit this problem, and given what they are making off it, they have absolutely no interest in correcting the problem! I was perfectly aware of the fact that the RER was a separate system from the metro, but one that uses the same tickets within the City of Paris...hence the source of the confusion. So...one incorrect assumption on my part...and one incorrect assumption on YOURS!
It seems reasonable to me that in any major city, particularly a tourist destination such as Paris, such information would be readily accessible. I even spoke to the ticket collector at the station, depositing my tickets and asking which direction for the airport. The ticket collector, who apparently didn't speak much English (understandable...and not a problem!) clearly understood that I was going to the airport, and that I had put in the wrong tickets. He made no effort to stop me, explain, or collect the correct fare. When I spoke to the Inspector on the train...he suggested that I 'should have asked the ticket collector!!!' It seems to me that I did everything that a reasonable person could be expected to do in the circumstances to obtain the correct information, but it wasn't readily available. I would be willing to bet that a LOT of tourists have this same experience (they sure did on my train!)...so you MIGHT want to re-think the 'DUH!' crack, as well!
The RER clearly has a good thing going here, and they ARE exploiting it on the backs of tourists...it isn't aimed at anyone else...the locals all know better!!! Why settle for an 8 Euro fare, when you can systematically add a 17 Euro fine to every tourist (they're leaving anyway!)by simply not making any effort to explain their system to visitors, and ensuring that you exploit that ignorance to the absolute maximum (I've since been told that the gangs of inspectors are on absolutely EVERY train going to CDG!) by fining dozens and dozens of tourists on every single train?
So here we have it...the 'user-friendly' solution would be a multilingual sign in each station advising patrons of the system. This ensures that their system is complied with, allows them to provide good service without an unrealistic expectation that staff will all become multilingual, and ensures that passengers are left with a good impression of their service. Total cost? 100 Euros per station (maybe!). Or, you can set out to catch and fine as many people who are ignorant of your system as you can. (On my train car 20 passengers = 340 Euros in fines, times six cars on the train, times every single train every day!!!). When you conclude that they are making approximately 20 times the cost of the required sign off a single train...it quickly becomes clear that the motivation is economics, and had NOTHING to do with rule enforcement!!! So I say again...those of you visiting Paris for the first time...BE WARNED!!! Some of the pickpockets that you are warned about on the trains are actually operating them!!!
After travelling many times to CDG by RER B, I can assure you that tickets checks are actually uncommon. Submarine 07:55, 1 September 2008 (EDT)
I propose getting rid of the arondissements template at the bottom of all the Paris pages... is it really needed? We don't do that for any other city districts, I think them being listed in the districts section on the Paris page is sufficient... any objections? - Cacahuate 02:22, 10 March 2007 (EST)
are some of the things on this site a joke!? seriously, 'adopting a hugh grant accent might help?'?? is it just jokes people have put in? and on the havana page as well theres some wierd things!
It's trying to say that British accents are better understood than American ones... but I agree that's a bit overboard, and have nuked it. Jpatokal 23:11, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Originally it was John Major. And it's true: It really does help if you try to put on a public school british accent. I was looking for a fun way to communicate that. -- Mark 16:52, 23 April 2007 (EDT)
A la recherche du croissant
The International Herald Tribune has a blog called Globespotters that its reporters contribute to, documenting the cities where they live. They've got a Paris section, which has a page on the best croissants in the city:
Is this kind of information good for the Paris Wikitravel page? If so, how could it be worked in?Chrisvnicholson 04:26, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Sure. Stick it in an infobox for "Eat", for example. Jpatokal 04:38, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
This entire section seems a bit odd to me. Why should "don't litter," "don't yell," and "behave like you would at home," be specific only to Paris? Is it okay to litter, shout, and be rude to people in other places? Don't Smoke makes little sense when, apparently, one can smoke in bars, restaurants, and other places. I think that the entire section should be deleted. The information on fines for littering, and the anti-smoking laws is useful though - is there a better place to put that?--Wandering 16:03, 3 July 2007 (EDT)
Yeah ditch it! Maybe "Respect" for the few things worth keeping? – cacahuatetalk 01:31, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Even the respect section under France needs some rewriting. With the number of admonishments not to speak loudly, one would think that the French are equipped with particularly sensitive ear-drums!--Wandering 13:24, 9 July 2007 (EDT)
In Amsterdam, I was embarrassed by a group of my U.S. countrymen attracting scorn of Europeans with their loud conversation outside the Anne Frank house. Americans are often too loud for polite society, though I speculate that most people who bother to read wikitravel are already able to comport themselves with a reasonable degree of decorum.
Hi - an excellent article and very informative. An improvement I personally would really appreciate is a section about getting around by motorcycle/scooter. Regards Manning in Australia
At the end of the "Stay Safe" section, there is a remarkable passage about the threat of bee spitting polar bears. As a permanent resident of Paris, I can assure you this is not a problem. ^^
I'm assuming this is a joke edit by a spammer. I'm leaving it uncahnged in case the sentence originally contained a proper warning about a certain type of person, which was replaced by the polar bears. Consider revising. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs)
The whole sentence was a comedic original, so I removed it—thanks for catching that. In the future, you can check this sort of thing too by clicking the history tab to see what edits have been made recently. --PeterTalk 14:08, 15 April 2009 (EDT)
We should use this somehow
It's a first-person account, and so I understand why it was reverted, but I quite like the writing style:
Driving in Paris is less like a sedate cruise around a beutiful city taking in the sights, and more like a horn blowing, tyre screeching race. Parisian drivers are usually fiddling with the stereo, with their hand on the horn and giving everyone and their dog the middle finger. Lines on the road are there purely for decoration and the normal route is the shortest distance between two points, so expect that you will be cut off, and account for that fact, otherwise you will have some angry Parisian driver crash into you. There are very few Parisian cars (cars with 75 as the last 2 numbers on their license plate) that aren't peppered with dents. Parking involves finding a space 4 inches smaller than your car and crashing into the car behind you until you're in. At any given moment after 5pm on a weekday until about 8pm, I'd estimate that 75% of the cars driving around are just looking for that elusive parking space. There is just not enough parking in the city. Most of the buildings are late 19th and early 20th century, and were never designed with parking. Also, France has the highest percentage of motorbike usage in Europe, and children over 14 years old are able to take to the streets in vehicles up to 50cc. This limit means they constantly try to eek the last horse out of their engine, meaning theyre loud and irritating, and usually ridden by someone with less of a regard for the rules of the road than the flies stuck to their visor. When these people reach 18, they upgrade to the latest Japanese superbike, revving the engine loudly at pretty women and people taking their time to cross the road. The best thing to do here is ignore them. When stuck in traffic, you'll find this troop of motos weaving amongst the traffic revving their puny little engines and beeping the horn to tell you theyre coming through. They will drive you mad, but ignore them. Put some calming music on the stereo, calm down and drive defensively. Keep a cool head and a good idea of whats happening around you, and you'll be fine. Better yet, take the metro.
I'm not sure how or where to use this, and maybe we never will, but I just want to keep it here in case.
Just a side note, but I always try to explain in the comment when I revert what seems to be a good-faith edit which doesn't pass muster for whatever reason. I don't know if the author will read the comments or not, but it's nice to try anyhow. -- Mark 01:34, 25 June 2009 (EDT)
Too many districts?
I think using district numbers was not a great decision choice (as it will be hard to recognize the difference for travellers, and everyone knows names like Champs Elysee), but what strikes me most is the amount of 20 districts. Shouldn't we at least group them, as done in the Chicago article? Globe-trotter 04:02, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
We tried it the other way first. The problem was that people who actually live in Paris tend to think according to the arrondissement system, and so they keep adding them. After struggling with it for a year or so we just said "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". -- Mark 00:58, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
I've removed the tour listings from this article - it was a mercifully short, but still spammy, list of Segway rentals, walking tours, a downloadable guide, and some photography tours. While the lack of a physical address is reason enough for removal, it's also questionable whether any of these listings met the "If a traveler could fulfill the substance of the tour on their own, the tour should not be listed" criteria outlined in Tour. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:04, 19 December 2009 (EST)
Would some of the other users I know despise tour sections as much as I do chime in per (22.214.171.124: I am not sure how two voices constitute consensus! Maybe there should be discussion before they cut.) so we can close this edit war. And for the anon user: They are cut because they only (half-way) work in city's with a constantly watching curator - otherwise they never fail to become out of control spam targets, full of dubious companies. I'd love it if we could allow users who had been on a good tour to add a recommendation, but unfortunately the vultures are always circling above. --Stefan (sertmann)talk 14:41, 7 January 2010 (EST)
Seems pretty reasonable to me, and I honestly can't tell what our anonymous Parisian friend is upset about. No address (can't even find them), no apparent features to make them interesting (is there any of that you couldn't do without a guide?), and at least one wasn't even a tour but another general-purpose Paris guidebook. - D. Guillaime 15:23, 7 January 2010 (EST)
I don't see the problem with listing Segway tours, guided (and presumably annotated) walking tours and instructional photo tours in a Do section! How can an individual do any of these with the Wikiguide alone? What "upsets" me -- as you put it -- is that some people can appoint themselves guardians of what is "value-add", as in for example your own self-righteous claim that these services show "no apparent features to make them interesting"!! Isn't that a little arrogant of you to appoint yourself interpreter of interestingness. And please tell me how you are going to turn a guide book into a Seqway, or the historical knowledge of a history society or the technical skill of a photographer? In any event, in my first foray into wiki, its reputation - and that of its users/editors/admins - has been confirmed! Even the admin that locked the article did so in favour of his own biases, despite the fact that the dispute arose over content that was longstanding, and should therefore have been left in until resolved. - Anon
While I (clearly) don't think we should have any tour listings at all, the current listings - as both Dguillaime and Ryan mentioned, break our policy on their own. Hence if they were to be reintroduced, as a minimum office addresses and preferably also prices should be added to the listings. So far that has not happened, hence the lock at the previous version. If you are fine with not re-adding any listings without the minimum required information (and ones that travellers can't do on their own, like it or not, it's the current site policy), I'll be happy to unprotect and take the discussion while some complete listings are on the page.
And I'm fine with taking a little beating over keeping this site clean and useful, it's a lot of work, and I'm confident enough that our patrolling does more good than harm, that I'm fine with confirming your "fears". We've been forced to adapt the huge influx of business owners, that comes with the growing popularity of this site, just something we have to deal with the best way we can --Stefan (sertmann)talk 16:03, 7 January 2010 (EST)
The requirement for addresses, contact info and prices is certainly a reasonable minimum and I have no problem leaving out any that don't meet these minimum standards. But what bothers me is the continued reference by editors to travelers being able to do these on their own, or that somehow they are not interesting or value add enough to warrant inclusion. You and other so-called patrollers go beyond your duties and substitute your own judgement and biases when you start to abandon the more objective requirements for basic information and substitute your subjective conclusions on whether a Segway tour is interesting or value-add, for example. Like it or not, business listings are allowed on wikitravel, and are governed by policies and requirements that all users and admins must respect. It doesn't matter whether you "(clearly) ... despise" tours or not, the listing policies are meant to protect users from spammers as much as they are to protect legitimate businesses from overzealous editors with an anti-business bent. - Anon
Not at all. Wikitravel is a travel guide, not a comprehensive business directory. Listing only an interesting subset of options is very much a goal (how many tens of thousands of restaurants does Paris have? displaying them all would be madness!), and like all travel guides is necessarily subjective. Certainly useful business listings are encouraged and strongly desired, but there's no absolute right to list every business. - D. Guillaime 16:52, 7 January 2010 (EST)
Considering that the list of services in questions involved about 6 businesses, your answer (focussing on comprehensive business directories and restaurants) misses the point. I never said every business had to be listed. I was lamenting the view of the few editors here that seems to be that no business should be listed, which is contrary to wiki policy (http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Welcome,_business_owners) and an abuse of an admin's privileges to substitute his or her judgment of "desirable" listings. - Anon
Which is exactly why I personally prefer to avoid making the distinction at all, by removing the section altogether. The reference to "travelers being able to do these on their own" is pretty natural, It's an implemented policy decided upon by the community, which is what guides the patrolling. Second, I don't despise tours, for example I find the photography tours very interesting, and something I could definitely see myself doing if I visit Paris and third, I've added hundreds if not thousands of businesses to Wikitravel, so I'm hardly anti-business bent.
Tours, Vacation Apartments and car rentals are just a huge headache around here, and we spend much time dealing with them. We want to keep focus on content, having 200 tour listings on the paris guide taking up half the page, takes focus away from the content - which is the real issue - not some anti business sentiment. If we allow one, why shouldn't we allow the other one, and suddenly the Paris guide looks like the old sleep section of our Rome guide. Please look at the sleep section on that link, and tell me again, that this is what Wikitravel should strive for.
Or better yet, suggest a change the policy, which can allow some but not all tours, and some guide lines on how to choose those. Do we only allow one listing per kind of tour - and then - who should decide which of them gets listed? should we only allow our magic 9, and then again, how can we non subjectively decide which 9 is should be?
Last post from me (because we are clearly talking past one another). I don't need to suggest changes to the policy, the policy already allows tours and already allows business listings. If you want to delete tours, then it is up to you to propose the policy be change to ban them. Otherwise, the policies on those are clear; it is the (mis)interpretation of those policies that is at issue. You can cite "Rome sleep section" style madness all you want, but we are not talking about restaurants or hotels (which can be countless), we are talking about tours, which have a clear policy allowing listings. Take out all the ones without addresses, phones numbers and prices if you want (which is clear violation of the policy), but don't dump all the rest and say they are "uninteresting" or that "travelers are able to do it on their own", when clearly they are not (most of the tours listed were not sightseeing tours; they involved either specialized material or skills). It is the degree of value-add, interestingness and the ability to do it on their own that was originally cited for the removal. Again, my beef is not with an otherwise balanced and workable policy, it is with self-righteous interpretation of that policy that says more about the biases of the editors than it does about the service establishments being deleted.
Yay! There is none to put back that adheres to the policy - problem gone. And by the way, before you accuse me working around policy, I deleted those [who did not follow the tour policy], and Ryan deleted those that did not include required information. So there is no breaking of any policies going on. --Stefan (sertmann)talk 17:34, 7 January 2010 (EST)
So anyway, with our French friend gone, is there a consensus on removing the tour section from Paris, as we have done in Rome? While there is truth to fact that we have policy on tour listings, I don't agree that it supersedes a consensus to remove them from individual destinations where they constitute a problem. --Stefan (sertmann)talk 18:02, 7 January 2010 (EST)
Just for the record, see:
Sertmann comment at 14:41: "Would some of the other users I know despise tour sections as much as I do..." and again at 16:04: "While I (clearly) don't think we should have any tour listings at all...";
Ryan comment on Dec 19: "it's also questionable whether any of these listings met the 'If a traveler could fulfill the substance of the tour on their own, the tour should not be listed'"; and,
Dguillaime comment at 15:23: "no apparent features to make them interesting (is there any of that you couldn't do without a guide?)".
All of these comments suggest disregard for, or overly subjective interpretation given the nature of the tours in question, of the agreed policy re listing tours. So yes, I do accuse you and others or "working around policy" - Anon
Yeah, because 6 entries was so hard on the eyes and the mouse. Wikidemocracy at its finest. (i.e., 'consensus' = the wishes of the few with control over the admin switch once everyone else has left the room).
Sigh, do we agree that noone has deleted any tours that did not violate policy? Just went through them again, And I genuinely can't find any, Since noone have deleted any valid entries, there can't really have been any interpretation involved. And you said yourself that would be your last post, so I don't find it unreasonable to assume you wouldn't be involved in any further discussion either.
Agree or not, I think the tour section constitute a problem in the Paris guide, and I'm trying to build a consensus to remove the section. Which, yeah, is the price for wikidemocracy, but the way it works is you discuss disagreements until you find common ground - which we haven't found yet, so I'm continuing the discussion. --Stefan (sertmann)talk 18:25, 7 January 2010 (EST)
And this is precisely the part that bothers me: "Agree or not, I think the tour section constitute a problem in the Paris guide, and I'm trying to build a consensus to remove the section." It is simply not your prerogative to try to build a consensus to remove a section for which there is otherwise a broadly agreed policy to allow it. It is not your prerogative to decide that the "tour section constitutes a problem in the Paris guide" when there are rules that provide for letting tour listings. I don't dispute the inadequacy of many of the listings, but the whole premise of this debate has been -- from the very beginning -- that there should not be tour listings AT ALL. And you continue to pursue that approach -- even actively try to get consensus around it -- which as I have said is not your prerogative. Wikitravel, and Wikipedia more generally, would be well served its admins just stuck to applying policy on acceptable entries, rather than freelancing whenever it suits their fancy.
Contrary to surprisingly popular belief, there is no formal relationship between Wikitravel and Wikipedia: different parent organizations, different goals, different servers, different policies.... Both use the same MediaWiki software, but that's it.
I also believe you're mistaken about the tour listing in policy in general. It's not part of the standard sections, even the most elaborate one used for huge cities, and I see nothing at all that could be construed as "a broadly agreed policy to allow it". The only thing I see that's applicable at all is the tour subsection of the attractions policy, which operates on the basis of whether a tour "should" be in the guides -- using a default assumption that they should not, unless and until they meet a (fairly simple) set of criteria. The corresponding discussion for that particular policy makes the point even clearer -- earlier policy drafts were stricter still. - D. Guillaime 19:09, 7 January 2010 (EST)
Anyone may start discussions to achieve consensus for changes. That's how this site is governed, and it's wholly irrelevant whether the discussant is an admin. And this would not be the first time we removed a section due to abnormally large problems with spammers/additions of listings that do not meet our policy requirements. --PeterTalk 19:28, 7 January 2010 (EST)
Peter, there were six listings! most of which were removed explicitly because the original user/editor/admin or whatever (doesn't matter to me) felt they could be done with only the guide (which is not true), not because there was "abnormally large problems with spammers/additions". And when I learned about 'consensus', it meant the "absence of objection" to a proposed course of action. But since I objected to the change, I discovered that in wikitravelland it seems that consensus means that admins (so you see it is relevant) can delete a text, lock the article and then just wait until all who disagree have left the room and then declare consensus has been reached... Anon
Please read Tour and Wikitravel talk:Activity listings. The admins here are nominated and approved based on their understanding of site policy and a willingness to uphold those policies; in this case everyone but you seems to be in agreement that the tours listed did not meet the previously-referenced guidelines. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:42, 7 January 2010 (EST)
I have read all the relevant policies and understand the decision-making process, thank you. As I have said, but you are clearly not paying attention, with the exception of the missing physical address listings (which is readily fixable), most of the listings would have complied with those policies except for your and others subjective interpretation of whether they were value-add. You can drive a truck through the ambiguity in that finding, which is why someone in the discussion of the policy proposed that the good faith of the lister be assumed unless is it blatantly wrong. In any event, "everyone but [me] seems to be in agreement" strikes me as a formula for the absence of consensus; yet the entries were still deleted despite this absence of consensus.
My original removal of the tours from this article was due to the fact that ALL of the tours previously listed on this page violated the Tour policy, a policy was created via community consensus (see the talk page); if I had wanted to exercise bias I would have left the rollerblading and photography tours, which interested me personally. If the anonymous user disagrees with the removal of these tours then the proper redress is to work to build consensus to get the policy changed; as he/she stated: "business listings... are governed by policies and requirements that all users and admins must respect." -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:39, 7 January 2010 (EST)
I think the reason this has become so messy is I rolled to questions into one (should have known better), but please keep them separate:
1) The section was deleted because none of the listings adhered to policy. I hope we can all agree now that this was indeed the case.
2) I saw problems brewing on the horizon (there were 16 listings at one point), and suggested instead of fighting (spending time better used elsewhere) to keep the section clean, we got rid of it altogether. It's easy to take the higher ground, when you don't spend the time policing the additions.--Stefan (sertmann)talk 20:55, 7 January 2010 (EST)
Hi all. I'm in favour of keeping the tour lisings.
I've never had the slightest problem with having the tour listings. Offering organized tours is a legitimate business, and according to our rules it's fine for businesses to list themselves, so long as they don't mess with the competition.
Now, that said, some of the language was touting, and should be edited down to fun and informative, but still these are good-faith contributions and should be considered as such. -- Mark 12:21, 8 January 2010 (EST)
I guess one of the reasons I'm so adamant about removing this section, is that it has been referred to by toutish tour operators from other cities, "If they can it Paris, why can't I?" type of argument. I know this is not really a completely valid argument, in any case, the photography tours - are they legit per our current policies? --Stefan (sertmann)talk 20:31, 16 January 2010 (EST)
I understand the whole Chateau at Versailles is not in Paris bit, but listing Versailles (22 km from city center) in Get out? Seems a bit extreme to me and might give folks the wrong impression (like "it's a big hassle" which it isn't).Zepppep 14:49, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I think it's fine, it's in Versailles outside of Paris. This is what the Get Out section is made for. Globe-trotter 14:52, 22 December 2009 (EST)