Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Paris Then and Now?

Cafe au Lait in the Jardin de Luxembourg

Cafe au Lait in the Jardin de Luxembourg

Sitting in the beautiful Jardin de Luxembourg, myMEGusta pulled out the Blackberry and started typing, reflecting on how Paris has changed since the 1970s.


You rarely see people (other than tourists) in sneakers, but here in the Jardin de Luxembourg and environs is the occasional glimpse of few spandex clad joggers, among them a squadron of young firemen in snappy, red uniforms, running by. We spotted them again later, changing from their gym shorts to fireman’s pants (in the street).

If nothing else, Paris is scenic!

Having walked all over Paris over the course of a few days, myMEGusta espied only one apparent gym, a storefront operation in the 17th Arrondisement with signage depicting a bikini clad babe riding what looked like an elliptical machine – in a giant tub.

Parisians  walk a lot, like New Yorkers, but in fancy shoes rather than the clumsy foot apparel Americans indulge in. The only amply proportioned people walking about appeared to be tourists, as well as the only ones in sneakers.

Good riddance to Deux Chevaux, Gitanes, and jetons



Deux Chevaux

Deux Chevaux

Two of the three, the funny little two horsepower Citroens, and extremely smelly Gitane cigarettes, are blessedly rare.


Jetons, the little slugs you had to purchase at bars to use a pay phone, are extinct (perhaps from all the Gitane smoke).

Cabine Telephphonique

Cabine Telephonique


But, one of myMEGusta’s favorites, boudin noir (French blood sausage) was elusive, and we sadly missed out on it this time. Like good Southwestern food in Santa Fe, the local treats are being replaced with lighter, more cosmopolitan and modern fare.

And Turkish toilets

As for Turkish toilets (if you have to ask, you don’t want to know), it is rumored that there is only one remaining in a reputedly tourist trap restaurant in the city. We did not seek it out.

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2 thoughts on “Paris Then and Now?

  1. Hello,   interesting comments. I have not been in Paris in years and our last sojourn to France was a day trip to Burgundy connected with a river cruise down the Rhone River to Arles.    We had Andouille and I do not remember boudin noir on the menu.   Generally Europeans do not go to the gym, they exercise outdoors by hiking, walking, bicycling or other traditional methods. My brother just returned from a hiking   our in the Alps.   So much for exercise. I work in the garden, take subway and buses in New York. That is enough exercise. Stay well, keep A mi me gusta coming.  

  2. Ph. Bertrand on said:

    Wow. A serious and important question, out of professional curiosity: what underpants were these firemen wearing when you caught them changing?

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