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Archive for February, 2011

Gangs of Marseille??

So it has recently come to my attention that there is a significant portion of the American tourism handbook industry that is actively telling people not to come to Marseille. The section on Marseille in France for Dummies (actually entitled “Marseille: Crime and Bouillabaisse”) includes such gems as “don’t take your car [to Marseille] as it will almost certainly get broken into or stolen” and “make a quick tour of Marseille…a major transportation hub in the South.” Transportation hub?? Also, they suggest that everybody that comes to Marseille pretty much only does so for prostitutes and/or drugs. I even read one online source that (legitimately?) warns travelers who are not up to date on their vaccinations of the potential risk of hepatitis A.

Well consider this post a rebuttal to “Crime and Bouillabaisse” from someone who has not only never been robbed/attacked in Marseille (I mean, knock on wood I guess) but is also a vegetarian and has never had a 60 euro bowl of fish stew. Furthermore, I did not come here in search of prostitutes and drugs. Ok maybe a few prostitutes, but listen, Marseille is great, and I’ll tell you why: (more…)

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Upon leaving Paris, my erstwhile home, I set out on an eastward course, landing in a place where I not only didn’t know the city at all, but where I couldn’t even speak the language. (I always feel guilty when this happens, when I don’t even really understand the structure of the language enough to string together the few words I do know. At least in Italian and Spanish, if I’ve got some nouns and verbs, I can make myself understood because I can figure out what order to put them in. German? Lost cause. Incidentally, I did get really good at saying Einschuldigung…but I digress.) (more…)

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French premium cable channel Canal+ has this FANTASTIC ad campaign for its big television movie premiere events. The posters manage to be on-trend with the whole clean, minimalist design that you people seem to love so much, while making some truly superb references, way too witty to be pasted on the wall of a bus shelter. SO HERE I GO BRINGING THEM TO THE INTERWEBZ. Thought I’d share…because, well, they’re awesome. Translations provided with the disclaimer that, like most things, I think it sounds better in French. (more…)

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Reflections on a capital city

I hate tourists. After a solid summer of pushing my way through Times Square at rush hour, everyone with a fanny pack and a huge camera is the enemy. When you live in a city, you outgrow its tourist tendencies, and if you’ve lived in a big city, any big city, really, the tourists, wherever you go, start to annoy you. (more…)

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