Thursday, March 31, 2011

Finding 'Bobos' in Paris

I've received emails from two friends in the past two days directing me to an article in the NYT Sunday Travel section. They both know I LOVE Paris and Paris is exactly what the Times article is about. Amy Thomas spent two years in Paris doing research for a book on food. (That's a gig I could do you manage to get one of those?) She speaks not only of the Right and Left Banks of Paris, but also of the Edgy East and the Refined West...areas of Paris less well known, but up and coming places for 'Bobos' those well-educated, upper-middle class professionals who mix their bourgeoise lives with their bohemian philosophies.

The Edgy East is anchored by the Canal St.-Martin. I spent a morning in September 2009 wandering up and down the Canal. I found not a single 'Bobo' but rather a lot of homeless men sitting on benches and wandering about in the little parks along the waterway. One park in particular appeared to be 'homeless central' with old mattresses and pieces of cardboard stashed behind bushes waiting for nightfall. I have to say it made me a bit uncomfortable! The Canal, the parks and the pedestrian bridges were lovely, but the area seemed a little too edgy for me that morning.

Maybe I did see a 'Bobo' or two during my stroll. These two children were adorable sipping their hot chocolate at the nighborhood sidewalk cafe while their maman had her morning expresso. So very Parisian! Maybe the area is worth a revisit..this time I'll be on the lookout for 'Bobos' and not 'hobos!'

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