Please sign in to post.
Posted by
9914 posts

Thoughts and prayers to the families.

I'm heading to Paris next week and this does not change anything for me.

I did download an app called SAIP that was recommended in the email from the State Department. It is an official French government mobile alert app from the Ministry of the Interior and is offered in English. I am not technically inclined so I suspect it won't work unless I am hooked up to WIFI but I guess I'll see.

Posted by
920 posts

Have fun Pam -

Thanks for the info.... just added that app. I am off to Paris also but the end of May

Posted by
21852 posts

It doesn't bother me either and I would go tomorrow. But one of big concerns is this events and others like it will provide an excuse for others to over react. To be a free society we have to take some risks. We will see how this one plays out. I shutter at what may pop-up on twitter tonight.

Posted by
8506 posts

Those police are top-notch, but it's so sad that the officers were killed. That's two times French police downed the shooter immediately. Very sorry officers were lost while protecting us.

Posted by
208 posts

Terribly sad. Thank you, Pam, for the app. I've just downloaded it, even though I won't be in France until the fall.

Posted by
672 posts

Pam, thanks for the reminder about that app. I had it on my phone last year when we were in Paris, but I deleted it when we got home. I re-installed it for our visit next month.

Posted by
3936 posts

We actually arrived yesterday. I didn't know anything about it until I saw it on Facebook this morning. We may have heard the sirens going, but just thought it was normal city stuff. At that time, we were at montparnasse collecting our bags. Makes me slightly hesitant, but honestly, the odds are in our favour. Heading out soon to the arc de triomphe for some evening photos.

Posted by
11973 posts

The worst part is that, for at least a little while, you will see a much larger police presence along Champs-Elysees.

I don't really worry about it but I'll be there on May 1st and I'll try to avoid the labor crowds, not because of them but because crowds are typically targeted and I'll avoid crowds in general where possible.

Posted by
498 posts

Are you suggesting this makes Paris "less nice"?

Similar things have happened in Berlin, New York. Life goes on. Keep on Travelin.

Posted by
8401 posts

I liked seeing all the police out patrolling when we were there recently, as I passed by them I said Merçi.

Posted by
12982 posts

True...crowds are "typically targeted." plus you'll expect to see more police and Army patrols in Paris. In the late 1990s it was Army patrols and the CRS at the Paris train stations.

Posted by
21852 posts

I know the State Dept warnings are always about avoiding cr.owds but that is often where you want to be. But terrorists arracks are so rare and random that I don't think there is any hard rule that applies. Who would have thought that Ft Lauderdale airport would be a target? H

Posted by
498 posts

Yes, the going on about State Department warnings and police presence is somewhat loathsome to me. These things will not keep you safe nor free. It's hard to think of terror attacks like car accidents - relatively rare and unpredictable - because terror is so intentional and car accidents are not. However this is really the best way to do it.

Almost all of my travel in my life has taken place since 911 and I"ve been going to Europe annual since then. The conversation never changes. It's only those Americans from the safest places who have the greatest sense of imminent danger, it seems.

Posted by
12982 posts

There are lots of American tourists going who swear by the State Dept warnings and are on the "list" to be informed by the State Dept when a warning is announced. I'm not, never got around to it.

Posted by
1425 posts

Instead of enjoying their lives in the top 1% of all humans in the
history of the world by any measure (wealth, health, safety, lack of
war), they have instead developed a mental illness where they can't
stop thinking about irrational, statistically irrelevant events that
effectively have no chance of impacting them. This illness causes them
to focus 100% of their attention on literally tearing down their
gilded world and bring unhappiness and suffering to millions with
their policies and actions, all to get to the utopia where risk is
zero percent, not .000000000001%.

Exactly. This is the safest time ever in the history of humanity but you wouldn't know it from the news and social media. It floods us with negative news that has absolutely nothing to do with our daily lives - thus, it distorts our perception of reality even if we are aware of the attempts at distortion. I live in Tallahassee, FL. A wackjob in Paris killing a couple of people sucks but it has zero effect on me, yet the news and social media commands me to have concern, sorrow, and fear. Why? Because it generates clicks and ratings. The reality is that crime is very low historically and terrorism is barely there at all.

Posted by
21852 posts

Thanks for the defense, Celeste, but not needed. Just some posters like to climb on high horses. Only a very active imagination puts the Manhattan subway on the front line of the war, but then I will have to remember to wear my flak jacket the next time time I ride with my senior discount card.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Frank, I just returned from Paris last week. My friend and I where inflight to Paris when the attack on the Champs Elysee happened and were not aware of it until we arrived the following day. The next day, we walked the Champs Elysee and never thought twice about it until we came upon the flowers that where put in place where the attack occurred. We acknowledge it and kept on walking. We did notice police security walking around at the major metro/train stations but I believe they were already there even before this last attack.

Posted by
13719 posts

I spent the day in a European capital city in which there was an event involving thousands of spectators crammed in a very small district. I overheard, "thank G-d we are here and not Paris" and I think I understood the context of the statement. Between terrorism, pickpockets and overt anti Semetism, Paris isn't as fun as it once was. But I still think it is one of the first 3 places everyone should visit in Europe (Paris, London, Rome).

I see I have disturbed some folks (below). To keep this travel related, the Jewish leadership in Paris has encouraged that Jews, for their safety, not dress in a manner that would identify them as targets. Last year I believe was a record year for incidents against Jews. This year is turning out to be more typical. I suspect that the Jews leaving the country in record numbers (why?) helps the statistics as does the doubling of security. So don't suppose that victim numbers reflect attitudes. Personally, I would not travel in Paris wearing a kippa.

But then what was first on my mind in the post was pickpocketing and terrorism; as anti Semetism to an uncomfortable degree is pretty universal.

Still, while what is going on in Paris (the topic city) is terrible I have faith in mankind. AND, it remains one of my favorite places in the world. I just figure we have enough people here describing things through rose colored glasses making room for a little dirty reality.

I hesitate to post articles, because no one article is definitive on complex subjects. But here is a starting point from which you can begin your own search if the topic interests you. Its focus is narrow and like all reporting it has bias, so it's only a start. https://www.google.hu/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/e21f7b06-4b35-11e6-88c5-db83e98a590a

And, we all travel with different expectations and reasons. I love people, especially strong and principled people. The French are simply amazing in their tenacity in the face of recent events. To downplay the events steals them of the recognition of their strength. One of the reasons I love Paris so much.

With the Jewish issue the government has displayed decency if not courage by the doubling of security around the synagogues and in the neighborhoods. I have found this pretty typical. Unique? Probably not, but tough situations always brings the cream to the top where it can be recognized for what it is.

Off subject, but moving were the Egyptian soldiers that gave their lives protecting the Coptic church. Speaks volumes about the basic good of mankind. I've been to Egypt, but now I want to return.

So, I will continue to point out the other side of the coin so that I can continue to recognize that which I, and maybe some others, travel to recognize.

Posted by
8401 posts

75020, Thank you for that good article regarding the dramatic decline in anti-Semitism in France.

Posted by
21852 posts

Just need to consider who posted the comment and ignore. Some folks have an axe to grind.

Posted by
216 posts

While the chances of being personally affected by a terrorist incident is minuscule, the chances of experiencing a generalised increased threat are higher in some places. Paris is probably one of them.

I read the report of the National Consultative Committee on Human Rights. Although attacks on Jewish targets were down last year, they have been steadily rising since the early 1990s. The French government attributes last year's decrease to fewer people visibly identifying as Jewish. Attacks on Muslim targets, however, have sharply increased. So it would appear that the types of sentiments that fuel terrorism are still present.

Will this or should this stop people from travelling to Paris? That is a personal decision. We are going this month. Will I be distinctly uncomfortable if LaPen wins the election? Yes. I think it will certainly negatively affect non-white people whether residents or travellers.

Posted by
384 posts

Interestingly enough, the same day this attack happened, 3 Seattle cops were shot trying to arrest a shoplifter. No breaking news, no wringing of hands -- even in Seattle, it was sort of a non-event except for the fact it screwed up the evening commute.

Obviously, the circumstances were different, but the result was the same (almost: the Seattle cops all lived).

Do I feel Seattle is anymore dangerous now that this has happened? No.

Do I feel Paris is any less safe after the attack? No.

Am I still going to Paris, going to enjoy Paris, going to love Paris? Yes.

BTW, if the terrorists are reduced from bringing down buildings with hijacked airliners to drive-by shootings, then we are decidedly winning.

Posted by
13719 posts

Mike, you nailed it with the "do I feel". It's all pretty subjective and it all comes down to how you feel. There really isn't a right or wrong answer. Like I say, it's a holiday for G-d's sake, don't do anything you won't enjoy; and don't feel guilty for your feelings.

Posted by
12982 posts

I would suspect that for numerous American tourists receiving/reading the State Dept warnings is more than sufficient reason not to go and that the right answer is based on what is given by the State Dept. For them the warning is the right answer. That Paris has seen an increase in tourism is irrelevant in their decision not to go.

Posted by
13719 posts

Fred, G-d bless you my friend, if they feel most comfortable doing what the state department says, then that is their correct answer.

Posted by
12982 posts

I do agree that what the State Dept does is a CYA thing, then it's up to us travelers to weigh the facts and decide. A relative of mine will be in Budapest (first time) towards the end of May as added days after a business trip in the Czech Rep, and is flying back from Budapest via FRA to Calif. I am sure she will be delighted in visiting BP.

Posted by
13719 posts

I read the reports. Sometimes there is something interesting or relevant. I pay more attention when the State Department actually removes families of employees. But it's all subjective. What brought this up? Something new being published on Paris? The only thing else to consider would be that while the chances of being killed by terrorists anywhere in Europe is astronomical, the odds of being wounded is several hundred percent higher; but still astronomical. However, the threat of your plans being affected by closures, or cancellations does border on a justifiable concern in a few locations; but a little flexibility will handle that pretty well.