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Paris Problems?

Last summer, about two blocks north of Notre Dame during services, a Jewish synagogue was attacked by a couple of thousand Muslims. In light of today's tragic events in the same neighborhood, I feel very queezy about spending vacation time in Paris this spring and recommending the same to our friends. The lack of an armed police force and the amount of time it took the police with guns to get to the synagogue (about an hour) has probably already made up my mind to avoid Paris altogether. I have virtually no experience traveling in France and have never been to Paris. Am I overthinking anything here? One last note: I heard on BBC about 725 "no go" zones for police in France. Could that be true?

Posted by
1034 posts

Yes, you are overthinking. Paris, as are most European locationa, very safe and, in fact, safer than many of the cities you may choose to visit in the USA. Go on your vacation.

Posted by
8293 posts

"The lack of an armed police force ..." What?

Posted by
11450 posts

Jim,, where do you get your information.. I know that there are armed police in Paris.. I have seen them..

And frankly you are over thinking it big time.. do you read American papers.. random shootings ..as well as some terrorist activities ( Boston Marathon,, remember) happen in your country, quite a lot actually.. you will likely be safer in Paris then many large American cities.

As for whether you ever return.. fine.. don't , more room for me ! I will continue to visit and the sky is not falling.. and I won't let terrorists win..
Do tourists still flock to New York.. of course they do..

I think you are over thinking it.. and in the worse narrow way ever.

Just my opinion, oh yeah.. and the millions of other tourists that will continue to flock to Paris.

Be aware.. bad things can and do happen anywhere.

Posted by
11450 posts

PS on what experience or information are you recommending or not recommending visiting Paris to friends..??

I just looked up the State Department travel advisory for France.. nothing new there.. just the usual "report unattended packages" etc.. this is on many countries sites..

Posted by
51 posts

The policeman today was unarmed. It was reported by Sky and BBC that most of the "beat" cops can choose to carry or not carry.

Posted by
11450 posts

Jim did u look up the State department site?

Jim did Americas armed police prevent any of the random and not so random shootings and bombings that have happened in your country?

The sky is not falling.

Posted by
693 posts

Jim. Out of respect for those who lost their lives only a few hours ago, perhaps we could leave discussion of how this abomination will affect your travel plans for another time.

Posted by
2893 posts

It is a sad fact of modern life that terrorist attacks can take place anywhere at any time, an unfortunately, Paris is not immune to such attacks. If the fact that attacks have occurred in Paris make you feel queasy, then I think that you should avoid going. However, that will probably mean that you should avoid New York City, Boston, London, Sydney, Moscow and sadly the list goes on. Just to clarify something, in case someone reads your post and thinks that there were two attacks on synagogues, the synagogue that was attacked this summer is two kilometers from Notre Dame. As to "no go" zones, there are over 700 (717, the last time looked in 2013) sensitive urban zones in France. These zones are areas in which unemployment is over twice the national rate, more than half the residents are of foreign origin, chiefly Algerian, Moroccan and sub-Saharan Africa, three-quarters live in subsidized housing and 36% are below the poverty line, three times the national average. Within that number, there are supposedly areas in certain neighborhoods that the police, fire fighters, etc. refuse to go because of violence, although the official police spokespeople deny that there are any such areas.

And +1 for mph.

Posted by
51 posts

I've worked in dozens of N. America's largest cites, walking around night and day in the city centers at trade shows, with zero problems. Not so, traveling around Europe, with the typical hassles at the major sights and a couple of not so typical ones, especially in Italy. This would be about ten weeks total travel time. I no longer care about those types of hassles. I just don't want to be introduced to any new ones (that would require new information) when things seem to be escalating.

Posted by
6487 posts

I think it's important to note that this was not a random attack affecting tourists. There was a specific target for a specific reason (albeit an idiotic one). I certainly would not let it affect my travel to Paris any more than other terrorist attacks have affected my travel anywhere else including New York, Oklahoma City, London, Tokyo, etc.

Posted by
31471 posts

jim,

Paris is a wonderful city, and I wouldn't let the events of today (or the previous attack on the Synagogue) change your travel plans. It's important to note that the event today was specifically targeted rather than a random attack or something directed towards tourists. The attack on the Synagogue was also directed at a specific group, and not at tourists.

"The lack of an armed police force"

I can assure you that most Police in France are well armed. The Gendarmerie are a military police force and I've never seen them without weapons. All of the Police Nationale officers that I've ever seen have also carried sidearms. The officer in today's attack may have been a traffic officer or perhaps doing parking enforcement. In addition to Police, higher profile locations such as the Eiffel Tower have Army patrols with assault rifles (the French use a "bullpup" model similar to the British, which is quite distinctive). Your main concern in Paris will be dealing with pickpockets and petty crime (which is true of most large European cities).

Unfortunately, these incidents seem to be the reality these days. Despite that, I have no concerns at all in visiting any of the cities that have been affected including London, New York, Paris, Ottawa or Sydney.

Posted by
2081 posts

jim,

i havent been to any of those places while those things were happening, but Paris is a large city and i guess if you want to find trouble, you can find it anywhere, even at home.

I hate crowds and that would include things like you mention, so its in my nature to not go there.

With regards to armed police they have them around. Ive seen 3 man teams around the sights with full auto firearms. Don't bother to ask them any questions since they are there to watch out for baddies and have their heads on swivels.

If you dont want to go due to things like that, its up to you. But i think you are letting them win.

Happy trails.

Posted by
4690 posts

The terrorists are trying to instill irrational fear. If you stay away from Paris, they win.

I can also assure you that Paris is not the only city in the world where beat cops do not carry guns.

Posted by
852 posts

I think I would have to agree with others. You are of course having a pretty natural immediate human reaction, and since it is your life, you get to choose what to do with it, but ultimately avoiding an entire city seems irrational. I live in Washington, D.C., and we deal with random acts of senselessness more often than I would like to admit (Navy Yard shooting, White House breaches, homicides, Beltway sniper attacks, 9/11), and by your explanation above, you would need to avoid coming here as well (and probably most other major US cities).

Posted by
206 posts

It's not up to the people that post on this site to help you decide to travel or not. If you are afraid, STAY HOME! I was almost in a car wreck last week so I have decided to never drive again. To me, that sounds like the way some people decide about travel.

Posted by
14917 posts

People need to keep a sense of proportion. It seems like the safer life gets, the more fearful people are.

Posted by
2246 posts

"Last summer, about two blocks north of Notre Dame during services, a Jewish synagogue was attacked by a couple of thousand Muslims."

I'm wondering where this information came from. The nearest synagogue to Notre Dame appears to be 1 kilometer away in the Marais, the Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue. I do not find a reference for a disturbance there in that time frame. The primary disturbance/attack took place at Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue, on rue de la Roquette, 2.7 kilometers away in the 11th Arrondissement. According to the article from the Jerusalem Post linked below, there were five police officers guarding the synagogue at the time from an anti Jewish protest that had broken off from a larger one at the Bastille. The article does not say how many protesters/attackers there were, however I suspect that if it were "a couple of thousand" more than three synagogue members would have been taken to the hospital; it was, indeed, during services with about two hundred in attendance.

My point is, at times like this it's really important to stick with verifiable facts, and to be careful not to over or under estimate and thereby skew the significance of a particular story. If it happened two blocks from Notre Dame that could make it more compelling for some than if it took place near the Bastille, imho.

I find the suggestion that the City of Paris lacks "an armed police force" to be misleading, at best.

http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Anti-Israel-protesters-attack-Paris-synagogue-362643

The population of France is about 5-10% Muslim. Interacting with some them is often part of a visit. I can't wait to get back to France.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_France

There was an interview on NPR yesterday with White House Terrorism official Lisa Monaco discussing the number of people thought to be attempting to travel to receive training and then return to their homeland to perpetrate lone wolf style attacks, the number they gave for France was about 1000; and about 100 for the United States. Key info is at around 2:30.

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=375671835&m=375671854&live=1

Posted by
12923 posts

Statistically the worst year for terrorism for American citizens was 2001. Most of those American victims were not in Paris or Rome or London, but in New York. Nearly all of them were not traveling on vacation, but rather they were at work in their offices.

Historical data therefore shows that you are more likely to be killed by terrorists while you are at work than while traveling on vacation.

Going to work can kill you. Don't go to work.

Go to Paris on vacation.

Posted by
203 posts

Good to see so many common sense answers on here. Like everyone says if you are scared stay home. I acknowledge that travelling is dangerous. all that good food could lead to obesity and with it all the linked health risks..... I could break an ankle walking on cobblestone streets as I wander through markets..... I could get tendonitis in my elbow eating all that gelato....
Im sorry for being sarcastic but there are risks whether you are home or on holidays. Use some common sense and enjoy life.

Posted by
8406 posts

Thank you Dave from Ventura for debunking the misinformation in the "question."
Thank you Roberto for the excellent advice.

Posted by
51 posts

Dave,
A Google search lists several attacks last July on Jews and Jewish centers in Paris. The Marias district is 200 feet north of Notre Dame - 1 km is 6/10 of a mile - Rick Steves has a one-star "Strolling the Marias" section in his guidebooks including a couple of two-star and several one-star sights on the stroll. You will even see a google Newsweek Magazine cover story about Jews in the Marias "packing their bags and fleeing......" Paris, Europe. And this was last summer.

Posted by
11253 posts

jim_bird1....I think you should stay home. You are against going to Paris and why go somewhere you don't want to be.

I'm actually glad....you see, when I'm in Paris later this year, there will be at least one less person and Paris is so crowded, the more we can get to stay away, the better for those of us who go. :)

But if you're here to try to convince others not to go, well, you're shouting against a brick wall. Most of us here won't change travel plans unless a full blown war breaks out where tanks are occupying the city.

I've been in London, where the cops don't carry guns, on the day an IRA bomb went off. I flew into NY just after 9/11. At no time did I worry about terrorists.

Both attacks today were not in areas where tourists normally go. The "no go" zones you mention are definitely not in areas where tourists normally go.

There are areas of every major city in the U.S. that are probably not a good idea to wander in. Would you then say to people don't go to that city at all because a few areas are bad or would you say go but stay away from certain areas?

Posted by
11253 posts

I guess sarcasm truly can be wasted......

if you've ever been to Paris, you'll understand about the crowds. One less person going is not going to make a difference...

I added a "smiley" so people won't get confused.

WORST POST, so far in 2015, but it's early - absolutely an unintelligent, condescending post - from someone with 4500 posts, and who should know better.

You haven't been here long. Just wait....it gets a lot worse around here.

Posted by
11450 posts

Jim. I was in Paris last summer.. and enjoyed my second visit to the Shoah Museum in the Marais... sure , there were some extra police around.. but it didn't deter us from our visit.

Some people are just more fearful I guess.. its ok for you to admit you are a fearful person.

Posted by
2081 posts

one other comment.

when i was sent to Calais in the late 90s early 2000s for work i had one day in Paris to see it. I was staying at the CDG Hilton and the clerk told me to really avoid missing the CDG metro stop and getting off at the next since you didnt want to be there at all. At night would not be a good idea either. Even back then there was an issue with crime but not widely know, at least to me, a first time traveler.

when i was waiting for my train at Kings X last year there were armed police with M4s around the station.

happy trails.

Posted by
13557 posts

I guess I see two issues; one of safety and one of personal conscience. I won’t travel to Russia or Canada because of personal conscience. I don’t judge anyone that does, and don’t really care what others think of me for my decision. That’s why it’s called “Personal”. As for personal safety I take different precautions in different locations and with a little common sense I generally feel safe.

The typical European country is about 35% anti Semitic; while its 46% and 48% in France and Hungary. Even the US has a rate close to 30% and Canada is worse than the US; so no place is immune. These numbers aren’t any different than they were in 1938 which I find very distrubing. So next you have to look at the government’s ability and willingness to keep the issue in check. Then you have to consider if there is any accepted trend to act out in a violent way. It is my impression from the news i have seen that France has done a miserable job of keeping it in check and violence against Jews and other minorities is more prevalent than in most of Europe. This is only one issue (and has nothing to do with my decision on Russia) but if you feel strongly about this or any issue then you should follow your conscience and accept that ignorant people will criticize you for it.

As for safety, crime in general in Europe approximates that which you would find in a middle class US suburb. A little safer in some countries and a little less safe in other; but nothing particularly startling. Crime specific to densely packed tourist zones is indeed greater and in some places significantly so. But this is still only petty street crime. Know it exists, learn how to recognize places where it may be a greater problem and guard your valuables and don’t worry too much. Then know its all about your personal comfort level. Vacations should be enjoyed and if you arent going to enjoy it because you are too nervous for your safety then there is nothing that I or anyone else can say that will change that. Go someplace where you will feel comfortable and accept that ignorant people will criticize you for it. One thing you can do that is positive is to go to the Jewish neighborhoods and spend money and show support by your presence. Personally I don’t think it would be unreasonably dangerous right now.

Posted by
6487 posts

"The typical European country is about 35% anti semantic"
Against semantics? Well that certainly should win an award as the most ironic complaint yet.

Isn't that getting a little nit-picky? We all knew what the poster meant.

Let those who have never misspelled a word or hit a wrong key cast the first scone.

Posted by
8406 posts

Not sure where James gets his numbers. You need only a few bad apples to give the image that it's everywhere. Those who do act are French-born grown children or grandchildren of North African immigrants, in homes where the first language was Arabic, where the tv and newspapers in these homes have ranted for decades about Jews and Israel. The problem is worse because they've grown up living isolated in large apartment buildings filled with other poor immigrants in the hard-to-reach suburbs. That's where the stats come from. Unfortunately, a few of these go even further and are ripe for the plucking by the Islamist recruiters.

Edit: this NY Times article explains the situation:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/world/europe/crisis-in-france-is-seen-as-sign-of-chronic-ills.html?ref=world

Posted by
11450 posts

James.. Canada thanks you for your decision.

Posted by
8293 posts

Golly, James, and I had put the kettle on in anticipation of your visit.

Posted by
13557 posts

For those of you who caught the typo, I bet I laughed harder than you did. And I needed that today. I fixed it. Thanks for the heads up.

Admittedly if you google the subject of world anti Semitism you will get a whole range of numbers, but one relative to another they mostly stack up about the same. It does come down to the definition and how the question is asked.

Canada? My apologies, I just wanted to imagine Phil bouncing around in his attic when he read it. Mission complete. I actually enjoy Canada; nice folks and beautiful.

Here is one pretty well done article from the WSJ http://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-alarming-new-anti-semitism-1412270003 and http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/09/anti-semitism-europe/13662903/ http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/report_index.html

Here are the numbers that I think Phil was alluding to: http://global100.adl.org/#country/france They are a couple years old and show a lower incidence than the numbers I came across. Could be things are getting worse, or the way the question was asked or even the definition. Still, 41% or 48%, it doesn't matter, its too much.

Phil also brought up Hungary, and he is correct. There is a real problem there. But it does bring up an issue of perception based on a lack of first hand knowledge. My perception of France is absolutely distorted because numbers don't tell the whole story, but numbers and about two weeks on the ground in Paris is all I know about France. If someone wants to have the discussion, I love good discussions, so PM me. But its way too much for here.

Posted by
13557 posts

emma; I will confess that I have been looking for the article with the number that I read while sitting in Vienna about 4 years ago; but I can not find the same number in anything I have been able to Google. So let's use the numbers from the website that Phil used: Western Europe 24%, Eastern Europe 34% ( http://global100.adl.org/#map ) So that averages out to 29%. Yup, its lower, but it doesn't make me feel any better about the subject. And here is some 2 - 3 year old survey data that is pretty interesting: http://archive.adl.org/anti_semitism/adl_anti-semitism_presentation_february_2012.pdf

Still I respect your perspective. You are there, I am not.

More important than 10% or 35% or...... is how we work together to help get the number to 0% Good people can have wrong ideas and in that lies the hope.

Posted by
31471 posts

This has been a very interesting and somewhat thought provoking discussion.

jim_bird,

While attacks on Synagogues do occur in various places around the world, these are isolated incidents and not something that occurs on a regular basis, and not something directed at tourists. I suspect the attacks will be against Mosques this week, but again these don't occur too often, and they're generally in response to specific circumstances at the time.

No one can guarantee that you won't experience problems in Paris (or anywhere else in Europe for that matter). I can only relate my experiences in many visits to Paris in which I have had no problems of the type you've described. In all likelihood the worst thing you'll have to contend with is highly skilled pickpockets and scammers.

Posted by
13557 posts

At least we agree on a good movie.

You might of noticed that I made the point a couple of times that even the definition of being anti Semitic can be up for question. I'm no expert on surveys but I don't have a lot of problems with method or the questions (others did and there is some information on that on the web as well). I don't feel as comfortable with the analysis. If a person thinks that the Jews run all of the banks are they anti Semitic or incorrectly informed? The belief that Jews run the banks does not necessarily mean that you hate them for it. And you can pick apart the rest of the questions in a similar fashion. So I generally just look for the outward results of what people harbor in their hearts. Burning synagogues and killing would be one outward indicator. So, at least for my mind, I would want to compare the crime against Jew statistics if I cared enough to want to quantify one country against another. But I will go back to my previous post and say 10% of the world harboring hatred against one particular group would be too high in my book. This goes back to Phil's comment about Hungary. I know what the survey says, and I have met people that believe all the wrong things about the Jews, but there has been very, very little acting out on those misconceptions. Good people can indeed be screwed up in the head. Best solution is to get to know your neighbors.

Now, I think I will see if I can download "Taken" as well.

Thanks for the conversation emma.

Best.

Posted by
31471 posts

James,

"even the definition of being anti sematic"

Is that another typo??? You used it a couple of times, and although that's a word it doesn't seem to fit the context.

Posted by
13557 posts

Ken, I couldn't figure it out. Then I realized my auto-correct was doing it. I guess my spell checker is anti Semitic (?)

Posted by
11253 posts

Actually.....it's anti-sematic. Sematic means warning of danger. So your spell checker is anti-semantic meaning it was against warning you of danger--against warning you that it was about to change what you wrote.

:)

Posted by
86 posts

Interesting discussion...and I am glad you were kidding about Canada because we are ridiculously tolerant for the most part. But I have to admit, I always am surprised when a U.S resident asks about personal safety when traveling outside the U.S. Something about following the New York Times daily gun report after the elementary school shootings of 2013 brings home the point of personal safety when out and about in the U.S. This week's shooting deaths in France is the equivalent number of just a few hours in the U.S.

Posted by
12897 posts

The WSJ article suggested and listed above is worth reading... scholarly, penetrating, incisive, historically accurate.

Posted by
1345 posts

Reading this with interest and just a few points. When the press use the term 'police no go area' these are usually areas where when the police, fire services and ambulance services need to attend they take extra care so they can do their job, not that they are no go areas.

The two police men murdered at Charlie Hebdo were Police Nationale and were armed, Gardien de la Paix Ahmed Merabet was able to let off some rounds at the killers before being murdered. The police woman murdered in the south of Paris was from the Police Municpale who are not armed routinely as their jobs is low level policing jobs.

The two main countries in Europe which do not arm their police regularly, Ireland and the UK (excluding NI) also had thirty odd years of domestic terrorism which did not result in routinely arming police, and did not produce no go areas for the police, just areas where the police took special precautions when entering, as they do in some other areas but not related to terrorism. Though in those years the UK did unofficially shrink at night.... I remember those years well, bins being sealed off in railway stations or even removed, armed forces cadets (teenagers) being advised not to travel in uniform to training. It did not stop our lives, you adapt.

And yes there is a problem with anti-semitism in Europe, along with any other form of hatred and discrimination but this is like saying following the events of Fergusson, MO and in New York that in the USA the KKK is running rampant and the racism is out of control.

France is no more dangerous this weekend then it was last weekend, just different, and a bit shaken up. Islamic terrorists left 17 dead, including a Muslim police officer and a Muslim janitor. Fifteen Jewish customers lives were saved at the Porte de Vincennes by a Muslim shop worker hiding them in the basement of the shop.

Posted by
12897 posts

@ MC....Thanks for the report. Historical accuracy demands such important and pertinent details.

Posted by
1501 posts

My now grown, former French Exchange Student, currently living in Paris says it's very intense now. The Marais is pretty much on lockdown. I'm sure it's a bit like NYC after 9/11. I'm still going in April, but not so sure I'd go now.

Posted by
784 posts

When I was in Paris in September 2013, I often saw armed military, usually in groups of three, walking around the various tourist areas. They were casually strolling and even interacted with people, but there was no doubt they were ready for action. I was traveling solo and never once felt threatened or unsafe. I am returning this May and and have no reason to believe I will be unsafe - at least no more than I would be in downtown Seattle.

Posted by
31471 posts

MC,

Thanks for your articulate and well-worded post, as it puts the situation in perspective nicely.

Posted by
1345 posts

@Fred, thanks.

Sometimes it is difficult in these situations, no one should be going through what these families in France are going through. And it is easy sitting here in comfort discussing it.

I remember growing up going the beach passing road signs next to a military installation telling my grandfather if he left the car there it would be removed and destroyed. I have a friend who was within less than half an hour of being at the epicentre of an IRA bomb. So it is something in the UK we have had to get used to, and the 21st Century it has been relatively great not having to worry about that. And then you forget about it and live.

@ Donna, For the Marais in Paris at the top of the Marais is Place de la Republique where tomorrow's (11th Jan) march will start. Given the police search for the fourth terrorist, given that the Marais is the centre of Parisian Jewish and gay life and given Place de la Republique is about to be central in France's national reaction to these events it is easy to see why it has a massive security presence. When events like this happen it is easy, I know I do it, to see ghosts where they should not be but security in the Marais today it is not surprising.

Posted by
3460 posts

MC , another word of thanks for your well thought and elucidated comments ..

Posted by
12897 posts

@ MC...As you clearly pointed out, those premeditated murdered victims included French of non-European descent, ie the Muslim policeman and the unarmed French-African policewoman. The killer didn't use these ethnic details to justify sparing them.

Posted by
117 posts

Hi Jim, I haven't the breadth of experience that so many in here do. But, I can tell you that we were in Paris towards the end of this past November and spent most of an afternoon and evening touring and eating in the Marais. And given the horrific events of the past week, we would get on a plane and go back tomorrow, without hesitation, if we could afford it, haha. Not trying to be dramatic. I just refuse to let fear get in the way of my travel plans.

And I agree with those that mentioned that those attacks were for specific reasons. However, I'm of the opinion that due to the nature of terrorism in general, anyone and anything in opposition to those who hold to certain radical viewpoints, can become a target.

If it's a concern for you, don't go. No worries.

Posted by
2 posts

I must agree with the other postings - you are over thinking this one. I will be taking a riverboat cruise in southern France followed by 2 weeks in Paris, have rented an apartment in the Marais area (heavy Jewish population) and fully intend to have a wonderful visit. Of course you need to use common sense and be alert of your surroundings.
If you're too afraid then stay home in your bed and pull the covers over your head.

Posted by
12897 posts

As pointed out above,"...but there was no doubt they were ready for action." Exactly. Very different in seeing how military patrols are done in London, Frankfurt, and Paris, as I've observed them, ie, how the soldiers carry their automatic weapons. In London it's a patrol of usually 2, one carrying the automatic weapon, the other only a revolver. At the Frankfurt airport, usually a patrol of two soldiers, both slinging the weapons with the barrel pointed to the ground. (This was how it was done in the mid-1980s).

In Paris the last time I saw military patrols strolling around was in 2011, such as at Gard du Nord, in groups of three, the middle one carrying the automatic weapon in firing position, pointing straight out. Body-language wise, totally different from the Germans and the British. Of course, there are a lot more patrols around now so as to saturate the sights.

Posted by
1345 posts

We had the #foxnewsfacts after similar comments about the city of Birmingham and areas of London. My favourite was that the 'when the Muppets are shown in the Midlands, Miss Piggy is pixellated'.

To underscore what has been said by people above, there is nowhere in France where the remit of the French Republic does not run.

Posted by
51 posts

MC,
Midland Muppets find Miss Piggy's pixelated remains? There is nowhere where you can find a "remit" in the French Republic that no longer runs? MC, are you hammered?

Posted by
3460 posts

Susan , thanks for that article , since I can't stomach Fox , and didn't see the original bit , this shed a lot of light on this . I certainly can't say I was surprised .

Posted by
4684 posts

As I understand it, the majority of claims about "no-go areas" in France refer to so-called "zones urbaines sensibles", which simply means a district within a built-up area with serious issues of poverty/crime/etc. that can therefore take advantage of certain government programmes. The literal translation of this as "sensitive urban areas" seems to have fused with American right-wing stereotypes about "sensitivity" to create a belief that these refer to "areas which are ruled by Muslims but the government is too PC to do anything about it".

Posted by
3460 posts

Dear MC , He didn't understand " remit " ;--- ) Slainte !

Posted by
2246 posts

The Fox stuff aside, the blog linked to by Susan is a very compelling read and describes the perception problem very well-thanks Susan.

Posted by
3460 posts

No question about what entity perpetuates such misconceptions in such a purposeful manner .

Posted by
11450 posts

There was a link on my fb newsfeed.. it showed a French talk show host talking about Fox News report on No Go zones.. ( Elizabeth Hasselhof and some other fellow) and I have to say.. it was truly embarrassing and funny, the fellow on Fox said parts of Paris were comparable ( to him) to Afghanistan.. seriously..
So the French show went "man on the street" to interview locals in those areas.. hilarious.. the two ladies sitting in a café being asked if they felt it was like being in Afghanistan... they looked so surprised..

Posted by
51 posts

Lmao! Please remit misconceptions to the proper authorities and to the three million French people who marched in Paris last week.

Posted by
6487 posts

JHK, thanks for posting that link. I've always felt that FOX news (not solely, but more than other media outlet) live by the motto: "Don't worry if it's true or not, just broadcast it and apologize for it later". I'm glad they got so much flack on this particular issue that they felt the need to apologize and retract many of their statements and assertions.

Posted by
3460 posts

Ah Nancy , how true . The problem with Fox's " Sorry , we misspoke " is best summed up --- "The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it." -- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Posted by
51 posts

Omar listens to Fox. I guess I will start as well. Any network that generates this much chatter must have something worthwhile to report.

Posted by
1 posts

Ok, so I don t want to start a huge squabble, but I am going to Paris with my sister in law in April then to London. I have traveled through Europe b4, but my sister in law hasn't gone anywhere even remotely close to even the east coast. She is not an experienced traveler.
I am taking extra care in planning our trip , but must admit that I am a bit concerned about the current events in France. I have always dreamed of experiencing Paris in an authentic way and have planned our trip accordingly with many walking tours and self guided adventures. I don't think I would be as concerned if I was traveling with an experienced traveler or even alone. Dare I ask your opinion...should I postpone until summer? This is my lifetime dream trip. Please don't jump all over me, I live in a country that has its own issues, I realize. Thank you...

Posted by
3460 posts

Postponing something like this doesn't change anything . You should be attentive to your surroundings as you would in any major city like New York or London . but not paranoid . As has been said before , you could stay home , but if it is a lifetime dream to see Paris ( as well it should be ) what are you waiting for , a point in life where that dream becomes unattainable ? All sorts of things could unseat your plans - age , ill health , and many others . At nearly seventy years of age , I will not alter my plans nor should you . By the way , in London , you would have a much better chance of being run over by a car ( remember to look RIGHT before you cross the street ) than anything else you can imagine . I'm headed to Russia this fall ( perish the thought !! ) , and at the end of this trip , back to Paris ( I can never get enough of Paris ) for ten days . Relax and don't get bitten by the paranoia bug .

Posted by
117 posts

I agree with Steven. If it's your dream, go ahead and do it. And, with a solid plan, you will be fine.

As an aside, Steven, I would love to hear your trip report on Russia once you return. But no pressure, haha.

Posted by
3460 posts

Will be happy to share upon our return ! In the meantime , I'll post any useful information pertaining to issues like the Visas ( we will be in St Petersburg for two and a half weeks , so the Visa is required ) on the Russia thread . With virtually all of the advance preparation now complete , issues like the Visas and other pertinent information have turned out to be far less complex than is commonly thought .

Posted by
31471 posts

cordovacfo,

I agree with the others. If this is your lifetime dream trip, make it happen! There's never any guarantee that problems won't occur, but most likely you'll have a wonderful trip. I suspect that security will remain at an enhanced level in Paris for awhile. You will of course have to be vigilant for pickpockets though.