travel

Who Is The Parisian Male?

THE PARISIAN MALE…Who is he? Where does today’s Parisian man go for nightlife, to dine, for entertainment, or to Edouard Baershop for clothes?

Of course we are all salivating to know the answer to these burning and relevant questions. Aren't we?

Through its annual survey, Le Figaroscope a few months ago offered a quick sketch of the typical male denizen of Paris: "at once perfectible but seductive, snob yet distinguished, lighthearted yet erudite."

The survey had some interesting responses: the vote came in for the handsome and talented Edouard Baer as the icon of French male-ness. Can't argue with that. And details of his favorite haunts and habits are spelled out for you. Even if your French isn't le top, you can read the article here and find out the cool, hip places to be a man in Paris. And statistics about the runners-up.

Ah, then the tables turn! None other than Inès de la Fressange opines in the article, offering her view of the typical Parisian man. I didn't want anyone to miss this, so I translated it all for you.

According to Inès, the typical Parisian male

  • takes his car to go exercise (e.g. jogging in the Luxembourg Garden) ;
  • goes to cafés but only drinks coffee at the office;
  • never wears brown suits;
  • uses neither an umbrella nor a hat;
  • buys his books in a local bookstore, even though he spends his life in front of the computer screen;
  • has lunch on the Left Bank on weekends, but on the Right Bank during the week;
  • reads the International Herald Tribune and subscribes to it when away at his vacation home;
  • has a taxi-service subscription because he knows it’s delusional to think one can hail a taxi in the streets of Paris;
  • drops his kids off at school but is never the one to pick them up;
  • has two cars, including one Smart Car, but makes everyone think he arrived by Velib;
  • votes in the countryside, where he has a second home: the only way to have his voice heard;
  • skis in Megève, vacations on île de Ré or at Cap-Ferret, because there are plenty of Parisians there;
  • makes snide comments about people whom he will then greet ceremoniously at Brasserie Lipp;
  • is on a diet (he is a personal friend of Pierre Dukan);
  • doesn’t manage to lose weight because the gym is under renovation, or too far away, or closed, or whatever…;
  • loves going to London, IF it’s for work;
  • doesn’t want to change residences, but his wife does;
  • has a dog (more so than in any other city), but no place to walk it without a leash;
  • wants to live in the 5th arrondissement in order to enroll his son in the Lycée Henri-IV (“you will be in the elite of the nation, my boy");
  • “never goes” to the Marché aux Puces ('it’s too far, too expensive, no good finds');
  • has furniture that comes exclusively from the Marché aux Puces;
  • goes to Habitat to look like an American;Paris fashion model
  • buys his swim suits at Ralph Lauren, to look like Bobby Kennedy;
  • “never” goes to the hairdresser (even though his hair is always short);
  • doesn’t have a mistress, only "co-workers";
  • doesn’t have a guest bedroom;
  • goes to bed early and gets up late, then is in meetings and unreachable;
  • wasn’t born in Paris;
  • starts out spearheading the search for child care for the new baby; and then, ultimately, asks his wife to figure it all out;
  • doesn’t carry a plastic bag to pick up after his dog;
  • never sees high chairs for the baby in restaurants; but since he isn’t Swedish it doesn’t surprise him.

Eh, oui, those fascinating, inscrutable Parisiens!

Polly is a Boston born Baby Boomer who lived on the Left Bank in Paris and is still blogging about it at Polly-Vous Francais. © 2006-2010, Polly-Vous Francais, all rights reserved.

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