Firstly let me admit to being a great fan of the French – I realise this makes me a target for much of the UK population. We seem to have an in-built hatred of the French – I assume it is an historic thing, but I don’t share it. I also believe we can learn a lot from them in the way we manage and plan our cities.
I am coming to the end of my week staying in the Marais in Paris and have to say it has been very relaxing. I have also at no time felt threatened whilst walking the streets or riding the Metro (apart from one incident – and that had a good side). This does feel a very friendly and safe city.
We have been very lucky with the weather, it has been in the low 20’s all week – not normal Easter weather but very nice!
The feel of the city from a ‘property mans’ perspective is generally positive. They do have more vacant units in the districts, but there are still tower cranes over the skyline in many areas.
Their transport system also works flawlessly – let’s hope London looks and performs as well for the Olympics next year!
The only ‘blip’ was when both my wife and I had our pockets picked at the same time on the Metro. A group of women crushed onto the crowded carriage behind us and had my wife’s purse out of her closed handbag and their hands in my pocket on my wallet before we knew what was happening.
Only the quick intervention of some locals stopped them. And this is the difference to the UK – would anyone help on the tube in London or just turn away so as not to get involved?
We need to get back to some proper values in the UK and quickly!