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Video: New homage to Paris shows the ‘real side’ of city

In response to an overly sanitized promotional video about Paris called "Paris Je t'aime", local film makers have released their own version, which they say is a more realistic ode to the French capital.

Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Photo: Max and Léo/Screenshot
Late last month, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo shared a promotional video in homage to the French capital as part of a marketing campaign to woo visitors.
 
“Paris, je t'aime” (Paris, I love you), she wrote, and the video hits quickly soared to 1.7 million.
 
However some commenters weren't impressed with the content of the video, which focused heavily on tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower (essentially the main character of the video), and includes scenes such as ballet dancers on the roof of the opera house. 
 
“What a joke: the Champs-Elysées is empty, there's room to run around at the Louvre, the opera house looking grand without traffic jams out the front,” wrote one Facebook user.
 
“I don't think I live in the same Paris as Madame Hidalgo.”
 

Since the clip was published, local film makers Maxime Baudin and Léo Bigiaoui have responded with a video of their own. 
 
In an open letter to Anne Hidalgo they wrote of their disappointment. 
 
“We're a little sad. In two minutes and thirty seconds you give an image of Paris with which only a few Parisians could identify.
 
“Paris is full of surprises, full of energy.”
 
Together with their letter was the video below, entitled “Paris we love you too (Paris, on t'aime aussi). 
 
It shows bustling food markets, fishermen, basketball courts, busy restaurants, train stations, skateboarders, and a vibrant nightlife. 
 
The video has almost attracted a million hits on Facebook. 
 
So which do you think paints a more realistic image of Paris?

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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