We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Paris 4th Arr
Level Contributor
7,257 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Here's some food for thought. The "Brooklyn-isation of Paris". Not the regular aloof, poorly researched NYT travel piece on Paris I'm used to.

nytimes.com/2013/11/10/opinion/sunday/how-hi…

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,976 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

I find it interesting that the author is part of the "ruination" that he's describing. He clearly wasn't patronizing the businesses whose demise he seems to lament, and is therefore very much a prime mover in the process of "gentrification" or homogenization.

I wonder if he even goes for massages (in order to at least keep that one element he seems to admire intact). Probably not.

Level Contributor
8,299 posts
239 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Thanks for the link...that is one interesting article but as LeBiscuit points out if people living there are similar to the author then obviously things will change. Interesting neighborhood to decide to live in now or then.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2,426 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Besides evoking a "have you visited (name a city)" shrug, this Thomas Chitterton Williams has an odd definition of "hipster" and seems, to me, to be more part of the problem than a solution.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,884 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

I just found this from the NYT too: nytimes.com/2013/…

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2,426 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Thanks for that excellent article, F1racegirl. It's one of the best I've read in the NYT, perhaps because it was written on the ground, not at a desk in the Paris bureau.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,884 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Thanks MP, I just stumbled on it after reading Metromole's article. I thought both were interesting.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
6,833 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

IAs a Paris resident who has seen a lot of changes in just

the last few years, I think F!racegirl's article is far more relevant than the one about the Hipsters.

One thing is clear - the Paris of Hemingway and Woody Allen no longer exists - if in fact, it ever did. This is an important thing to remember, especially for first-time visitors.

The "bobos" - bohemian bourgeois - were supposedly to blame for the decline of the Marais, several years ago., and are now given credit for the Canal St Martin area.

There's always someone to blame, but I think that CT Williams must not have spent a great deal of time among the people he observed.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,976 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Cities are always changing, but some of them have a much longer history. The history is always there, underneath whatever is front of a person.

We had a chance to go into Hemingway's apartment building near Contrascarpe and it certainly evoked that era - which was not at all glamorous (Hemingway had a wonderful time in Paris, but it was not because it was glamorous, it was gritty, he and his family were cold, he was often hungry, it was a somewhat smelly, communal apartment building - and it still is; a person could be happy there, though...)

The fancy parties that are shown in Midnight in Paris were, of course, more instigated by the Fitzgeralds (who flirted with bankruptcy as much as they could until they achieved it) than by Hemingway (who disdained some famous restaurants because the people there were too snooty or too rich).

What is missing (for any tourist, anywhere)...well, that would be running into Picasso or Dali or Coco Chanel or Cole Porter or Hemingway or the Delaunay's, etc. Substituting a modern celebrity (like Angelina Jolie, whose name comes up on websites for Closerie de Lilas and elsewhere) is not the same, somehow. There is no Josephine Baker right now. George Clooney + Brad Pitt /= Hemingway + Fitzgerald. IMO.

You can't really blame bobos (or tourists or people from New York or whatever) for the fact that we live in a time that doesn't produce or value genius in the way that earlier periods seem to have done.

Personally, I like change and am glad to be living in a time when we can look back on so many epochs and styles. I liked both articles a great deal.

Bellflower...
Level Contributor
5,089 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

Almost 30 years ago, we stayed in a hotel in the Pigalle area due to a mix-up. At first, it was very disconcerting to see prostitutes right outside the hotel door and along the sidewalks on our way to the Metro; it was something that we weren't used to. However, once we (that is, "I") decided to make the best of things, the situation became unimportant. The area had laveries automatiques, bakeries, cafes and retail stores like any other area of Paris. I hope that I don't sound like a hypocrite when I say that we did not return to that hotel in subsequent stays. We didn't care for the hotel, plus I remember that it seemed to take "forever" to get to the central area.

Paris isn't the only city that is undergoing hipster takeover, gentrification and/or homogenization. The cities of San Francisco around Union Square and Pasadena in Old Town used to have unique stores and their own special character. Now, going to those areas is almost like going to a mall.

MrsJAS

Paris, France
Level Contributor
402 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: How Hipsters Ruined Paris

I haven't been in Paris long enough to comment on its evolution with any sense of legitimacy. However, as I've been lucky enough to see a lot of different cities, I'd say that, apart from cities in 3rd world countries, so many places have at least 1 street, if not an area of shops, where, if you were to take a photo, it would be very hard to identify where in the world it was. Even Dili, which was a war-torn, smouldering husk of a city when I first visited, with some locals eking out a living by stripping pipes and cables from burnt out buildings, now has a multi-storey air conditioned shopping mall, whilst poverty reigns supreme over most of the islands inhabitants. The main street is full of shops selling imported tat, with even the enterprising young touts selling Timor Leste hats which are made in China.

The homogenisation of societies is not, of itself, a good or bad thing, it just 'is'. In some ways, the world has become smaller, the Internet, and cheaper travel are perhaps responsible for an acceleration in the rate of change, but change has always happened, and always will. Yes, of course, it is sad to see the old make way for the new, particularly when the new is now so often far from unique, but I don't think there's anything to be done about the human condition which is 'everyone wants to be someone else because they seem to have what we don't'.

I have often wondered, where are the modern day equivalents of people like Voltaire, Sartre, Camus, Lautrec, Hugo, and the myriad of other people who did genuinely change the world in which they lived, in some way, not by being able to kick/hit/catch a ball, ostentatiously adopting a rainbow-spectrum of children, or by promoting the latest food craze, but by being themselves, and thus, breaking free of their own contemporaneous homogeneities in truly remarkable and unique ways.