Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Les Arrondissements

Paris is divided into 20 "arrondissements", meaning neighborhoods. Shaped like an escargot, the 1st arrondissement starts in the heart of the city, and goes around clockwise. In general, the central and western arrondissements are considered to be more chic and bourgeois, ie. more expensive to live in. My mother-in-law's husband recently explained why this is so to me. It is all because of the wind! The wind apparently blows from west to east, and all the pollution ends up on the eastern side. So logically, back in the day, the poor people ended up with the eastern neighborhoods and the richer in the west. And that has mainly stayed until today.
However, there are many pockets of nice areas in each of the eastern arrondissements that have risen over the years. Bobos have picked the 3rd, 11th, 19th and 20th arrondissements as "cool" spots to live in.

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