1. Drinking in public.
Why use your own apartment that you donate half your paycheck to each month when you and your friends can sit on the ground by the river guzzling cheap bottles of Côtes du Rhône from plastic cups? Oh wait, who was supposed to bring a corkscrew…
2. Apéros en terrasse.
Nothing on this beautiful blue marble we call Earth will ever come between Parisians and their happy hour drinks.
3. Lines 1 and 14.
ROBOT METROS, PEOPLE! Without the hindrance of a human operator, the French national sport of organized strike action doesn’t impinge on the daily commute as much as it could.
4. Pretending to drive line 1 and 14 trains.
Because elbowing small children out of the way so you can “race” a self-operating machine at high speeds through an underground tunnel is a lot of fun.
5. Scoffing at padlocks.
True love? PAH! True bridge-breaking vandalism more like!
6. Walking everywhere all the time for no particular reason.
Je flâne, alors je suis (parisien).
7. Never being asked for ID.
Ordering five pitchers of wine for you and your BFF on a school trip at the age of 17 was never a problem in Paris. This becomes an especially irksome memory when you’re back home trying to buy Christmas booze for your entire family (at the age of 24) with your driving license locked in the glove box inside your car in a multi-story car park four streets away.
8. Socially sanctioned grouchiness.
Sometimes, it’s the only way to get sh*t done.
The beer is always cheap if you know where to look, and the view from the top of the park is what you might call epic. The only real downside is the lack of proximity to the aforementioned robot metros.
10. Going to the park.
There’s no such thing as a bad park in Paris, although I did once decline an offer of fifty euros for giving a blow job in the Bois de Boulogne.
11. Rosa Bonheur
A hipster haven with all the delicious sangria you could possibly need to cope with that. Life is all about balance, n’est-ce pas?
12. The Seine.
While it’s so abominably gross it’s technically illegal to swim in, the Seine holds a certain charm. Without it there would be no bridges, no bateaux mouches to laugh at, and no quays for impromptu picnics.
13. Fear and loathing in Les Halles.
Despite an expensive, ongoing facelift, despising Les Halles will continue to be a city-wide pastime. It’s annoying, it’s stupid, and it’s annoying. But oh boy do we love to hate it.
Of all the cities in all the world, none is so easily identifiable by its rooftops as Paris. They’re pretty, they’re chic, and they look great on Instagram. They also leak like hell a lot of the time, but hey, there’s no beauty without suffering. You just don’t get that kind of architectural poetry anywhere else.
Let us circle back to drinking in public.