Paris for Christmas

Old Jul 20th, 2019, 09:21 AM
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Paris for Christmas

For the third year in succession, I'm trying to plan a trip to Paris for Christmas, with my family. In the past two years, we've ended up staying in Italy instead for various family reasons.

We are seven people, including a 14-year-old. We want an apartment so we can have a place to hang out together in the evening. I can't find anything large enough, legal enough, and affordable enough in the city, so I've been looking at places on the outskirts.

I see an apartment in Bagnolet, on Rue de Noisy le Sec, that would meet our needs, but I don't know anything about Bagnolet. It doesn't seem to be dripping in charm. The nearest metro is at Mairie des Lilas, a 10-minute walk.
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One of my daughters is concerned about safety returning at night. Any help or suggestion would be appreciated.
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Old Jul 20th, 2019, 10:11 AM
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Get rooms at a hotel in the 6th.
I agree with your daughter.
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Old Jul 20th, 2019, 10:57 AM
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I thought I explained why we don't want hotel rooms.

Do you have any personal knowledge of Bagnolet?
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Old Jul 20th, 2019, 01:54 PM
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This apartment might work for you if 3 people can share the 2nd floor bedroom. The agency keeps a rollaway bed in one of their apartments in the same building.

https://www.parisvacationapartments....edroom-duplex/
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Old Jul 20th, 2019, 03:03 PM
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https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2254560...arer_id=688000

It has the registration #. There are many on there.
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Old Jul 20th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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Do you need three bedrooms?

Last edited by Macross; Jul 20th, 2019 at 03:27 PM.
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Old Jul 20th, 2019, 11:44 PM
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If this place is available, think it would work well for you. We used it for a week in June and were quite pleased. It is not posh but quite clean and very comfortable, with three good size bedrooms as well as additional sleeps in the TV room and the living room. Dining table in kitchen area as well as formal dinging room. Second bathroom is compact but functional. Owners are quite lovely people, and location is quite good in the trendy "Veggietown" area - lots of shops and restos in walking distance, at least two nearby metro stations. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18445840?source_impression_id=p3_1563691083_AcHX8k CICRYF63tm
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Macross View Post
Do you need three bedrooms?
Macross, in theory, two bedrooms, a sofabed, and cot would work. However, who gets the sofabed? We are six adults and a teenager. My husband and I would take the sofabed, but we'd be going to bed earlier than the others, so that doesn't work well. Any other division creates issues of equity or favouritism.

Macross, that apartment is available for our dates, but the one in Bagnolet has three bedrooms and a sofabed, and costs half as much. We divide the cost three ways, and I have to make it affordable for all three families.

Seamus and Judy, the apartments you mentioned are not available for our dates.

Thanks for all the help, and keep it coming. I tentatively reserved the apartment in Bagnolet, but I don't need to make a deposit, and I can cancel it before the 1st of December. Seeing that two of the three recommended apartments were already not available made me decide to take Bagnolet as insurance.



Last edited by bvlenci; Jul 21st, 2019 at 02:26 AM.
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 04:03 AM
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I am hardly an expert on Bagnolet, but what little I do know would make me shy away from the place. I once, many years ago, when I was wont to get on a bus or a métro and ride to the end of the line, ended up in Bagnolet. I think I got off at Mairie-des-Lilas on the métro. I pretty much got off, took a look around, walked a few blocks, didn't feel comfortable, and went straight back to the métro and back into Paris. As I said, that was many years ago, thus could be irrelevant.

But if you do some research on newsworthy events in Bagnolet in recent years, it seems it's been the locus of some pretty unsettling activity, particularly in 2018. Car burnings, murders, drugs...Here is a partial quote from a summer of 2018 article about the area:

une ville de proche banlieue parisienne où sévit un important trafic de drogue


It's from this article: https://www.paris-normandie.fr/breve...ses-ND13456597 but there are quite a few similar ones.

OTOH, there is a part of Bagnolet that is actually now within the boundaries of Paris, and articles about that part of Bagnolet depict it as a hip, up-and-coming artsy area. I'm not sure whether the apartment you've found is within or without Paris.

Me, I wouldn't choose to stay there and would keep looking. Nor would I consider a hotel in the 6ème a reasonable solution to what you're looking for.

This might be a long shot, but it could be worth poking around on this site: https://www.sabbaticalhomes.com/Home...ntry-France-FR

It's more than home exchanges, and more than summer rentals. Perhaps some of the advertisers on the site would welcome winter visitors. Can't hurt to contact them.
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 05:32 AM
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Bagnolet is perfectly fine if you are not in "the projects."
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 06:55 AM
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https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2196429...arer_id=688000 legal and great price
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 08:29 AM
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Macross, that loft looks great. Unfortunately, it's only available for four of the six nights we wanted. We're more or less constrained by my granddaughter's school vacation. I'm going to see what we can do.
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 08:36 AM
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What are the dates you're looking for?
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
Bagnolet is perfectly fine if you are not in "the projects."
"Perfectly fine". Really? That's it? Nothing else?

I think it speaks volumes that even Kerouac (the resident champion for staying in the most dangerous Parisian suburbs over the usual areas) is not very vocal on this one. Usually there is a treatise on how everyone is afraid of being around "working people" and how overturned burning cars are part of the charm. So a very blase and unenthusiastic "perfectly fine" says to me "stay the hell away from this place".

I'd listen to St Cirq on this one. Better reasoned and supported position on this. Nobody knows what "perfectly fine" really means.
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 09:17 AM
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Have I ever told people to stay in the "most dangerous Paris suburbs"? I would love to see evidence of this.

Bagnolet is a big city with good areas and not-so-good area. I have not investigated the exact location because I do not receive a sufficient salary from Fodor's to do so. Perhaps walkinaround is getting more money for this. St Cirq is a personal friend of mine but she lives far far away from Bagnolet and is not really an expert on the suburbs of Paris. As with most of the people who live in extremely rural France, I understand her concern, but I am alarmed that people consider an article from a provincial newspaper to be the great authority on the subject.

Walkinaround clearly is basing his/her opinion on hearsay as well, whereas I have several friends in Bagnolet and have never had a problem visiting them (or leaving their apartments at night).

Care to speak more "volumes," Walkinaround?
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Old Jul 21st, 2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
Have I ever told people to stay in the "most dangerous Paris suburbs"? I would love to see evidence of this.

Bagnolet is a big city with good areas and not-so-good area. I have not investigated the exact location because I do not receive a sufficient salary from Fodor's to do so. Perhaps walkinaround is getting more money for this. St Cirq is a personal friend of mine but she lives far far away from Bagnolet and is not really an expert on the suburbs of Paris. As with most of the people who live in extremely rural France, I understand her concern, but I am alarmed that people consider an article from a provincial newspaper to be the great authority on the subject.

Walkinaround clearly is basing his/her opinion on hearsay as well, whereas I have several friends in Bagnolet and have never had a problem visiting them (or leaving their apartments at night).

Care to speak more "volumes," Walkinaround?
It should be clear that at least parts of my post were tongue in cheek. That's what the smiley is for.

My comment was that St Cirq's post and the conclusion that she reached (at least on the surface of it) was well reasoned and well explained. That alone doesn't necessarily mean it's right or wrong or that you or I agree or disagree. Your "perfectly fine" was not explained so we had no idea what the basis for it was. I guess you're now saying that what was behind your "perfectly fine" was the fact that you personally had no problem visiting your friends there. OK, at least we now know the basis for the comment. Maybe it is perfectly fine or maybe it isn't, but there are places in London (my home town) that I've visited many times with absolutely no problem but I certainly would not say they are "perfectly fine" places for tourists to stay!

I don't think that St Cirq put herself out as an expert on Paris and, in fact, she was up front to say that she's not an expert on Bagnolet. No matter where she happens to live.

Your comment:
<<<<I am alarmed that people consider an article from a provincial newspaper to be the great authority on the subject>>>>
is bizarre. By "people", I'm assuming you mean St Cirq. Well I don't think that she is considering that newspaper to be a "great authority" on anything. She just posted a story. By the way, a news outlet is not even meant to be a "great authority" on any specific subject, other than perhaps journalism. Your misunderstanding on that is the only thing "alarming" here.

You've tried to discredit this news outlet because they are provincial. I don't really care whether they are a Paris newspaper or a provincial French one or a Canadian or German one. Are you saying that the article is wrong? If so, how is it wrong? What's your evidence that this newspaper is printing incorrect information in this article? That's a pretty specific and not insignificant charge so you should at least back it up with facts of your own.

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Old Aug 6th, 2019, 09:28 AM
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I hope I can resurrect this topic without awakening the bickering.

I've just learned that my daughter is considering bringing her dog to Paris for Christmas, because of a bad experience with her most recent dogsitter. The apartment in Bagnolet doesn't accept pets. So, I've gone back to the search. The best I can find is an aparthotel of the Adagio chain, near the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, 3 - 5 Cours du 7ème Art to be exact. The nearest metro is Botzaris, where the 7 and 11 lines stop.

I would need to get two apartments to accomodate our group of seven, a two-bedroom for six of us, and a studio for my daughter (and her dog). That's acceptable, and may be better if she brings the dog. The reviews of this second apartment are not as good as the one I've already reserved, and it costs €600 more for our stay of six nights.

I wonder if anyone can give me any advice about this neighborhood. I see there is a nearby supermarket. Is there a decent number of restaurants, shops, and cafés? On Google maps, the neighborhood looks a bit boring.
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Old Aug 6th, 2019, 09:36 AM
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Excellent upscale neighborhood -- anything near upper side of the Buttes Chaumont is expensive. (Upscale areas are always a bit "boring" because the residents tend to frolic elsewhere.)
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Old Aug 6th, 2019, 10:31 AM
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I suppose boring is best described by each individual. I have walked past this street hundreds of times going from my apartment to the Buttes. You are smack in the expensive, gentrifying Jourdain Ville area of the 19th. A short walk takes you to the lively activity on Rue de Belleville which contains a rich variety of restaurants, shops and is well out of tourist central, if that means anything to you.

The Buttes allows dogs. Many other parks do not. Metro #11 does not stop at Botzaris, only the 7b does.

Last edited by Envierges; Aug 6th, 2019 at 11:11 AM.
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Old Aug 6th, 2019, 03:34 PM
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I agree with both kerouac and Envierges about the neighborhood but also wanted to add that my 2 nieces who are in the mid-20's live there and feel fine coming back at night. Also in addition to the metro that area is pretty well served by bus. We have stayed at other Adagios and actually was going to suggest that an "appart-hotel" like that might be a better solution for your group.
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