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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the end of this month, it will be my 6 month anniversary of living here in Paris. My husband has never been a fan of Paris (even though he is from here) and I must say, I am not either.

Perhaps the heat has got me all up in arms but I have to say, I think I am really done with this city and here's why:

While it's great to have public transportation at my fingertips, not having a car is a pain in the arse at times. Renting is fairly expensive (along with milage limits) but we have figured out a way around this. I crave getting out of the city every weekend. I get this island fever thing when I am here. I feel suffocated and claustrophobic. Like the buildings are falling down on me. I miss seeing in the "distance". By the way, I'd rather eat chards of glass then take the Metro in the summer.

The air is horrible and on days of pollution, my eyes burn and my lungs hurt. Enough said.

The noise, holy cow. Where do I start? It's either kids partying, blowing trumpets out the window and screaming until 3:30am, the banging of garbage trucks which seems to be daily, the delivery trucks at 5am (in case you finally fell asleep after the raucous kids) banging their metal lifts and carts around or people honking and yelling at each other. By the way, I seem to see a few traffic "fights" every week just leaning out my window. I usually hear the yelling first and then know it must be a disagreement about some vehicular parking situation.

It also doesn't help that I have a pizza delivery shop just below my windows with THREE scooters that start in the early afternoon and go to around midnight delivering pizzas. Constant starting and buzzing of mopeds is beginning to drive me mad.

I got in trouble for using my floor sweeper (Dyson) one day. The guy told me the walls were thin and he has to hear his neighbors TV and didn't want to hear my vacuum. Well, I told him when he stops smoking out his window below me (thus is goes right into my apartment) I will think about not cleaning my floors. Jerk.

It's crazy inconvenient to live here. Having anything delivered is a pain as you have to go pick it up somewhere and carry it home. I have to do my errands one at a time. I only have two arms so for instance, getting the dry cleaning and going shopping are two different trips up 4 flights of stairs. This is only if I have two errands, multiple errands require a lot of time and planning.

I've never have been so pushed and bumped into ever in my life. I know.. WELCOME TO PARIS but man, a sorry or pardon me would be great. Everyone is fighting for a space to exist in and with that said, everyone is so damn aggressive. It is actually making ME aggressive which I am not by nature. I've become a Parisian A-hole just to survive.

Having said all that, we have been looking at places to live outside of Paris. My husband works here so it can't be TOO far. We ALMOST bought a home in Bordeaux but it was a little to remote and far. Also, a bit too much house so we'd be "house poor" which is a horrible thing to get stuck in..

My husband doesn't want to live too close to Paris (i.e. Versailles) because he feels it's not far enough. IN his mind, it's just a Paris suburb.

I love the smaller towns in France. I really think that is where the quality of life exists. NOT PARIS. Paris is an amazing town to visit... really. But living.. not so much.

Anyone have any suggestions of places to live that are not more than 2.5 hours away from Paris and are accessible by train? Not too small of a town but not too big either. Someplace with charm but nature not too far away.

I.Just.Want.Peace

Across
 

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Oh, someone after my own heart! There is NO way in HELL I would ever consider living in Paris - mostly for the same reasons you cite. And it has gotten worse - much worse - over the 20 years or so I've been living here. Though I imagine living in Manhattan probably has much the same "je ne sais quoi" to recommend it - NOT.

Look south - beyond the Peripherique and, indeed, beyond the Francilienne. Depending on how much space you'd like, you can try the Bures-Gif-Orsay area, or something like Arpajon. Or come all the way out to the "countryside" to somewhere ilke Dourdan, Limours or the area in between. The D RER line terminates in Dourdan, and the B RER goes out as far as St. Remy - but some of the towns in the area have various forms of bus service to the RER stations that might suit DH for his commute.

You'll still need a car - possibly two - but the pace of life is very, very different from that of Paris. I rarely go into Paris these days, except maybe to meet up with friends visiting from the US. OK, you do much of your shopping at the local Centre Commerciale, though some of the towns have really nice marchés, once or twice a week.

Come south!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, someone after my own heart! There is NO way in HELL I would ever consider living in Paris - mostly for the same reasons you cite. And it has gotten worse - much worse - over the 20 years or so I've been living here. Though I imagine living in Manhattan probably has much the same "je ne sais quoi" to recommend it - NOT.

Look south - beyond the Peripherique and, indeed, beyond the Francilienne. Depending on how much space you'd like, you can try the Bures-Gif-Orsay area, or something like Arpajon. Or come all the way out to the "countryside" to somewhere ilke Dourdan, Limours or the area in between. The D RER line terminates in Dourdan, and the B RER goes out as far as St. Remy - but some of the towns in the area have various forms of bus service to the RER stations that might suit DH for his commute.

You'll still need a car - possibly two - but the pace of life is very, very different from that of Paris. I rarely go into Paris these days, except maybe to meet up with friends visiting from the US. OK, you do much of your shopping at the local Centre Commerciale, though some of the towns have really nice marchés, once or twice a week.

Come south!
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks Bev! I will start looking where you suggested. I guess I am about to become a Paris refugee. We have a small apartment here that is paid off and my husband can stay there during the week if need be.. and come to see me on the weekends.

I just can't take it anymore. I want to slap everyone here. lol
 

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Your Paris description is great. I enjoyed that. Brings back memories.

Two alternatives to Paris....

1) Tours

We live 10 mins from St Pierre TGV station (direct Paris), 10 minutes from the very calm city centre of Tours and 5 minutes from the lovely Touraine countryside. 1hr TGV into Montpannase....and the ''region' contributes towards the travelling costs. My OH commutes three days a week. Tours is like a different country compared to Paris. People are cool and countryside is really nice.

2) Orleans.

Again 1hr by train. Orleans is OK. There as some nice suburbs. Not as nice as Tours but OK.
 

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2.5 hours from paris by tgv pretty much covers the whole country. And not everyone from tours is very nice all of the time....
 

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2.5 hours from paris by tgv pretty much covers the whole country..
Apart from 'Ainay le Châteaux' which is 2.5 hrs from a TGV station/civilisation. :D

Talking of which, I will be passing through Sancoins next week so I must remember to wave to anyone on a bike.

BTW, do they still sell 'live' rabbits on the market in Sancoins. For all of the problems of Paris, at least you don't have to murder your lunch before eating it. The joys of living in rural France.

Bon Appetite ;)
 

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This is no consolation, I know, but I can assure you that all three of my Paris apartments (in the 5th, the 11th, and the 17th/18th) were quiet as the tomb compared to my current apartment in lower Manhattan, where - at 1:25 am - there are currently two mega-noisy earth-movers drilling into the street directly across from my window.

On the other hand, that's pretty much silenced the alcohol-inspired shouting from the four bars whose patrons were carousing on the terraces until the workmen arrived.

And if this is somewhat unusual, the garbage pickup for those bars is a constant factor at around 2 am, and the deliveries for the two supermarkets in the next block start at 4.

So, as far as I'm concerned, noise is a factor to be dealt with in urban living - which is clearly not for everyone. Nor is silence: the last time I stayed at a friend's place on the outer edges of Paris, I woke in the night because it was...too quiet. Creepy...

And let's not even begin to compare the NYC transit system with that of Paris: yes, here the subway and buses run 24/7, but at least in Paris they largely run to places people want to go, not just straight up and down the avenues. Although, to be fair, the NYC subway is making an effort to install more elevators to accommodate those of us who have begun clumping around with our canes.

Hope you can find somewhere that meets your needs!
 

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Nope, it's just our building on one side of the street down here in Trendy Tribeca and a gazillion bars across the street - but, hey, if you're really in town, send me a PM if you'd like to get together for a drink!

I'm sure one of us can dial up an Uber... :)
 

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Commuting via the TGV is not a terribly realistic option, I don't think. As far as I can find, there isn't any sort of commuter pass, and the number of trains in each direction each day is somewhat limited.

I think the southern part of Ile de France is a much more reasonable option - and there are areas here that are quite "rural" in character. Certain parts of the eastern departements in Ile de France are the same. Easiest thing to do would be to explore the end points of the various RER lines. (And, by the by, I think I goofed in my prior post - Dourdan is at the end of the C line - or rather one of the C lines, as there are several.)

While the RER can be a pain, thanks to periodic greves and ratty old equipment, plenty of folks still rely on it. And employers in Paris do tend to make allowances on the days that there are delays.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had a friend who lived in Paris and she said her street was really quiet. I'm in the heart of the 7th. Even our 15th apartment isn't *THIS* bad. I have a grocery store and the Pizza hut below which doesn't help. Oh, let me say also that I live near the American University of Paris too. UGH! I think I live in a particularly noisy area.

That doesn't solve the other issues of rudeness, aggressive, etc. I think I am just done. I feel EXHAUSTED all the time and I know it's the city. I was born in LA and it wasn't this bad. In L.A., you can find quiet streets and even neighborhoods that are quiet.
 

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Commuting via the TGV is not a terribly realistic option, I don't think. As far as I can find, there isn't any sort of commuter pass, and the number of trains in each direction each day is somewhat limited.
My OH has been doing it for three years from Tours with thousands of other Paris commuters. There is a train every half hour in the morning and evening. There is also an abandonment for the train and parking. You can leave your house at 7.15 AM and be in Montpannase by 8.30.

60/70 sqm flat in Paris willl cost 500,000 Euros. In Tours you can have 250 sq metre house with a swimming pool for the same price. Take your pick.;)
 

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It's a shame that living in Paris is causing you such problems, but great that both you and your husband are keen to move. Life in Paris is certainly not for everyone. You are very lucky that you have the Paris apartment as a fallback, but don't forget that you are about to significantly increase your living costs (rent/purchase price, commuting, most likely the purchase of at least one vehicle).

Bev's advice to explore the end points of the various RER lines is excellent. Choosing an area to live will depend largely on where in Paris your husband works - what might seem like a reasonable commute into the city can turn into something else altogether if he then has to spend considerable time getting to his work location. Remember, too, that a 1 to 2 hour commute can seem perfectly OK initially, but for some people it can become very wearing over time. I would suggest also that you aim for your husband to use the Paris apartment for emergencies (eg. strikes, foul weather) or when he's starting very early or working particularly late, as spending 4-4 nights per week there is unlikely to be good for your relationship. And before you make the decision on location, spend a few days and nights there during the week - that will allow him to genuinely test the commute and you to at least get an idea of whether the location really meets your expectations.

Good luck.
 

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Bev's advice to explore the end points of the various RER lines is excellent.
Actually, it is not such a great idea. Dourdan- Paris (Bev's example) takes well over an hour and has 14 boring snoring stops. Furthermore, the RER late at night is quite dangerous. House prices in ile de France will be expensive.

On the other hand, Tours - Paris has 1/0 stops. Orleans-Paris has 0 stops. Vendome (popular with Americans) - Paris 0 stops. All journeys take 1 hr.

There are only a couple of decent places (nice countryside/realistic house prices) outside of Ile de France that you can reliably commute from by TGV/SNCF into Paris. Tours, Orleans, Blois, Vernon (Normandy) are a few. The further afield you go, the more expensive the travelling costs but you also have Anger, Le Mans, Nantes, La Baule if you are rich and want to live by the sea. Macon, Lyon ect ect ect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So funny, they are now jackhammering below my window (in this heat). I swear they weren't there this morning. They set up a whole construction site in the last few hours!!! Then I get my gardienne who just hates me no matter how nice I am to her telling me something which I wasn't sure about other than I understood her shaking her finger at me and saying something wasn't nice??? Every time I get a delivery which is about once or twice a month, she gives me the classic "French scolding"... I'm on the 4th floor and the guy came up saying my telephone wasn't working? He was really a jerk with me. So I guess it had something to do with that?

Did I mention I am SUPER DONE?
 

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Actually, it is not such a great idea. Dourdan- Paris (Bev's example) takes well over an hour and has 14 boring snoring stops. Furthermore, the RER late at night is quite dangerous. House prices in ile de France will be expensive.

On the other hand, Tours - Paris has 1/0 stops. Orleans-Paris has 0 stops. Vendome (popular with Americans) - Paris 0 stops. All journeys take 1 hr.

There are only a couple of decent places (nice countryside/realistic house prices) outside of Ile de France that you can reliably commute from by TGV/SNCF into Paris. Tours, Orleans, Blois, Vernon (Normandy) are a few. The further afield you go, the more expensive the travelling costs but you also have Anger, Le Mans, Nantes, La Baule if you are rich and want to live by the sea. Macon, Lyon ect ect ect.
Yes, I agree - but ATP still needs to consider the proximity of stations to her husband's work.
 

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As an ex commuter into London, I kind of feel qualified to give advice here.

1. Make sure commute starts at a station where there is a choice of train seats available. Nobody wants to be forced into spending the entire journey next to a ...... on the way into work. Coming home it may be unavoidable.

2. Live less than 10 mins away from the station, preferably on foot, but car works as well.

3. Ensure if possible work is within walking or cycling distance of a terminus: commuter can then always get to station to come home. It also ensures the commuter gets daily exercise.

4. Commuter needs to adopt the right attitude. Train travel is me time: to read, sleep, chill out but not make long phone calls as everybody is listening in!!! Car travel does not allow this me time in the same way.

As for being a Monday- Thursday city resident, and a weekend country dweller, there are tens of thousands of people in the UK doing just that. Yes it can be a strain on a relationship but equally it stops the couple taking each other for granted.
 

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Yes, I agree - but ATP still needs to consider the proximity of stations to her husband's work.
Yes, but you can't have all the cake and eat it. Oh travels (after a 1hr TGV) another 1 hr + when they get to Paris by tube and RER. So that is near a two and half hour commute everyday there and back. That commute allow two kids to grow up in a house with a garden rather than a 50 sq metre flat in Paris.

If I hear one person say the French don't work hard they will get a big slap down.

If you want Paris wages but a provence lifestyle something has to give.
 
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