I'm bored, I'm fourteen, and I'm in Paris.
July 8, 2010 5:06 AM   Subscribe

S.O.S. What is the to do in for a 14 year old who is stuck in Paris with his parents and his older brother?? Any suggesions??

Okay, here's the situation. My older brother is attending American University in Paris in the Fall. I am here with my parents moving he and his buddy into their apartment. And I am 14, and BORED. I am not a boring person. At home in Florida, I hangout with my friends all the time. Soccer is the main sport I play. I'm also am scuba diver, i have my advance open water diver, under water naturalist, and boat diver. Next year I will be a rescue diver. My buddy humannaire set me up with a Mefi account a while ago and suggested I use it to ask "the hive mind" of Metafilter. HELP!
posted by andykapahala to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can you maybe expand a little - Which arrondissement are you in? How long are you in France for? How much independence do your parents let you have? Or will the suggestions have to be things you can do with your parents? The most obvious suggestion that comes to mind is to make friends with local kids of your age - or a little older. Find the local 5-a-side pitch and hang out and ask if you can join a game. If you are staying in Paris there is probably not much opportunity to use your diving skills. Are your parents intending on travelling around France? You could suggest getting the train down to Med in the South (lots of awesome dive sites nr. Antibes & Nice). No offence and I appreciate it is difficult but one should not find oneself bored in Paris. A little imagination will go a long way.
posted by numberstation at 5:20 AM on July 8, 2010


Go directly to the Catacombs of Paris! The phenomenal number of bones will give you stuff to talk about for years. Take only pictures, don't try to take any of the bones.
posted by mbarryf at 5:20 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Totally seconding the Catacombs! 1.7km of skulls and bones! I went last year and it was awesome.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:23 AM on July 8, 2010


Take a cooking course at Lenôtre (Champs Elysées). You'll get many bonus points from the ladies once you reach the point where you go live by yourself.
posted by NekulturnY at 5:26 AM on July 8, 2010


How's your French? This is a golden opportunity to improve it-or begin to learn it, if you don't know any.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:30 AM on July 8, 2010


If you're a naturalist, and like museums, check out the National Museum of Natural History. It's one of my favorite museums in the world.

In fact, all of the museums are spectacular—the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée de l'Homme, etc—and if you're in any way so inclined, you should see as many of them as possible. Also, the great cemeteries of Paris, especially Pere Làchaise, but also the Cimetière du Montparnasse and others.

Also, I don't know how long you'll be there, but if you're still in Paris through the beginning of August, the French Ligue 1 starts up then, and Paris-Saint Germain plays at home on August 7th.
posted by The Michael The at 5:32 AM on July 8, 2010


18th arrondissement, I should of mentioned this, we have an apartment in Paris. So I've done lots of museums. Natural History museums my favorite, I enjoy the dinosaurs. I will only be here until the end of this month. I have and will keep trying to make friends, but its hard when you don't speak French.
posted by andykapahala at 5:56 AM on July 8, 2010


I hope you're getting out and watching the World Cup with other fans of le foot!
posted by proj at 6:13 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you play soccer, you should probably try to join pick-up games in Paris. You can go to a sports facility such as the Stade Mairie which is right beside the Eiffel tower and get involved in swimming programs and the like. If you just show up and start speaking English they'll probably find someone to talk to you.
posted by vacapinta at 6:16 AM on July 8, 2010


Oh I've been watching the world cup! I'm going to miss being in Spain for the finals by one day!!! Im only here for not that long. A week then i go to spain, then i come back for about another week, is that enough time to do a sport program?
posted by andykapahala at 6:27 AM on July 8, 2010


Understood. It is hard to make friends especially with the language barrier and it sounds like you have done the headline museums / attractions. If you have any interest in art Mom'atre is close by at 44 rue Joseph de Maistre. It's an art center specifically catering for youths and whilst not everyone is going to speak English I would chance you would have a good chance of some friendly local kids. Suggest hanging out in coffee shops / music shops and also don't be afraid to try and spark up conversations with local kids. If you (attempt to) speak a little French it will be appreciated and go along way. You are only there until the end of the Month so do not be perturbed if you recieve short shrift. Maybe just maybe you will make a pal for life who can show you all sorts of awesomeness. Seeing a city through the eyes of a local IMHO is 10 times better than the guidebook route. I wish you luck young sir.
posted by numberstation at 6:30 AM on July 8, 2010


Scavenger hunt! You could make up your own. Find street signs of your friends' names & take pictures. Find interesting gravestones or fountains or carousels. Find cars they don't sell in the US.
Try googling "weird Paris" and see what looks interesting.
posted by dywypi at 6:31 AM on July 8, 2010


Buy a soccer ball and head to you nearest park.

Also, how about building a website " An American Kid's Guide to the Dinosaurs of Paris" or something. Go and do the legwork to check out the various places they can be found, and give feedback on which are the best.
posted by Idcoytco at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2010


Aside from Ligue 1, there should also be some friendlies beginning in late July.

Will your parents let you travel to another city? How about to another country? If you have a cellphone, maybe you could beg them to let you go to Madrid or Amsterdam to watch the World Cup final.

The Tour de France-- travel somewhere to watch it!

Parkour was born in Paris, or specifically a suburb called Lisses. Do some research and I'm sure you'll find a cool place to watch or participate.

Last minute, but you could attend a European soccer camp.

Perhaps hang around youth hostels, but you're a bit on the young side to be backpacking through Europe.

If I were you I would beg, beg, beg my parents to let me travel independently. But that depends on how independent and confident you are.
posted by acidic at 6:52 AM on July 8, 2010


Palais de Decouverte -- maybe a little young, but it's in a fab building. You still didn't say if you're able to wander by yourself -- what about the Aquarium? If you're interested in underwater stuff -- Arts & Métiers also, for the history of science (Foucault's pendulum and the first metre!)
If you can wander, get lost, see where you end up!

Amusé vous bien!
posted by bwonder2 at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2010


Consider learning some ultimate frisbee? There are quite a few teams in Paris, and most clubs expect no0bs to have no previous experience, since players tend to be educated there will be english speakers. This team was founded by an ex teammate of mine and practices in the 12e and 18e. I have found teams generally welcoming of young players. Some other French teams here.
posted by biffa at 10:50 AM on July 8, 2010


I would explore Paris on my own (or with a family member in tow, if thats not possible). You should walk up the hill to the Sacre Coeur, wander through the Marais, have a croissant on the left bank. Walk up, and then down the Seine. Take the Metro or the bus to a random location. Get lost and then find your way again. Climb up Notre Dame and see the gargoyles nose to nose. Take a soccer ball to the bois de bologne and see if anyone offers to kick it back to you.

Climb the eiffel tower. Walk in the Tuileries, ride the ferris wheel. Go to Chartres with your folks, and to Fountainbleu.

Get your older brother to take you to the Buddha Bar (don't tell your parents about that one); and Hotel Costes.
posted by zia at 1:01 PM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't forget a daytrip to Versaille, the gardens are huge and great fun to wander around, the castle (palace..big house thing..) is pretty cool too.
posted by defcom1 at 10:53 PM on July 8, 2010


Right now you are an exotic foreign boy and thus much sexier than you are at home -- take advantage of this!!! Hang around English language schools or bookstores and chat up the hotties. This could be your opportunity to practice French kissing with an actual French girl (or boy, whatever you're into).
posted by Jacqueline at 5:13 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


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