I'd prefer not to let the terrorists win.
November 16, 2015 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Should we go to Paris this Sunday?

My mom, sister, my two 13-year-old nephews, girlfriend, girlfriend's sister, and I had planned to be in Paris from Sunday the 22nd to Friday the 27th. Obviously we now have questions about that agenda with the recent attacks and the (we just realized) upcoming climate summit.

None of us are too worried about safety, but have other concerns. Also considering that our Airbnb apartment is in la Chapelle, and while not that near any of the attack sites, it is in the general area of the line of them, these are the most likely problems that occur to me: Will things be open? Will public transport be limited? Are we wanted there right now? Will things be crazy anyway leading up to COP 21? Are there other problems I haven't thought of?
posted by cmoj to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should mention that the actual problem of changing plans is not a factor here.
posted by cmoj at 2:01 PM on November 16, 2015

Best answer: Well, four weeks ago I went on a long-planned trip to Israel, just as "the situation" was getting very, very hairy, vis-a-vis stabbings and other on-the-street terror attacks. I was very, very nervous and almost cancelled my trip. (Others on my trip did cancel.) What I found was a nation almost ridiculously happy to see me. Ordinary people stopped what they were doing to thank me for coming. Random people on the street thanked me. Shopkeepers, restaurateurs and hotel workers definitely thanked me. People on the beach said, "Good for you for coming" and the like. And I never once felt unsafe.

Life's a total crapshoot. You could get hit by a bus if you stay home. Go. Live. Don't let the terrorists win.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:06 PM on November 16, 2015 [23 favorites]

Best answer: Yes of course you should go. Everything is open. Public transport will be normal. The Summit doesn't start until three days after you leave. Your visit will be vastly more appreciated now than it will be at any other time.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:21 PM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Granted, my own trip isn't until December 26th, but I did not for one second consider cancelling my trip to Paris, and in fact on Friday night I called to leave a message for my parents saying "don't you even consider telling me to cancel." Not only hadn't they not considered telling me that either, my father said that "if you think about it, Paris is going to be the safest place in the world for tourists for the next couple months."

But you're asking about things like "will things be open". I just saw in the main post on the blue that they opened up the theaters tonight. Also - speaking from having lived in New York during 9/11 - I suspect that if they do leave things closed, it would only be in the arrondisements directly affected, and they'd probably be opening other things up in the rest of the city pretty quick; not just for tourists, but for the 2.2 million other residents as well. Paris was the site of a tragedy, but it's also a place where people live, and they still have to eat and do laundry and get groceries and fix their cars and stuff like that.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:21 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Hi European here!

Go Go Go. Agree with everyone else has said here. And this coming from someone that was first on the scene for Brevik bombing our state building in Norway.

Paris, whilst this may sound a bit morose, is safer and more friendly than it usually is after the gruesome attacks by a select few criminal scum.

The same Paris you expected before will be there upon your arrival on the 22nd. Sure there will be conversation about the event, but it doesn't define the city, the people nor the country.

Just enjoy and you won't have any problems with transport or anything.

In regards to Airbnb rental - just about everyone is more open to host people from foreign lands (active Airbnb member and group host leader). You will be fine.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 3:35 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for confirming all of our feelings about the matter. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something, and the hive mind seemed ideal for that.

I'm still open to any input on this matter, as well as restaurant recommendations.
posted by cmoj at 4:53 PM on November 16, 2015

We went to Paris in February after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. All I noticed was the presence of armed military but at the time it was only at Les Halles and it was subtle enough.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:31 PM on November 16, 2015

Best answer: I live in Paris, and I should mention that the atmosphere in Paris is very solemn. Many cafes and restaurants are closed, and the streets were very quiet today. I suspect things would be better by Sunday though, if nothing else happens.

To be honest, if rescheduling the trip is not a hassle, I would recommend that you take a trip elsewhere this time and come back to lovely Paris in the near future, just so that you can appreciate what Paris really has to offer. The ambiance here is a lot worse now than after Charlie Hebdo, and although it is admirable to fight against terrorism in our own ways, I think there are right ways and appropriate time for that, especially as a visitor who should be able to fully enjoy the city.
posted by snufkin5 at 5:31 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Personally, I would still go, probably with a little extra research into what venues / attractions might be closed in the wake of the attacks, alternative plans, and with the mindset of everyone in your group being extra patient and compassionate with service workers or anyone else you might incidentally encounter, whose nerves might be frazzled or whose minds might not fully be on serving your tourist needs. (For what it's worth, in an opposite-case sort of way, back in the day, my partner and I went ahead with a planned Paris trip a couple weeks after the 9/11 attacks, and found the Parisians almost universally kind and sympathetic.)
posted by aught at 12:50 PM on November 17, 2015

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