Quote Originally Posted by Curt
...And by all means take you biggest tripods and large format cameras with you. The best place to photograph is the National Assembly building next to the Orsay. The city is really clean, except for one place the tour guide kindly pointed out, American Park. It looked like a run down dirty needle park. They seen to love Americans. Tip generously they don't have a very high tax on anything. I think its 20 to 30 percent. I saw a waiter go to the manager with the tip I gave him and he said can I keep it. The manager seem to split it with him, so slip the tip into his pocket.

Really this is humbug. The American Park is really really dirty but Paris is clean and friendly and tipping is small. The tax is high but it's their system. The best thing in Paris is the Louvre. After that everything else is just nice.
Hi Curt,

Being an AIP (American In Paris) and an LF photographer, I can assure you that it would be a great hassle to bring a big tripod here. I suppose it could be done, but permits are required to photograph in most parks and in front of major monuments with a tripod. Multiply that by forty students. As I've posted elsewhere on this form, the thinking seems to be: "Tripod=Professional. Professional=Money. Money="We want our share". THAT'S the "real" France! Any instance of dog-doo or rudeness pale in comparison ...

Taxes on restaurant food is 19.66%. As I write this, there's a big controversy in France around the promised reduction of this tax. President Chirac said he'd roll the tax back to 5.5% —the same rate McDonald's and other fast-fooders pay. But he knew in advance that the European Union wouldn't allow it. So now he can say it's not his fault, but the restauranteers are still howling, "We don't care ... you promised! But enough local politics. What's important to know is that a 15% tip is usually included in the price of your meal. Extra tips left by customers are sometimes pooled and shared by all of the waitpeople, which might explain why the waiter you described asked his manager if he could keep his tip.

By the way, what and where is this "American Park"? I've never heard of it!

Lastly, to confirm .. Yes, Paris is a very beautiful city. Anyone wanna contact me for a non-touristic foot-tour (time-willing, and with advance notice), no problem. Dinner's on you, but you'll have your just desserts.

Prague is beautiful too, especially the historic old center. I used to live there too. The people are wonderful. Not as many cafés as Paris, but plenty of beer! BOTH cities have beautiful women. That's why there's a good train system in Europe!