Enjoy, laugh, disagree or simply empathize with those who lived life in THE sixties and are now rockin' life in THEIR sixties, and beyond.

For a taste of Asia, go to Paris

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The central square is always busy with artists and tourists enjoying the sights.

The central square in Montmartre is always busy with artists creating portraits or street scenes while tourists enjoy the sights.

The world seems to be getting smaller as a result of easy access to travel, internet communications and global interdependencies. Living in a profoundly multi-cultural city like Toronto has made me aware of the benefits of merging other cultures with our own but I was unprepared for what I experienced in a recent visit to Paris. In previous visits I had never been to Montmartre, the artist community on the hill dominated by the prominent white dome of the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, which is visible from most points in Paris.

We arrived late in the afternoon during a torrential rainstorm which made a leisurely stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets a less-than-appealing affair. After purchasing a couple of raincoats and umbrellas at one of the souvenir shops in the main square (the sun had been shining when we struck out), we did our best to see as much of the neighbourhood as possible.

The shops were filled with the predictable Eiffel Tower statues, tote bags, tee shirts and other touristy paraphernalia but what I wasn’t prepared for was the almost total Asian proprietorship of the boutiques and restaurants. At least half of the artists in the central quadrangle were not French but Asian. We ate a lovely Margherita pizza ordered in French at a Vietnamese restaurant and I purchased a kitschy print of the George V Champs Elysées Café painted by an artist with the name of Bin Kashiwa, from a beautiful French-speaking Pakistani girl. Naturally, most of the souvenirs and trinkets were Made In China.

The striking white dome of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur is a Paris landmark.

The striking white dome of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur is a Paris landmark.

Expecting a quintessentially French experience when you visit Montmartre is not exactly a reality anymore with the exception of the streets and buildings which are still delightfully quaint and Francaise. The culture, like the rest of the world is now homogenized and Paris is as multi-cultural as any other large city in this shrinking world. And if that means a Canadian can get great Italian pizza in a Vietnamese restaurant in a French-speaking country, then that’s just fine with me. À bientôt amigos.

Author: Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

One thought on “For a taste of Asia, go to Paris

  1. Having just returned from a trip from Zurich to Venice to Barcelona I observed much of what you are mentioning Lynda – in the larger urban centres. That was different from what I expected as well. However, we tended to get out into in the countryside as much as we could and that is where we found the local culture to be strong and steeped in traditional agricultural ways – hmhm – that sounds much like home as well.


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