I have put this tip under the grouping "les dogs" because I suspect they provide much of the work for these street cleaners. I came upon them not far from my hotel.
Paris is a very large place with a great many people, many of whom are dog owners and dogs ... well, when you've gotta go you've just gotta go! Add to that the general detritus which is dropped randomly (cigarette tips for example, many French still smoke) and the cleanup needs to be constant. This seemed a rather impressive way of going about it: on my previous visit I'd photographed (unfortunately on video) a cleaner on a motorcycle with a back-mounted vacuum cleaner, circling around the pedestrian plaza near Abesses Metro, doing much the same thing.
Update My VT friend JLBG has advised me that the nickname for these cleaners is "Moto-crottes"
Paris is a dog-loving city! I'm glad because I love dogs! But...the love of dogs is carried to the pinnacle: dogs are accepted anywhere. Therefore, you may be taken aback initially when you see a huge shepherd mix enter a restaurant or a store. It's fine, that's the Parisian custom and everyone is agreeable with it.
It's really interesting to see all sizes of dogs welcomed into a cafe or a restaurant as well. Doggie even has his or her own seat if he/she is tiny enough to fit on one. No one thinks it's out of the ordinary at all.
And when you go on walks you will see throughout the city-especially in early evening-lots of people walking their dogs. The special thing that I noticed is that the dogs, for the most part, are really well-behaved. Yes, one or two who meet in the streets while walking may have a territorial urge to get in a fight with the other. But that's pretty rare.
The merde (uh, this is the uncensored word meaning 'dog poop') problem is not as problematic as it was some years ago. There are teams of green-suited city workers employed to clean the sidewalks and drains from the poop. However, you still need to watch your step to be sure there's nothing bad underfoot.
Parisians love their dogs. You see them everywhere – not only on the streets but in the Métro and in bistros and brasseries. On our last trip, we saw Yorkies, miniature poodles (apricot is a popular color), Jack Russell terriers, Maltese, and larger breeds like golden retrievers, bull terriers, and shaved English sheepdogs. The sidewalks are relatively free of dog doo, which is surprising, since none of the owners seems to carry a bag or a pooper scooper. (An idea for Yves St-Laurent, perhaps?)
This is a photo of our favorite mascot, who spends his days at Au Canon de la Nation, an all-hours brasserie at Place de la Nation. His name is Patton, after the World War II general, and he's a Canet Corso, an Italian breed. Patton is big and powerful (50 kilos) but very mellow. He sleeps on the sidewalk between the tables, or in a passage inside the restaurant, occasionally lifting his big, jowly head to see if any tidbits are forthcoming.
We love our animals here. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't have either a cat or a dog. Dogs are especially great to have here, it is a way of initiating conversation and "bonding". Also, there aren't any kind of rules for apartments like no pets. This would never do in Paris!
You might even want to carry around photos of your pets if you do not want to put them through the ordeal of flying (I know I never would).
I remember that evening so clearly.
We had just finished a lovely dinner with friends and were strolling along the boulevards, making our way to the metro. We made a stop atop Le Pont Neuf to soak in the crisp, clear spring evening and indulge in one of those traditional "French-style" embraces.
In the midst of our warm embrace and passionate kiss, there was only one thing that would break us away from the moment:
A shopping bag-toting dog.
Even the canine in Paris are chic.
God, I love Paris!!! ;-)
Before we went to Paris, we were told "watch out for all the Dog poo, you know they don't pick it up like we do here!"
I think that must have been a while back, as we found the streets to be fairly clean of Dog poo.
A Dog in Paris leads quite a high life. They are able to visit bakeries, cafes, shops and bars, small dogs can be even be taken on buses, trams, metro and RER, not so for the larger breeds, although they can travel on the RER if they're on a leash and muzzled, and you must buy a half price ticket for the Dog.
Want to go by Taxi, not a problem, just tell them in advance that you have a dog, then the company can send a taxi that is willing to take pets.
I have since seen, a "Dog Parking" area where there are hooks so the leash can be attached. Leave pooch there while you go and shop!
All this was very interesting to me, as where I live, a Dogs place is in his yard, or going for a walk on a leash with his master.
So, I saw Dogs going for walks in the parks and Dogs enjoying themselves. I was quite surprised to see two Borzois, each with a different owner. They are not a popular breed where I live.
Watch where you are walking because there are dog poops scattered on the pavements and spacings between parked cars. The dog owners usually don't clean up their dogs' mess though there were one or two occasions where I seen them clearing it. Precaution is better than cure: you wouldn't want to spend time cleaning your shoes later.
I also seen before an amusing incident where a dog wiped his paws on the door mat of a shop before entering it.
Dogs are not allowed in Paris' squares. Most of the squares have gates so dogs don't enter. It's quite good once you're at the parks and squares. The thing is that since the dogs don't have were to sh*t, the will do it in the street. So just be careful, you'll find plenty of dog sh*t in the street, so be sure to look down once in a while.
You literally see dogs of all sizes, shapes and color everywhere. It did not become apparent until we saw this scene on the Champs Elysee. They are not obnoxious dogs, or even overbearing. All of the canines that we encountered were well-behaved and just fit into the scene.
Ann's favourite activity in Paris was walking the dog. The dog liked her a lot and kept walking behind her. I think that;s because she brought a lot of braafbrokjes with her.
Walking the dog is a local custom in Paris: you see this funny minidogs everywhere!
It seems that Parisiennes (it is correct in English or my new word?) take care of their dogs very much, more then of their unemployed and poor citizens, I suppose.
They used to walk their dogs with some elegance I could say and they (dogs I mean) are always clean with fashionable hair (even if it's raining) and polite.
Btw my favourite brand is French Briard (much hair - not so easy to maintain :-)
Do NOT beware of dogs in Paris.
Everybody has a dog but they're pretty well mannered. :) This dog's name is 'Nelson'. The waiter explained that he was the owner of the cafe were we had our lunch. He sat at the table next to ours. Is that Pernod I see...?
Well not quite everywhere, but they are prevelent. Particularly white poodles. Typically the standard variety that are not shorn. Jack Russels seem to be very popular as well. Parisian dogs seem to have an attitude like their owners. It's kind of funny. It is interesting that I found those two breeds to be the most popular in the city. Poodles are haughty, and Jack Russells are indignent. Hmmm, something to think about . . .
Someone once said that dogs have more rights than babies in Paris where it is often more appropriate to take a dog than a baby to a restaurant. Don't be surprised if man's best friend is snuggled under the table.
Somehting I really HATE about Paris and parisians if that few of them clean after their dogs.
They are supposed to pay an "amende", but policemen nevers stop them.
So, be careful about where you put your foot !!!