The Museum of Shopping

Nanjing First LV StoreNo one nails Paris like Adam Gopnik. He has written about the city for the New Yorker and in book form, and has edited (what I consider to be) the best anthology of writings about the city, too. This week he takes on the recent glut of luxury stores that, he believes, are helping to turn Paris into a shopping destination for the jet-set rich, to the detriment of the daily lives of Parisian residents. This socio-economic trend in other major cities is what has left even people among the rich (such as David Byrne) lamenting the state of affairs. New York needs no more explanation than a name-drop; last month in Los abercrombieAngeles, residents protested the gentrification/hipster-fication of Highland Park, a scruffy neighborhood where houses start at about a half-million, despite the obvious presence of gangs. The salient sentence that distills my dismay about the City of Light, one felt by so many Americans who have moved to the French capital:

[…]they have found that they are living in a grouchy, heavily overadministered country, where everyone is socialized to be negative in the first instance, and where the small details of life are made as wrenchingly difficult as possible—though no more for newcomers than they are for the natives, which, of course, helps account for their grouchiness.

Read the entire article here.

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