By Frances Gendlin
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Extra info for CultureShock! Paris: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
34 CultureShock! Paris This is certainly one of the most agreeable quartiers in the city. Between the relaxed 5e on the east and the reserved 7e on the west, housing here shares the character of its neighbours. It starts at a reasonable price along the east and gradually becomes extremely expensive the farther west one goes, particularly between boulevard Saint-Germain and the Seine. The atmosphere is unique, and it is one Parisians are fighting to preserve, although the battle seems lost. Local shops have moved out as rents have risen and impersonal giants such as Armani, Louis Vuitton and Cartier have taken their place.
40 CultureShock! Paris Owing to its proximity to Gare de Lyon, which opened Paris to southern Europe and then to Africa, this has long been a varied area, changing once again with the influx of young, professional Parisians. Although housing blocks intrude on the otherwise low-rise residential quartier, the neighbourhood spirit persists. Almost a secret in the eastern area of the arrondissement is the Allée Vivaldi, a hidden greensward surrounded by modern offices and residences. Across an arched footbridge, the open Jardin de Reuilly has gardens, playgrounds filled with children and a grassy expanse; it too is surrounded by pleasant, unobtrusive, modern housing.
There is the ultra modern four-building library complex, the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière and the busy Gare d’Austerlitz. With new housing being built and planned, this is becoming a new quartier, the Seine-Rive-Gauche, and galleries are already starting to move in. Currently, however, as one heads into the arrondissement, it is the broad avenue des Gobelins that has the lively atmosphere and residential popularity of the 5e, its neighbour to the north. 42 CultureShock! Paris Along with the seemingly ubiquitous apartment towers built in the 1970s are hidden enclaves of the old, charming Paris.