Since the start of 2019, crime on Paris public transit has shot up, most from pickpockets, organised in groups who target tourists in metro cars. The Paris police prefecture has registered an increase of 33 per cent in the number of pickpocket crimes reported on the metro, RER and local trains.
The thieves’ methods are as varied as they are familiar. Groups, often of young women, get close to their victims, then leave as the train doors are close, a smartphone or wallet in hand. Or they bump into someone getting off a train, and take advantage of the confusion to slip a hand in an open bag or pocket.
While Parisians are used to keeping their bags close to them, visitors are less wary, and become targets.
Police have trouble apprehending the perpetrators, as over half are minors, which makes it difficult to prosecute them, or deport them, as many are foreigners.
Train drivers will often make their own announcements to warn passengers to hold onto their belongings if they see a pickpocket gang on the platform.
The RATP, which runs the Metro, has set up a way for victims to file a complaint directly in 49 stations, without going to the police, which allows for victims to quickly receive documents to provide to insurance companies or to ask for a replacement passport at an embassy.
A Wine-Searcher presentation in Paris has good news for French exporters. Read the latest wine news & features on wine-searcher
Data from Wine-Searcher’s comprehensive database presented at the Wine Paris exhibition in France last night showed that rumours of French wine’s demise at the hands of New World competitors are greatly exaggerated, advertising and key accounts manager Nicholas Oakes told his audience of mostly French wine professionals.
In the 12 months to January 31, 2019, French wines accounted for 31 percent of all 4,179,908 bottle-size wine offers listed on Wine-Searcher, a number that has remained remarkably steady across the past five years. Of the more than 156 million wine searches made by users in the same time frame, almost 75m, or 48 percent, were looking for French wines.
The largest market for French wine is the US; this is a result of Wine-Searcher listing more offers from the US than from anywhere else. Despite the level of loyalty to the domestic industry in the US, French wines account for 426,537 offers, or 22 percent of the total listed in the US. By comparison, its next market is its home country, where there are relatively few offers – 212,271 – but French listings make up 92 percent of the total. The next largest markets in terms of wines on offer are Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. [ . . . ]
Nothing is perhaps more French than going to a market. Parisians often buy their vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses at marchés, preferring cheaper offerings that aren’t produced en masse like many of the goods found in healthy foods stores like Naturella and Carrefour bio are. If you find yourself in the City of Lights and want an authentic experience in a market that’s full of Parisians, head to the 12th arrondissement for the Marché d’Aligre.
Operating since the late 18th century, Marché d’Aligre is on a street less than a quarter mile long, between rue de Charenton and rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. As you make your way down the street, lively vendors shout in friendly tones to buy des figues, des pommes, and more. Vendors will be there every day except Monday, but on the weekends expect large crowds flocking to do their shopping. With the jubilant energy, haggling, and bustling Parisien(ne)s, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time to La Belle Époque. On Sunday, a Frenchmanwears a black top hat as he winds the orgue de barbarie and sings classic French songs. Where you can easily spend 20 euros without blinking an eye at les marchés in the chicer 6th arrondissement, at Marché d’Aligre, for ten euros or less, you can stock up for the week on all your favorite fruits and leafy greens.