For 2 years I commuted by train from Brighton to work in London.
At best, the trip door to door took 1 hour 20 minutes, at worst… well, those who have experienced the exquisite delights of being a “customer” of the British transport system can fill in the gaps.
An article by Nick Paumgarten in the “New Yorker” a few months back describes the
seemingly rational calculus made by many Americans between lifestyle, a good job and time spent commuting. It would seem that for a lot of people the “lifestyle” ends up being several hours each way to work in their car. As the author writes,
“A commute is a distillation of a life’s main ingredients, a product of fundamental values and choices. And time is the vital currency: how much of it you spend—and how you spend it—reveals a great deal about how much you think it is worth“.
I have visited Paris a bunch of times since living in Europe, and as a love-struck tourist I can’t get enough. Aside from the culture, food, fashion, beautiful streets, reasurringly rude waiters etc., Paris is also a cinephiles dream.
I spend a fair amount of my time in Paris going to the cinema, as it is a brilliant place to see classic films. A suitable tonic to the multiplex, with its popcorn-munching patrons, there are a number of dedicated cinemas to the art-form dotted around the city (particularly on the Left Bank).
My favourite cinema to visit is the Action Écoles on 23 rue des Écoles, with two screening rooms and a penchant for showing American films from the 40s through to the early 80s. There are no advance tickets, you just queue outside and hope to get in (Five minutes before the tickets sell a crowd appears from nowhere).
A list of the films I have seen there over the past 7 years should give you a good idea of the quality at the Action Écoles: Casablanca; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But were afraid to Ask) ; Rosemary’s Baby; The Outsiders; Stand By Me; Notorious; To Catch a Thief; Lolita; Dr Strangelove; Love and Death; and Mr Smith Goes to Washington.