Sunday, April 19, 2009

Valet Parking


In France, if you go to a fancy restaurant or club and don't want to bother parking your car yourself, you ask the "Voiturier" (Valet) to do it. In this photo I photographed the one of Fauchon, on place de la Madeleine. The funny part is that before you were just supposed to tip them when they would return your car, now there is an "official price" which is generally 8 euros (still cheaper than a parking!). I was a voiturier once, when I was 20 or so for a very chic Cartier party on Place Vendôme. All I was scared of, was to scratch these super expensive Mercedes and Rolls Royces!

36 comments:

  1. You must be a very good driver then, Eric. Don't expect anyone to ever park your car for you in NYC!

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  2. In the 'burbs, it is usually a teenager with sneakers and shorts who does the running back and forth,from the restaurant to the parking lot.

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  3. P.S. Can you imagine them wearing a fancy hat like that???????

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  4. This reminds me of the very funny French movie "The Valet" that came out a couple of years ago.

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  5. Eric: I just read your comments from yesterday. Chat et Souris is a play that has been advertised forever in the Metro-you are forgiven for rarely taking the Metro. Anyway, I took a picture of the advertisement years ago, as in the backround it had a computer mouse, and it gave me that AH HA moment when learning a language--souris=mouse. Our hotel is near Parc Mountsouris which kept me AH HAing.

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  6. I like the topic, but most of all I like your story! Eric, valet! I thought you drove only scooters... ;)
    Love that pink ribbon, the uniform seems classy. That's definitely a job I would like to do, it's really well paid and you can drive, at least for 2 minutes, the most beautiful cars ever.
    But I noticed something: the valets are only men... I won't ask why, I know the answer, such a cliché! ;)

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  7. er...Eric...do you still have the uniform? ;)

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  8. Tiens, ma Guille -- I left you a message on yesterday's post.

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  9. Well I learned the French word for car is "voiture" so I had it all figured out Eric! Who says you can't learn "French in Your Car"! ha I've learned a little that way but not enough I'm afraid. I will have to rely on the good will of the French when I visit. Alas, all of you speak English so much better than my French!

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  10. Oh Eric I just saw your Zazzled Ballerina card - it's beautiful.

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  11. That is so fun! Eric, I would be totally petrified to drive a fancy car. The pressure! But 8 Euros for parking! Here I am thinking 25 cents for 1/2 hour is a lot!! :)

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  12. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing Paris!

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  13. My first job after high school was parking cars in a busy parking lot downtown. It was not a great job. People can be real jerks (both Martians and Venusians), but people can be very nice, as well. Being in cars can be like cleaning houses: you learn odd things about people.

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  14. I can't imagine driving a car in Paris, so I don't think I'll ever need a voiturier!

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  15. I wonder how fast I could spend a million dollars in Paris. Drivers, food, shopping, accommodations, entertainment, gifts. If everybody pitched in some dough, I could test it.

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  16. There are valets at every other restaurant in Los Angeles. They aren't usually actors, as one might guess. They're young men from Mexico, Guatemala, etc. working to send money home. Like Paris, there's a set fee ($3-$5), plus a tip is expected. These guys run their butts off so they deserve it!

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  17. So, what is it like to drive a Rolls, Eric? That is my dream car, but I will be content to leave it as such. I hope if I can ever afford such a car I will do something more sensible with the money!

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  18. I had a valet park my car in downtown L.A. once but it was the end of his shift and it took me a while to find where he parked it.

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  19. Very dapper and clearly labelled.

    TG, I just realised that I start laughing before I even click on your links. :)

    Alexa, does your crown have a pretty pink ribbon wrapped around it, or are you trying for the Rolls Royce?

    from cali, I'd do something sensible, too. Unless it came free with a crown, then I'd accept it happily.

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  20. Shell -- yes, the crown has bright pink ribbons just like the one adorning the chapeau of this voiturier.

    TG -- unlike Shell, I actually wait until I open the link, but then I usually guffaw—like now. Once again, bravo. BTW, can you imagine anyone who parks cars in LA wearing such a hat as this? Comme on dit dans la vallée: As if!

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  21. lol Tall Gary! I wonder, can't these chaps just steal the cars? How likely is that?

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  22. Love the pink detail on his cap.

    Such a cliché alright Guille. Meanwhile statistics show the contrary.... ;)

    The movie The Valet is worth watching it, I really enjoyed it!

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  23. I think Lynn will agree with me that we need to see Eric wearing his voiturier uniform (I'm SURE it would still fit)while swinging from the chandelier. We never did get the promised chandelier pic..............

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  24. As usual a great photo, Eric. The pink ribbon does it !

    I'm not familiar with these voituriers, since I would never dare driving a car in Paris, but where do they park the cars ? Do they drive around to find an empty space or do they have some free parkinglots around the city ? Can somebody enlighten me ?

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  25. Now, do you suppose he'd park my Velib bicycle as well? How chic would that be?

    BTW Eric, congratulations on your Zazzle product of the day yesterday (the couple who kissed for 25 minutes). Bravo!

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  26. Oh really? Eric got a product of the day? I didn't even know they did that. Well done Eric. Kissing for 25 minutes sounds a half hour well spent to me.

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  27. Why yes, Sue, what an idea. Come on Eric, do your stuff. All this talk of kissing has Sue and I fired up - we now want the uniform!
    lol Michael. I don't have a valet but I do have an old Escort...:)

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  28. And the other five minutes, Lynn--does introduce or follow the kissing?

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  29. Lol Michael. Reminds me of the old joke 'Do you smoke after sex?'
    'I don't know I've never looked'. An oldie but a goodie. hehe

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  30. Here in the US there are sometimes uniforms and sometimes not on the valet workers. I once was staying at a hotel in Washington, DC where, as I came out the front door one day, a man was discovering that he had not only given his car to a man he thought was a valet standing at the front of the hotel to drive off, but he had also handed him the keys and a tip besides. Ouch!

    Sue, I always loved that joke!!

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  31. > Guille. "Eric, valet! I thought you drove only scooters... ;)" LOL. True, but before 1991 I used to drive a car in Paris. Since then I gave up.

    > Lynn "er...Eric...do you still have the uniform? ;)". I did not have a uniform. If I recall, I think only a suit or at least a jacket.

    > Virginia "I will have to rely on the good will of the French when I visit" Don't worry, a lot of French people speak English now. Especially in Paris.

    > "Here I am thinking 25 cents for 1/2 hour is a lot!! :)" Well, you know, it's like that in every big city...

    > "I wonder how fast I could spend a million dollars in Paris. " Good question. My guess would be : a month.

    > "So, what is it like to drive a Rolls, Eric? " Frankly I would not really call this "drive" because all I had to do was to drive the car from the entrance of the marquis down to the parking...

    > Tall Gary. LOOOOOOOOOL! Beautiful photo mind you.

    > Sue "(I'm SURE it [Eric's voiturier uniform] would still fit)" I wish!

    > Bettina "where do they park the cars ?" Excellent question. I also wonder.

    > "BTW Eric, congratulations on your Zazzle product of the day yesterday (the couple who kissed for 25 minutes). Bravo!" Yeah, I wonder how they pick the products of the day. Thank you Zazzle!

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  32. Eric that's okay - a suit is good. :)

    Michael the extra five minutes is for re-applying my Chanel Rose Baby lipstick of course!

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