Well, it wasn’t an American. In shocking truth, the artist is a Parisian guy! Thanks to reader sarah g for the info. This stuff is still kinda funny, though. Both funny and infuriating.
So I live in a neighborhood best described by « North African drug dealers ». In ALLCAPS, please. Huh? Other places of interest in the city are « Chinese food », « BBC », « Gays and Jews », « Palais de Tokyo » and « ex-intellectual privileged assholes ».
(Which is an obvious error, by the way: there’s nothing « ex- » about the privileged intellectual assholes in the area. But I digress.)
This is a from a map of Paris hand-drawn for a Slate reader by a friend, who, presumably, lives or had lived there:
Note the very prominent touristy landmarks, Anglo-American world-view (did he really confuse the Radio France building with the BBC??), and huge majority of disdainful, bigoted, judgmental or simply boorish descriptions. Only one regret: the artist didn’t sign his or her name. Maybe we can guess: « Ugly American »?
And isn’t it interesting that the Chinatown-like neighborhood is labeled « Chinese food » (and not something like « Triads »), when the North African one is all « Drug dealers », not « Food ». Show me your prejudices…
Oh, and they didn’t mention the tourists either! Lots of loud, obvious, oblivious tourists. No few of them are Americans. And don’t even get me started on the ex-pats!
The map actually comes from a thought-provoking article by Julia Turner in Slate:
« It’s a guide to the neighborhoods of Paris, put in terms a young New Yorker can understand. Although the map is simplistic and juvenile, the effort to match Parisian arrondissements with demographically corresponding areas in Brooklyn is a conceptually interesting way to present information about an unfamiliar town. »
Conceptually, indeed. It may even be useful if you are a foreigner in the city and trying to score drugs, locate a gay bar, find a rabbi, or simply wanting to know where to go for above-average Chinese restaurants.
Now, I guess that a hand-drawn map of, say, New York or Los Angeles, made by a typical foul-mouthed Parisian smart-ass would also be… pretty interesting.