CHICAGO
11/19/2013 04:26 pm ET Updated Nov 25, 2013

France Warns Tourists Visiting Chicago To Avoid City's South And West Sides (PHOTOS)

There's a new French resistance... to the South and West Sides of Chicago.

The Washington Post first noted the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website warns French travelers to the U.S. about 16 cities, with specific areas to steer clear of.

Specifically, French travelers are advised to "Avoid the West Side and the south of the city after 59th Street." While several South and West side areas are hard-hit by poverty and violent crime, the French government's warning brushes broadly over a huge portion of the city -- namely any place west of the Loop and south of University of Chicago.

Pascale Furlong, press attachè for the French Consulate in Chicago told the Tribune in the same way the U.S. State Department issues warnings about cities abroad, so too does the French government.

"It's our responsibility towards our citizens that are traveling abroad," Pascale said.

"I'm insulted," one Windy Citizen told Fox Chicago (embedded). "There's violence everywhere." Another man said, "The Blues is such a fantastic part of Chicago and it came from the South Side."

(See a selection of South and West Side spots French travelers will apparently be missing out on below.)

Though Mayor Rahm Emanuel and South and West Side aldermen have yet to respond to the French diss, the city did post record tourism numbers last year, much of that spurred by more than 2 million of those visitors from outside the U.S.

[UPDATE: When asked for a response, Emanuel said "Don't get me started on the French."]

Joining Chicago on the French's non non list: Richmond, Va. ("do not visit the city on foot"), Baltimore ("considered a dangerous city except downtown") and other major cities like Los Angeles and NYC.

The Tribune notes that while no Chicago officials have complained about having roughly two-thirds of the Windy City deemed unfit for French tourists, the people of Cleveland took exception to the inclusion of suburban Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Euclid.

Cleveland Heights mayor Edward Kelley said, "The French government is foolish and doesn't know what they're talking about," and voilà, the areas were subsequently removed from the Ministry's website.

Here's a taste of what French tourists will miss if they skip these major parts of Chicago:

  • Our Lady Of Sorrows (West Side)
    WikiMedia:
  • The Garfield Park Conservatory (West Side)
    WikiMedia:
  • Pullman Hotel (South Side)
    WikiMedia:
  • Ukrainian National Museum (West Side)
    WikiMedia:
  • Replica of the Statue of the Republic (South Side)
    WikiMedia:
  • South Shore Cultural Center (South Side)
  • Old Sears Tower (West Side)
    WikiMedia:
  • Mosque Maryam (South Side)
    Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • Humboldt Park (West Side)

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