WASHINGTON — Planning a trip abroad? It would probably be best to check out the State Department's list of travel warnings for countries with unsafe political climates and high crime rates. At the moment, the State Department has issued travel warnings for 34 countries, from the Central African Republic and El Salvador to Iraq and North Korea.
Well, just as State warns Americans about dangerous places to travel, so, too, do foreign ministries in other countries — and some countries warn their citizens to avoid certain parts of certain cities in the United States.
France, in particular, warns travelers to be careful in a large number of specific cities.
Here's what other countries, mostly France, say about U.S. cities:
Boston: Avoid walking at night in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury, and be wary of "petty crime" in Chinatown, the North End and Fenway.
New York: Be wary in Times Square and at the Statue of Liberty, and don't go to Harlem, the Bronx or Central Park at night.
Washington: Northeast and Southeast should be avoided, and Union Station is dangerous at night. "Le quartier Anacostia n'est pas recommandable de jour comme de nuit." Translation: Don't go to Anacostia, day or night.
Baltimore: "Considered a dangerous city except downtown."
Richmond: "Do not visit the city on foot."
Pittsburgh: The French urge their citizens to avoid Mount Oliver, Hill District, Homewood-Brushton and Hazelwood.
Cleveland: Avoid Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Euclid. That warning got Cleveland Heights Mayor Edward Kelly upset. "The French government is foolish and doesn't know what they're talking about," he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Detroit: "The center is not recommended after the close of business."
Chicago: Stay away from the West Side and anywhere south of 59th Street.