Strolling Paris’ boulevards and streets is part of the city’s mythology. The French word for stroller “flaneur” is colored with literary associations suggesting a man of leisure, urban explorer and connoisseur of the street… a philosophy and way of life.
Indeed one of the pleasures of living in Paris is strolling its streets and discovering hidden treasures. What makes Paris one of the most beautiful cities of the world are the city’s remarkable building facades. Now a new illustrated guide (in French) “Paris 100 Facades Remarquables” by Claude Mignot is a stroller’s guide to discovering some of the city’s most amazing architecture. Continue reading “Remarkable Parisian Facades”
Any guidebook can tell you what to see and do in Paris during the day: museums and monuments, cathedrals and croissants—the checklist of Parisian clichés is enough to keep any tourist busy until closing time. But what about when darkness falls on the City of Light? Continue reading “John Baxter’s Nights in Paris”
With his new book “A Passion for Paris” David Downie looks at how Paris got the reputation of being the world’s number one romantic city. The author informs the reader straight away that it will be a personal journey “I wonder if I knew on that first April morning that this would be it” says Downie. “I was stuck and could not leave, indeed would spend decades prowling the streets seeking Félix Nadar’s gallery of images… Did I realize I would lose myself in libraries, house museums and administrative offices…attempting to penetrate the secrets of what might well be the world’s most enigmatic, compelling, paradoxical, maddening yet seductive city?” “I must have had some inkling the first time I climbed the seven stories to my maid’s room…” Continue reading “A Passion for Paris”
With stunning black and white photos in the Ansel Adams tradition and stories about Paris’ legendary bridges, “The Glow of Paris, The Bridges of Paris at Night” is a real Paris book gem. Shooting in the venerable film tradition Gary Zuercher’s considerable camera skills bring to life the city’s storied bridges and their sculptural elements such as those by Dalou found on the Pont Alexandre III. “I thought this would be a one-year project” says Zuercher. “In fact, it took more than five years to complete. And in reality it may never end because there is always another inspiring view to be found and photographed.” Continue reading “The Glow of Paris”
The “Roaring Twenties” known in France as “Les Années Folles” was a golden period (1919-1929) with unprecedented economic prosperity, technological progress (automobiles, telephones, motion pictures, electricity) and creativity. Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, John Dos Passos, Ezra Pound had established themselves in Paris where they rubbed shoulders with Montparnasses’ high flyers. Picasso, Modigliani, Soutine, Brancusi and Chagall all frequented the same cafes. Continue reading “Paris Années Folles”
A “tres fun” book “90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French” delightfully captures some of the quirky things that make the French… French. People who have lived here awhile will get a chuckle recognizing themselves and how living in France has changed them.
This cute little book that fits in the palm of your hand was inspired by an article “20 Ways You Know You’re Becoming French” that originally appeared in FUSAC Magazine. The article was a big hit and inspired the author Shari Leslie Segal to make it into a book teaming up with publisher Lisa Vanden Bos and illustrator Judit Halász. Continue reading “On Becoming French”
The subtitle “Life, Death and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris” sets the tone for Tilar Mazzeo’s new book, “The Hôtel on Place Vendôme.” Written in a breezy, gossipy style this book is a fun read. Her previous books include “The Widow Clicquot” and “The Secret of Chanel No. 5.” Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of World War II, the book is the captivating history of Paris’s world-famous Hôtel Ritz—a tale of glamour, opulence, and celebrity; dangerous liaisons, espionage and resistance Continue reading “The Hotel on Place Vendome”
A new book of short stories “French Kisses” by David Poe draws on his thirty years living the expatriate life in France. His well crafted stories have the taste of a mature wine. He is clearly someone who knows the culture here and is a man who knows what you get living a life abroad… and also what one gives up with such a life. Continue reading “David Poe’s French Kisses”
One of the summer pleasures of Paris is having a drink at an outdoor cafe terrace. “Paris Terrasses, Outdoor Dining in Paris” published just in time for the season is a new 2014 updated bilingual guide to Paris’ outdoor dining gems ranging from terraces on rooftops such as “Les Ombres” decorated by the archtect Jean Nouvel at the Musee Branly with its stunning view of the Eiffel Tower to more intimate settings such as the inner terrace at the Entrepot, a multicultural venue with live music, theater and home of Paris’ legendary art movie house. Continue reading “Paris Terrasses, Outdoor Dining in Paris”
I once asked the French photographer Boubat if he was a romantic. He responded saying no “I’m a humanist. I’m interested in photographing people. There’s enough bad to be seen in the world. I like to photograph and show what is good.”
French Humanist Photographers were among the best at portraying poetic moments and showing what was good about life after WWII. Now a new book “The Lighter Side of Paris” (Paris qui rit!) brings together such photographers as Boubat, Doisneau and Kertesz, who not only captured the poetry of daily life but the funny moments too. This book features a collection of humorous pictures of Paris that bring a smile. The photographs include work by such stars as Henri Cartier Bresson and less known pictures by a very funny René Maltete as well as many remarkable anonymous photographers. Although most of the photos date from the post WWII period, several were taken in the 20’s and 30’s with a few capturing drole moments in the Belle Epoque. Continue reading “The Lighter Side of Paris”
Jon Lewis’ charming book “How We Didn’t Buy a House in Besancon” tells the tale of challenges encountered when buying property in France. Required reading for anyone contemplating retiring here. Finally succeeding at finding his dream home, he and his wife Josée now live in the South of France, eight hours drive from Rome and quite a long way, as it turned out, from Besançon. Following is an excerpt from his book where he provides practical information for buying a house in France: Continue reading “How We Didn’t Buy a House in Besançon”