Discovering Paris’ streets and neighborhoods is one of the pleasures of living here. A new book by veteran expat Elaine Sciolino is a delightful and beguiling look at life on a Rue de Martyrs, located in Paris’ charming 9th arrondissement.
Sciolino invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street. “I can never be sad on the rue des Martyrs,” Sciolino explains, as she celebrates the neighborhood’s rich history and vibrant lives. While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure.
Sciolino reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents―the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheesemongers, the showman who’s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs eighteenth-century mercury barometers―making Paris come alive in all its unique majesty. “The Only Street in Paris” will make readers hungry for Paris, for cheese and wine, and for the kind of street life that is all too quickly disappearing.
Former New York Times Paris bureau chief Elaine Sciolino has been based in France since 2002. She is the author of “La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life,” “Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran,” and “The Outlaw State: Saddam Hussein’s Quest for Power and the Gulf Crisis.”
The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs