Paris

Love Lasts Three Years? Not if You’re in Love With Paris

La Tour EiffelI fell in love in Paris. With the city and with life and with so many things.

I can’t recall the exact moment when I fell for France, but I think growing up watching Gene Kelly dance his way through the City of Light in An American in Paris played a strong part in it. I started taking French in eighth grade and was a semester shy of minoring in it in college. I make a mean coq au vin even though I don’t eat meat, my death row bottle of wine would be a grand cru Burgundy, and if I can’t be buried alongside Oscar Wilde at Père-Lachaise, I at least want my ashes scattered in the Seine so I can spend eternity in the place I love most. More

Recent Reads: How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are

How to Be Parisian

I am forever trekking through a strange sort of literary labyrinth. I don’t really know how I pick a new book to read once I’ve finished another one. I do have about a hundred books in my ever-growing “to read” pile, and despite my bursting bookshelves, I still can’t resist buying even more books whenever I come across one that piques my interest.

I think I chanced upon How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are on Instagram. Instagram is my favorite social media outlet. It’s my happy place. I pretty much exclusively follow Parisians, food bloggers, and, best of all, Parisian food bloggers. I also follow a handful of New Yorkers and some travel photographers whose shots of jaw-droppingly gorgeous landscapes make me seethe with jealousy and hate my life (okay, I’m exaggerating . . . but only a little).

Anyway, yes, I believe I discovered this book on Instagram and I’m so glad I did. It’s the sort of book that you can finish over the course of a lazy afternoon with nothing but a bottle of rosé and Edith Piaf crooning in the background to keep you company. It’s an easy read and it’s not meant to be taken seriously—unless you’re like me and you truly do wear head-to-toe black, even in the middle of July, and you drink too much red wine and hate working out and you don’t believe that age is a good enough excuse to go to bed early. In that case, behold, your new Bible. More

Recent Reads: Time Was Soft There

Time Was Soft ThereShakespeare and Company is the bookish tourist’s equivalent of Times Square. I first went to Paris in 2007, but, ingenue that I was at the time, I hadn’t yet heard of this glorious little literary Mecca. But by the time I went for my second time, about a year ago, it was at last on my to-go list. Though my husband and I attempt to seek out the truth of a city and avoid the biggest tourist traps, I couldn’t resist the lure of paying a visit to this storied and historic Left Bank book shop. Shortly thereafter I came across Time Was Soft There, writer Jeremy Mercer’s memoir of the year he spent living at Shakespeare and Company, and I was bewitched.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, Shakespeare and Company was first opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach, an American expat and a member of the “Lost Generation.” The original English language bookstore was located first at 8 rue Dupuytren before moving to 12 rue de l’Odéon. It survived the Great Depression, but Beach was forced to close it down after the German invasion of France. Per Wikipedia, “Ernest Hemingway symbolically liberated the shop in person in 1944, but it never reopened for business.” (Fun side note: Hemingway mentions the shop in A Moveable Feast, a book for which, as you might have guessed, I harbor a certain fondness.) More

Recent Reads: Paris Was Ours

Paris Was OursNot surprisingly, I love to read Paris memoirs and other Paris-centric books, both fiction and nonfiction. I’d say about a quarter of my library falls into this category. I got Paris Was Ours last Christmas (my Christmas list is usually made up entirely of books) and I finally got around to reading it recently. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was enjoyable nonetheless—a great book to curl up with with a cup of coffee or glass of wine on a rainy day.

Paris Was Ours is a collection of stories written by thirty-two writers who have either lived in or spent a significant amount of time in Paris. Some of the more notable writers include Diane Johnson, David Sedaris, and David Lebovitz. More