Even if you don't judge books by their cover, the face of this book alone might have you hooked. A most quintessential Parisian side-street scene of a pocket-sized cafe packed to the gills with life and style with a gorgeous typeface draws you in, curious about what could be The New Paris.
I felt like I knew the old Paris - as much as any American who had never been to Paris but who had seen innumerable movies and read countless books - might confidently admit (in the privacy of their friend group where no real travel or Parisian could judge their lacking). I too have dreamt of the cobblestone streets, the aging, and elegant architecture, the immense history, the pure and saturated culture of leisure and connoisseurism.
As Lindsey elegantly describes in the first few pages of the book, that 'ideal' Paris has not left, but has been ever changing, albeit sluggishly for the past couple decades.
This account of the City of Light not only celebrates but prophesizes the bright and progressive future Paris is taking for itself. A rise in entrepreneurship, the re-energizing of the food scene, a reclamation of old craft melded with progressive new style - each chapter in the book highlights the leaders in their field and the innovative contributes they're making to their community.
"The trouble with such an internationally fetishized public image, though, is that the city becomes a prisoner to its own deified history, hemmed in by its former successes."
This quote struck me. What city in the world is more deified than Paris? Have you ever feared that you "peaked" after accomplishing something big? For a city that was designed to be a haven for leisure, pleasure, and culture, the looming success of ages ago seems to haunt our perception of their current state of affairs.
As a prominent food and travel journalist, Lindsey's perspectives on the named neo bistro evolution of dining in Paris and her commentary on subsequent industries: Desserts, Coffee, Cocktails; are without a need of introduction. However, the back third of the book, dedicated to Shopping, Crafts, and her personal favorites left me hovering dangerously over a one-way ticket on Kayak.
Makers and business owners of all ages, ethnicities, and perspectives of those every in-between color the deep depths of the new Parisian class. These individualists have so much passion, a sense of daring (as opening a business in Paris isn't the easiest of endeavors), and dedication to celebrating their cultural roots down to the brand and packaging of their products and services.
Lindsey is an American with a decade of Parisian living under her belt, with seemingly no intent to turn back. Speaking with her briefly at her signing in New York City last month, she detailed how welcoming and generous the featured individuals were with their stories, and further debunked the widely-believed American rumor that this were an unkind community. On the contrary, The New Paris illustrates a new wave of welcoming, creative, and collaborative people.
This is a book I will continue to read, as it is as decadent as a glazed fruit tart and as gorgeous as a Parisian boutique you might find in the 10th arrondissement. Pick up a copy here and check out more work by Lindsey and Charissa, sourced below.
The New Paris
by Lindsey Tramuta
With photography by Charissa Fay
"The city long-adored for its medieval beauty, old-timey brasseries, and corner cafés has even more to offer today. In the last few years, a flood of new ideas and creative locals has infused a once-static, traditional city with a new open-minded sensibility and energy. Journalist Lindsey Tramuta offers detailed insight into the rapidly evolving worlds of food, wine, pastry, coffee, beer, fashion, and design in the delightful city of Paris. Tramuta puts the spotlight on the new trends and people that are making France’s capital a more whimsical, creative, vibrant, and curious place to explore than its classical reputation might suggest. With hundreds of striking photographs that capture this fresh, animated spirit, The New Paris shows us the storied City of Light as never before."
Description from Amazon.com
See more from Lindsey & Charissa:
Tell me - have you read The New Paris yet? Think you'll pick up a copy?
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