Thursday, 27 August 2015

Another look at Hemingway's Paris

Ernest Hemingway left an impression on Paris unlike any other writer working in the English language, to the point where his mark has almost become pollution. A vast number of guides and walking tours exist that claim to offer a glimpse into his city, an industry the man himself would no doubt have thoroughly disapproved of.

I'm not particularly fond of Hemingway the writer, and even less enamoured of the man himself, but I was pleasantly surprised by a recent book I received, "Hemingway's Paris: A Writer's City in Words and Images", by photographer Robert Wheeler.

Friday, 24 July 2015

The new Central Park?

6km to the north-east of Paris, the parc Georges-Valbon is so big that it spreads across the territories of five suburban towns. With the future Grand Paris aiming to redynamise the region, it is perhaps not surprising that such a facility should become one of the new focal points, and plans are afoot to transform it into the 'Central Park' of Paris - much to the chagrin of local residents.

I decided to take a closer look at this immense haven of fields, lakes, forests and prairies - although even finding an access point already proved to be quite a challenge!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A guide to the ruins of Paris

At the end of the Commune in 1871, Paris was a burned out shell. A few short months later, tourists were returning to the city, not now to visit the monuments and sites, but rather to experience the ruins first hand. A surprising guide book helped them find their way around.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Challenge 10: The vomiting god and species of spaces

Could I track down the location of an unusual Paris façade and unveil the story behind this building's cover? If the jacket proved relatively straightforward to find, the contents of the book were richer than first imagined!

I enjoy receiving unusual missions, and the one sent by reader Dave was atypical to say the least. “Somewhere in the 16e arrondissement is a building with a vomiting man sculpted into the façade,” he wrote. “Please can you tell me where it is and the story behind it?

Monday, 4 May 2015

All neon in the city of light

It’s not often that I review novels on this blog but I was intrigued by the pitch for Dan Gennoe’s “All Neon Like Love”. Add in the fact that the book features London and Paris as two of its major characters, as well as the opportunity it would give me to interview someone who seemed like he might have something interesting to say and I was sold.

Having said that, I’m now not actually going to review the book as such. This is a blog about Paris, and it is how the city is represented in the novel that interests me. Fortunately, the Paris chapters are the strongest parts of the novel anyway, with landscapes that play a real role in driving the narrative. More than London, it is also a city that provides both comfort to the main character and drives him closer towards insanity. But more on that in a minute.
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