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The New Paris is an ambitious, exhilarating book that goes far beyond a charming collection of hidden treasures. With an astute mind, a discerning eye and a huge heart, Lindsey Tramuta adeptly explores the exciting movement happening in Paris right now and brings it to the forefront, with beautiful imagery by Charissa Fay that feels like the Paris we already know, but a fresh and forward thinking version. I have just returned from my sixth trip to the city and really wish I'd had this book to inform my visit and take it to a level I have not yet experienced, but have found myself longing for - one that until this book I didn't know existed to this extent. But there will be a next time and thanks to The New Paris I cannot wait to meet my new Paris.
This book is not without interest - all innovation deserves to be scrutinized - but to title one's book The New Paris is ambitious and, in this instance, entirely unjustified. This book ought to be called: Hipster Paris: a guide for 30-somethings. There is so very much more to Paris than this and some of the food offerings, in particular, really shouldn't feature. Far too many of Paris' recent restaurant openings have been made by chefs whose taste buds (like the author of this book) were stunted by industrial food in their formative years.
I have always been fascinated by Paris, but originally this was mainly from a historic and architectural perspective. Having been lucky enough to re-visit the city many times, I found myself drawn more frequently to the 3rd and 4th arrondisements and then further into the 9th, 10th and 11th without fully knowing why. This book explains and expands on what it was that seemed to be beckoning to me from this part of the city - the sense of experimentation and new things happening on nearly every corner.
The New Paris can be read as a guidebook but it works equally well for anyone curious about the people and forces that have absorbed traditional French culture and adapted it, added to it and sometimes defied it to create new restaurants, shops, bars, hotels, etc., infusing the city with a renewed sense of vigor.
The writing is clear and always interesting - I found myself reading the section on shopping (not one of my interests) even more intently than the cocktail section (definitely an interest).
I ordered this pre publication and was really looking forward to it. I was surprised that it was more like a textbook in size and content. I have made frequent extended visits to Paris. Most of the recommendations are in the 10th and 11th and the ones I checked out seemed to be too much alike ( shopping). Quite a bit of history included. I agree with another reviewer who recommends you just wander the streets and make your own discoveries. Paris is full of beautiful intriguing sites. This is too heavy to carry around,so you have to make notes or photograph pages. There is a list in the back , about 15 pages, of Favorites that could be helpful.
In The New Paris, Lindsey writes about the individuals and businesses working to make their city better, to help move her beyond her mythical past and who “have already made great inroads into leading it beyond its assumed role as a time capsule”. Far from being stuck in the past, Paris now is a “dynamic, vibrant place bursting with energy and ideas, a city open to what the rest of the world has to offer it and far more cosmopolitan in attitude than ever before.” This new creative movement, in part fueled by the economic crisis (la crise) of 2008 has given birth to a whole new way of (approaching) life.
The book features a thorough look at the rapidly evolving worlds of food, wine, pastry, coffee, beer, fashion, and design (if you follow Lindsey on Instagram, many of these places will already be familiar to you, her feed is a veritable dynamic travel guide) and highlights places, ideas and people making their mark in Paris today with this new creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
Chapters include: Food & Dining, Coffee, Sweets, Libations, Shopping & Crafts and Places & Spaces and there’s a special section highlighting Lindsey’s favourites which could totally be the only “travel guide” you need for a trip to Paris (Lindsey’s recommendations have always been solid – from coffee to sweet treats, her ideas have fuelled (literally) a number of “research” sessions when I’ve been in Paris!).
(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review but I also purchased a copy of this book for myself)