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The Streets of Paris: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History Paperback – June 6, 2017
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“Susan Cahill guides us to places and neighborhoods where celebrated, creative Parisians lived from the twelfth century (Héloise and Abelard) to the twentieth (Edith Piaf). Witty,colorful and always enlightening, The Streets of Paris is essential, whether you're visiting for the first or fiftieth time.” ―Donald Spoto, bestselling author of TheRedgraves: A Family Epic
"This is elegantly written book is absolutely essential reading for all travelers bound for Paris and anyone who loves the city, because it's a history of the city that renders the city's streets as historically vivid as they are beautiful. It's a lovely read, too, because it's history at its best, or as a series of intriguing, well-crafted and authoritative anecdotes that are a delight to read and will stay in mind as a quiet guide that will deepen one's appreciation of the city. forever." ― Alexander Lobrano, author of Hungry for Paris and Hungry for France
On Hidden Gardens of Paris
“Paris may be universally known as the City of Light, but based on this exquisite book it could just as easily be called the City of Parks.” ―Chicago Tribune
“No matter how many times you have been to Paris, never go again without Susan Cahill (are you listening, Woody?) In our many visits there since 1957 my wife Judith and I thought we had covered all the known and not-so-known delights of the city. Only in reading The Hidden Gardens of Paris did we realize we had missed much of what had been hiding in plain sight. In her earlier book The Smiles of Rome she had worked the same magic, enabling us to return to the Imperial City in the company of notable writers whose experience in their time enraptures the visitor today. We have already started packing for Paris.” ―Bill Moyers
“Whether you go often to Paris or are making your first visit, this is the guide you need. Susan Cahill will accompany you through the parks of this beloved city--from famous public spaces to secret gardens: a walk through the history and lore of Paris and Parisians, all in the open air.” ―Shirley Abbott, author of The Bookmaker's Daughter, Love's Apprentice, and The Future of Love
“The secluded places that Susan Cahill and Marion Ranoux show us may have seemed off limits to the considerate traveller, anxious to avoid an invasion of French privacy. But this lively and informative guide gives one the confidence and the an overwhelming desire to venture into the Jardin Catherine Labouré and the Jardin du Musée Rodin, or, on the other hand, to tackle the Bois du Boulogne on the next visit to Paris.” ―Elizabeth Cullinan, author of House of Gold
“As someone who likes to build a walk into her daily routine, this handy, informative little book helped me visit old neighborhood park and garden friends and meet new ones. And what's not to like about the gardens of Paris and the stories behind them?” ―Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat
About the Author
SUSAN CAHILL has published several travel books on France, Italy, and Ireland, including Hidden Gardens of Paris and The Streets of Paris. She is the editor of the bestselling Women and Fiction series and author of the novel Earth Angels. She spends a few months in Paris every year.
MARION RANOUX, a native Parisienne, is an experienced freelance photographer and translator into French of Czech literature.
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My exchange student wife made Paris my second city, introducing her exchange family in their Quai Louis Bleriot apartment. For years since, I explored Paris on contract visits, walking off jet lag all day before night trains south, unwinding weekends before return flights. I have a Paris bookshelf, walking/cycling in 20 Paris arrondissements. Naturally I made favorites, and you hit them, adding histories I didn't know. My short list so far, where Heloise and Abelard found seclusion, Daumier on Ile StLouis, Montaigne loving Paris more than his Dordogne tower. Many more to come, high points of Sunday afternoons, savoring a chapter at a time, much too good to race through.
I needed no sample when Amazon suggested Streets of Paris, because its web page noted "Nearbys". For me, Hidden Garden nearbys were perfect chapter ends, using Google's Paris satellite map to zoom garden and nearbys. Now I zoom chapter streets and nearbys ... memories and discoveries. Reader tip: tapping Google's icon for a place offers photos, including 360 degree views, marvelous book extensions. Search bar gives icons.
So Susan, heartfelt francophile thanks for this labor of love.
Update on completion: From August to December, a new chapter every Sunday, Streets of Paris was indeed too good to race through. My short list grew, adding Marie Curie, Simone Weil, Camus, Jean Moulin, Poulenc, Colette, Chopin, Reine Margot, Carmelites, and Edith Piaf. Susan Cahill's talent for biography is superb. In a few pages, she covers familiar and unfamiliar, while fixing wrong impressions left by tradition, Reine Margot topping that list, with Camus and Simone Weil close behind. She makes clear how much we owe George Sand for giving us Chopin. Jean Moulin as Parisian playboy wasn't clear in his sister's biography. Susan Cahill paints a balanced picture of him, and of Colette, who was more sensitive than traditional views, also Edith Piaf, in whose outstanding movie biography sensitivity isn't clear. Rue Lhomond, a street I know, came alive as home to a shed where Marie Curie extracted grams of radium from tons of uranium ore. Susan, you inspired me to read daughter Eve Curie's moving biography, and to explore neighborhoods off tourist maps.
Another reader tip: Amazon's new ten inch Fire is best at Google maps, a superb companion while reading Susan Cahill's streets and nearbys. Many of her cafes, bistros, and restaurants have excellent photo selections, both inside and from the street, including 360 degree street views. Google's museum and monument photos show interiors, which enhance Susan Cahill's history, with Radium Institute high on that list, and Chopin's house close behind.
Aside from professional and personal experiences, my knowledge of Paris was based on Baedecker's Paris and Environs, 1910 edition, which I used on my first trip, plus a subsequent number of green Michelin's, issued over a period of years. Paris is both an historical phenomenon and an evolving city. One can never know everything about Paris, nor can one ever have enough books about Paris, because each one enhances your appreciation and understanding of this amazing and wonderful place.
Susan Cahill's "The Streets of Paris" is a compendium of enhanced details and useful and appropriate knowledge that I know will enhance my next Paris experience and those of everyone who purchases a copy. In particular, I found pages 134 and 135 to be entrancing because they recall what was once the terroir of some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century: Camus, de Beauvoir and Sartre, As a graduate student, I would go there hoping, by chance, to see one of them. Beyond recreating memories, this book brings sections of the city to life in the present with accurate details of current conditions so that it is possible to know a location both as historical fact and its present configuration.
I could not recommend this book more highly!
I could not recommend this book more highly.