- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Illustre Books; Sew edition (October 15, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0991131509
- ISBN-13: 978-0991131501
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?: An Artistic Pairing of Two Iconic Cities Paperback – October 15, 2014
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“When you fall in love with a city, it is forever.” -- Toni Morrison
About the Author
"It is as though there was never a time I did not love Paris. The minute I arrived and got a glimpse of the cityscape, I knew that I was born to be there. I am able to experience the privilege of a lifetime in being who I am―and this awareness has brought bliss to my life in Los Angeles, created a harmony between the two cities, and opened doors I didn't know existed." Diane Ratican, educated at University of California Berkeley in History and Sociology, then at UCLA with a Masters in Sociology and Education, started her career educating gifted children, and then moved on to become a risk-taking entrepreneur. This background uniquely prepared her to engage in this latest endeavor, as writer, conjuror of images, and artistic director. Sharing her enchantment with, and knowledge of, both Los Angeles and Paris has become a complex project with all the depth and nuances of a richly textured tapestry. As an entrepreneur, Ratican built a highly successful business importing children's clothing from France for upscale retailers across the U.S. Ratican's excitement and infatuation with Paris, her second home, plus her enthusiasm for her resident city, Los Angeles, uniquely positions her to engage readers to develop their own love affair of both these dynamic destinations. Ratican is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother living in Pasadena, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
There's not much text, but what little there is is very informative but reads more like a love story than a travel book. Ratican clearly loves both of these cities, and makes a case for why both LA an Paris are such invigorating and captivating places. The text is a fun, light read, but the reason this book is truly special is the artwork and how they are paired together
I have lived in LA for seven years and have visited Paris a handful of times. It's interesting seeing my adopted home through someone else's eyes and through the lens of another city. Some of my own impressions of LA have been captured so perfectly in illustration that I feel like it's something of an inside joke, while other illustrations reveal something new I hadn't noticed or considered about this place. I'm really looking forward to my next visit to Paris with this way of looking at a city in mind. I expect it'll reveal another layer of Parisian life I had been blind to previously.
Even for those who don't know LA or Paris, I think there is enough joy to be had in flipping idly through the illustrations that the book is definitely worth the purchase. And who knows? Maybe it will reveal some quirks and ways of life in other cities as well!
Having never visited either of these cities, I looked forward to viewing this book. I always enjoy vacationing in my easy chair, and I found this book a treat to read, and yes their are a lot of illustrations which I found fascinating. I found it a delight to read and thoroughly enjoyed all the pictures.
Just some very short reading samples from the book...
"Paris: The City of light has been written about, painted and photographed more than any other city on earth, and for good reason. The incredible architecture of Paris comes together, in an almost mystical way, to form an ordered whole...Paris has justly been called The City of Light because light is one of the magical manifestations of its dazzling physical beauty, and a metaphor for it eternally luminous spirit...Paris is a world unto itself."
"LA: The City of Angels is much more than the stereotypical image of Hollywood glamour, celebrity, and fantasy. The real Los Angeles is a large, diversified metropolitan area that has traded urban centralization for suburban sprawl. LA is immense. The city is home to almost four million people, the second largest urban area in the nation...It wouldn't be LA without the towering palm trees. The tall Mexican fan palms line many of the streets of the city and are a symbol of LA's lush, sun-soaked lifestyle. They serve as constant reminders of the wonderful climate and create quiet harmony with nature."
A big THANK YOU to the publishers who provided this book for me to read and give an honest review.
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors I am under no obligation to write a positive review.
This is a book to treasure on your coffee table and use as a resource when visiting either city. I’ve found out about places in LA that I’ve never visited and must and places in Paris that I can’t wait to return to. The information in this book is invaluable.
Ms. Ratican has divided her book into seven sections having to do with cityscapes and landmarks, culture, fashion and style, sports and leisure, art and culture, cuisine and dining, and how people get around in each city. For example, in her section called Cityscapes and Landscapes she pairs the LA City Hall constructed in 1928 and the Hotel de Ville in Paris developed in 1882. Another wonderful pairing in the section Culture Celebre is LA’s Marilyn Monroe born in 1926 and Brigitte Bardot born in Paris in 1934. Eric Giriat has created priceless illustrations of the two blondes. She also pairs LA’s Huntington Library created in 1919 and the Jardin du Luxenberg built in Paris in 1612.
I was amazed at the age differences of much of the subject matter depicted in this book – it is telling how new LA is compared to Paris. However, there are a few exceptions; our Oscar award was born in 1929 while the French Cesar was created in 1976. The Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1912 and The Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris just one year earlier in 1911. Another exception beautifully illustrated by Nick Lu: the LA Public Library was opened in 1926, and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France – Bibliotheque F. Mitterrand – opened in 1998.
But Paris wins hands down for being the oldest of the two cities. Olvera Street’s La Placita Church is the oldest site in LA. That it appeared on the scene in 1822 can’t compete with the Ile de la Cite, representing the beginning of Paris in 52 B.C.
There is another aspect to this book that appeals to my literary side – Ratican has interspersed appropriate quotes by authors, celebrities, and historical figures throughout. Alongside Nick Lu’s illustrations for billboards in LA and kiosks in Paris, Samuel Johnson says: “Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.” Lu’s illustrations for two famous shopping streets – Rodeo Drive and Rue Saint-Honore – are flanked by a quote from Johann Wolgang Von Goethe: “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” Another quote highlighting Eric Giriat’s illustrations of women shopping in LA and Paris really made me laugh out loud: “Everything in your closet should have an expiration date,” from Andy Warhol.
Hopefully these examples will whet your appetite to read and savor this book. Raticon’s well-chosen quotes blend perfectly with the LA and Paris prose pieces and pairings. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, I predict you’ll be amazed and fascinated throughout.
Why LA?/Pourquoi Paris?: An Artistic Pairing of Two Iconic Cities is a must read and a perfect holiday gift.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?: An Artistic Pairing of Two Iconic Cities is exceptionnel, phénoménal, soufflant, surprenant!Read more
Recently, I received a copy of WHY LA? POURQUOI PARIS?Read more