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Note to Self: Destination Paris


Literary Paris often brings travelers to Hemingway’s apartment, Les Deux Margots, Cafe de Flore, the Shakespeare & Company, which are all landmark literary sites, but there are off-the-beaten-path literary locales I wish to explore.

Bibliotheque Nationale de France tops my list in the upcoming trip to France. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It is the repository of all that is published in France. Les Editeurs is a combination of cafe, bar, restaurant and library with more than 5,000 books. Le Cafe-Livre is a cafe-bookshop where one can enjoy a drink or browse through the thousands of books displayed on walled-in shelves.

The one book that will see me through the flight over the pond will be Bricktop’s Paris, which explores the lives of black women who sought freedom an artistic expression in Paris between the two World Wars. How Paris Became Paris, my current read, describes Paris’ emergence from the Dark Ages into the world’s grandest city. La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life explains how seduction has long been used in all aspects of French life, from small villages to the halls of government, providing a surprisingly helpful cultural primer.

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