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ASK ME ABOUT PARIS

Grand Palais, Eva Ionesco and Parisian accents: essential Paris by Simon Liberati

A flamboyant writer, an eternal romantic: the author of Jayne Mansfield 1967 and Eva** describes his city in a few words.

What characterizes a true Parisian – and you?
Traditionally, lightness.

What trait do you appreciate most in Parisian women?
A Parisian accent – rarely found these days but common in my youth.

Their main flaw?
It used to be their teeth and bad skin.

Your favorite thing to do in Paris?
Walk.

Are you a ham sandwich or pastry kind of guy?
Sandwich with pickles.

Your favorite neighborhood?
I don’t have one – each has its own charm.

A view of the city that looks could be from a fairy tale?
The flag that’s been flying over the Grand Palais for the past few years.

For you, what do women lack these days?
Nothing – which is the problem.

Two musicians to listen to while wandering around the city?
I never listen to music in the street.

An author who talks about Paris like a person?
Aragon.

A legendary scene from a movie filmed in Paris?
The night on the boulevards in the rain in The Good Time Girls by Chabrol.

A café: Le Flore, Les Deux Magots or your local spot?
I love Le Flore, I spent a lot of time there when I was young.

Your favorite restaurant?
A mediocre Japanese place on Rue de Rochechouart.

A book that sums up Paris?
La Vie de Patachon by Pierre de Régnier.

Typically Parisian entertainment?
The Louvre, where you can see Les Tuileries through the window.

A bar for a last late-night drink?
Le Montana***.

A monument you never get tired of seeing?
The Place de la Concorde at sunset.

A very Parisian icon – man or woman?
Eva Ionesco.

A Parisian ritual you’ll never let go of?
Buying my bread at the bakery, because in the country there are no more bakeries. 

Your favorite Parisian memory?
A winter night in 1979.

What do you pack for a weekend getaway?
An old book.

Do you feel totally Parisian? Why?
Because I was born here, like Eva.

* Grasset
** Stock
*** Le Montana, 28 rue Saint-Benoît (Paris VI).

Photo: Francesca Mantovani

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