Café Life Paris
Written by Christine and Dennis Graf
Photography by Juliana Spear
Paperback, 200 pages
US $20.00, Canada $27.95
Cafés and Paris go together like coffee
and croissants, or like absinthe and insanity. And while it's true that France's
population has dropped from more than 200,000 in 1960 to 41,500 today, the
café-bar is still very much a part of Parisian life and lore--and it's an
indispensable neighborhood destination on any trip to Paris.
In Café Life Paris,
Christine and Dennis Graf (co-authors of
Paris by Bistro) describe "a handpicked selection of the best, most
historic, and most idiosyncratic Parisian cafés." Each café profile has a
page or two of text (sometimes more), and most descriptions are accompanied by
appealing color or black-and-white photos by Juliana Spear, who also did the
photography for another Interlink Publishing book,
The book is organized into six sections:
An Introduction, which describes the history and evolution
of Parisian café life. (You'll also find a map
with numbered café listings in the front of the book.)
"Great and Glamorous Places"
describes the most elite and expensive cafés in Paris, such as La Coupole,
Fouquet's, and Café de la Paix.
"Legends of Literary and Art"
profiles Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, and other historic cafés where the
likes of Hemingway, Picasso, and Simone de Beauvoir have been replaced by a
newer and more prosperous generation of authors, painters, academics, and
"Neighborhood Cafés" draws on
the authors' 30 years of experience in Parisian café-hopping, with a tasty
assortment of cafés and bars on the Left and Right Banks.
"Cafés by Design" focuses on
interiors, profiling unique locations such as the Atelier Renault (a starkly
modern café above Renault's design showroom on the Champs-Élysées) and the
Bricolo Café, a recreated old-fashioned workshop next to the BHV department
store's hardware department.
"Nineteenth-Century Look" is
just what the name implies, while "A Gathering of the Young" describes cafés
that are frequented by hip Parisians under 30.
"Cafés Plus" profiles
establishments that "defy the normal definition and go beyond what a café is
normally expected to be," such as places that feature poetry readings, live
music, or even dancing.
Finally, "Tourist Cafés" will
help you find the most agreeable cafés (ideally with sidewalk tables and
scenic views) near the city's leading monuments and tourist meccas.
Café Life Paris is a delightful guidebook, souvenir, or
gift book for anyone who loves Paris.
For short excerpts from Café Life Paris, please see the
next two pages.
Read Excerpt 1: