In the recently published “The New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement” (Abrams, $29.95), author Lindsey Tramuta takes a deep dive into what she calls the awakening of her adopted homeland.
The Philadelphia native arrived in Paris a decade ago in something of a dream state, filled with romantic notions.
“Like most wide-eyed new visitors, my viewpoint was narrow. In my colorful imagination, Paris functioned as a one-trick pony on an immaculate stage of perfectly packaged historic marvels,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “The trouble with such an internationally fetishized public image is that the city becomes a prisoner to its own deified history.”
But as Tramuta started researching articles about cultural and culinary trends for newspapers, magazines and her blog, “Lost in Cheeseland,” she discovered a new energy stirring. She wrote about Parisians of all ages starting to pursue passion projects and noted an influx of expat entrepreneurs, importing new energy and know-how. Overall, Tramuta, who is now a French citizen and married to a Frenchman, came to see a fresher version of Paris that embraces the future without disowning the past.
Tramuta chronicles those findings in “The New Paris,” which combines essays, profiles, and travel information to reflect a contemporary city not often seen in standard travel articles. It also includes more than 100 vibrant photographs of places and people, many reflecting the quintessential “bobo,” a Parisian hipster.
In each chapter, Tramuta profiles makers, mixologists, designers, chefs, and more who are leading the movement. She explains Parisian coffee culture, noting that while it conjured an idyllic lifestyle, it was not necessarily concerned with quality or taste — a trend reversed by a new breed of specialty coffee shops. The author also praises modern public works projects, including the recent traffic-free transformations of the Left and Right banks.
For travelers seeking recommendations, Tramuta gives those as well. The book outlines two “ideal itineraries,” suggesting lodging, dining, and activities. She also includes a long list of “favorites” in several categories, such as food, coffee, cocktails, craft beer, sweets, shopping neighborhoods, and boutique hotels. The author plans to keep listings updated and already has added new favorites at www.thenewparisbook.com.
Diane Daniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.