Lindsey Tramuta begins her book with a quote from an iconic French figure, Charles Baudelaire: “The old Paris is no more.” This is the sentiment she explores in The New Paris, a gorgeous compilation of stories outlining the city’s recent renaissance. Tramuta, an American expat and Francophile, fell in love with the city as a young adult but became frustrated with the hackneyed clichés associated with the 'old' Paris: a romanticized, outdated fantasy of dusty brasseries and medieval architecture. In the book, Tramuta celebrates the tastemakers, trends and stylish haunts that are defining the city’s new identity — from a game-changing craft brewery to a popular new papeterie and hip brunch spot (yes, brunch!). Indagare spoke with the author about her inspiration for the book, her favorite gems in Paris and what she’s excited about in the ever-alluring City of Light. Contact Indagare for assistance planning a customized trip to Paris.
What led to your love of Paris? Initially, my affinity for French culture was largely linguistic: I started learning the language when I was a child and studied French literature in college. But after spending time in Paris, I set out to use the language skills I had devoted so much time to acquiring. It was through these experiences of studying and interning in Paris that I felt drawn to the culture, the balanced way of life and, really, the zest for life and personal development.
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Was there a particular moment that inspired this book?
One conversation with my friend Nichole Robertson [author of Paris in Color and New York in Color] was the push I needed to kick the project into motion. She said, “Everything you write about is ‘new’ Paris, but everyone else is so fixated on the ‘old.’ Your material is right in front of you.” And that's what got the wheels turning.
Why was it important to you to reveal this side of the city? I was tired of seeing the same, overly romanticized portrayals of Paris perpetuated in books and media. The city’s new identity has been crystallizing for years and is palpable now, due to broader cultural shifts. Paris has experienced many exciting, far-reaching changes, and these evolutions deserve to be captured as a marker of this seminal time in history.
You profile many tastemakers in this book. How did you find them? I wanted to discover the people in Paris who were fostering change and tell their stories. Most of these people I knew from research; others, I frequented as a client or consumer. And in some cases, I was guided by locals.
What were some of your favorite discoveries along the way? I actually like beer! Spending so much time with bottle-shop owners and craft-beer makers introduced me to a world I had known little about. The unexpected result broadened my own tastes.
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I see the restaurant industry strengthening its commitment to sustainability and adding more green spaces and urban gardens across town. Sustainability has been Mayor Anne Hidalgo's capstone concern, which has helped raise awareness.
What would be your perfect day in Paris? I'd start simply with a walk through the Palais-Royal gardens. Next, I would grab coffee from Télescope, have a light lunch at Bagnard and visit the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden before strolling along the riverbanks.
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Do you have a favorite neighborhood to explore? My own! I've been in the eleventh arrondissement for ten years, and it still manages to surprise me. It helps that many of the major food and wine shifts have begun in or near my neighborhood. I never have to go far for incredible epicurean experiences.
Indagare's Paris contributor, Mara Hoberman, reports on the city's newest crop of restaurants, bars and shops that pay homage to the old-world history of the city but with contemporary flair.
Eat Claus: This chic and cheery eatery serves a diverse selection of savory and sweet breakfast specialties. 14-15 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau Daroco: This trattoria boasts a trendy design, luscious pastas and pizzas and excellent cocktails. 6 rue Vivienne Jouvance: Located in a former apothecary, this stylish restaurant offers an updated take on the classic French bistro. 172 bis rue Faubourg Saint Antoine Ore: Situated inside the gates of the Château de Versailles, Alain Ducasse’s latest culinary venture dazzles with sophisticated cuisine and gilded decor. Château de Versailles Pavillon Dufour – 1st floor Papillon: The first solo venture from a former chef of Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice, the Nordic-inspired eatery serves exquisitely simple fare. 8 rue Meissonier
Drink Bar at the Hôtel de JoBo: This romantic watering hole, outfitted with velvet banquettes and adorned with paintings, serves pretty but potent cocktails. 10, rue d’Ormesson Tiger: This sophisticated gin bar channels the tropics with palm-frond wallpaper, strings of hanging lights, green mosaic tiles and lots of potted plants. 13 rue Princesse
Shop The Japanese Store: Celebrating the French love affair with the Far Eastern country, this petite boutique sells authentic Japanese goods in a minimalist setting. Maison de la Culture du Japon 101 bis Quai Branly Empreintes Paris: This concept store focuses on limited-edition objects and original artworks made by French craftsmen and artists. 5 rue de Picardie
Contact Indagare for assistance planning a customized trip to Paris.
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