Ernest Hemingway used to say that Paris is a feast and he even dedicated a novel to his favourite town. Whether this is your first trip to Paris or not, it is now ripe time to discover what this feast is. Let’s do it through an unconventional tour of the town on the steps of American writers and artists starting by the rental of an apartment in Paris in the Quartier Latin, where Hemingway lived and where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald used to throw the most exclusive parties. If you prefer a larger space, rent a house in Paris by the rue d’Alesia, between one “atelier d’artiste” and a windmill where Henry Miller used to meet secretly his lover Anais Nin under the pleased consent of his wife June. For one time forget about boring hotels and standard organized tours, stay in a guesthouse in Paris to get acquainted with every day’s life of Parisians. Knowing Paris is an experience that will change you forever.
Rather than under the flag of liberté, égalité, fraternité, Paris based artists lived under the flag of liberté, légèreté, sensualité. No need to read heavy biographical works to understand this, just walk on the steps of all American and international artists who lived and worked in Paris, the only place in the world where art inspiration comes by itself directly and unsolicited.
On the left bank of river Seine visit St Germain des Près and its historical cafés Les Deux Magots and Le Flore headquarters of Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir. Book a flat in Paris to enjoy the most of the city: two minutes walk from your apartment, the rue Jacob and its cabarets keep memories of Nathalie Barney who exiled to Paris to escape puritan narrow minded homophoby. Her neoclassical temple shaped house hidden in a pleasant internal court was the theatre of many lesbian love stories and extravagant parties with writers, painters and upper class guests from all over the world. Close to Nathalie Barney another iconic female genius, Gertrude Stein keeps her door wide open to all cubist, dada and surrealist painters as a true mentor, finance funder, art buyer and supporter of an entire generation of artists. Her portrait by Pablo Picasso is known all over the world as well as her fights with Nathalie Barney for one or the other female lover to share in the bed. Oscar Wilde died in a hotel in Paris, by the rue Bonaparte at only few steps from the banks of the Seine.
He was buried in the peaceful cemetery Père Lachaise not far from the grave of Jim Morrison, leader and myth of the Doors. Rent a loft in St Germain des Près and walk every morning to the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries which are only few steps afar. Visit the Louvre collections and feel inside one page of Henry James, he felt so inspired by this museum that he came here to write in front of art masterpieces and Egyptians statues. Head to Montparnasse and stop by the famous dancings and restaurants of the boulevard du Montparnasse theatres and stage of Josephine Baker wonderful dancer and secret spy. Have a drink at La Coupole, la Rotonde, le Jockey, le Select or a dinner at La Closerie des Lilas where Modigliani proposed to the unlucky Jeanne Hébuterne, muse and model who shared the tragical life of the Italian painter. To see a number of his works visit the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris within the Trocadero or the Musée Picasso. If you want to feel the atmosphere of late 19th century climb to Montmartre. Pigalle at the feet of the butte Montmartre has not changed since the time, windmills, nightclubs, red light bars and striptease clubs are still there keeping its legend alive. French Cancan was born in Pigalle and more precisely at the Moulin Rouge. Purchase a ticket for a night show in this worldwide known cabaret where Toulouse Lautrec painted Cancan curvy and sensual dancers naked under their large lace jupons skirts: yes this is indeed Pigalle! Visit the Opera by the Grands Boulevards where all Paris theatres are, and walk through the pleasant and gayfriendly Marais with its 17th century exclusive mansions next to crowded nightclubs “for men only”. Try to discover the encrypted messages hidden in Notre Dame cathedral, get bewitched by its mystery like Victor Hugo did. Walk through the Ile St Louis and its beautiful 16th and 17th century buildings, you can still feel the presence of Charles Baudelaire, Théophile Gauthier and the peculiar companions of the “Club des Hashishiens” talking about literature, drugs, wine, poetry. Again and again and again, liberté, légèreté, sensualité.
Start by a drink in Place de l’Alma in front of the Tour Eiffel and purchase your tickets at the Crazy Horse or the Lido: after all you are in Paris so why would you renounce to all its treasures? If you wish to meet actors, singers, top models and showbiz stars walk from Avenue Montaigne to Avenue George V across the hugest display of stylists exclusive shops and television chains, cinema production companies and 6 star hotels. Have dinner on the Champs Elysées and walk along the most stunning avenue of the world from Place de la Concorde to Place de l’Etoile and Arc de Triomphe. End the day by a night tour on the Bateaux Mouches on the Seine and get lost in the lights of the Tour Eiffel sparkling in the mirror of the Seine waters. Sensualité, légèreté, liberté: Paris is showing you very openly that the word beauty is not just a word. You have finally got the message: Paris is a feast, best place in the world to start living a new life. So, we recommend you to book now your vacation rental in Paris!
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