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FAMOUS WRITERS

REVEAL THE PLACES THAT

inspire THEM And You Can Go There, Too!

FEATURED WRITERS MARGARET ATWOOD: Big Woods Canada SEBASTIAN FAULKS: french countryside ALAN FURST: Paris ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH: london

WRIT TEN BY

RUDY MAXA AND KERRI MILLER

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ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE

Author of 12 best-selling espionage thrillers, including his newest: “Mission to Paris.” ADDITIONAL CALL OUT INFO HERE?

How a glimpse down a Paris allee inspired a scene in a novel:  “I was on my way to a very good Pakistani restaurant in the 11th Arrondissement.  I had walked over from my apartment, which was in the Marais. I turned left and there was nothing but apartments and tenements lining a side street and yet, halfway down the side street facing out toward me was a blue sign that said BAR. It didn’t blink, it didn’t do anything else.  It was wildly retro.  And my first thought was:  Is that retro on purpose?  Or has that always been there?  And then I thought: It doesn’t matter.  It works the same way no matter what.” How the BAR sign made it into the novel:    “The way I work is —I take pages and pages of notes.  And so that scene went into my notes and it was sitting there and waiting for the 2

ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE

moment I could put it in and use it. The worst thing you can do is put it into the first sentence. Because you’re just giving into temptation and worrying that what you’re writing isn’t good enough.  You’ll find a much better place for it.  It’s a deflection in a scene.  You’ve got two people walking down the street and they can’t go into that bar. This is the stuff you know as a writer.  They can only see the sign.” Epiphanies of Paris:      “One of the things about Paris is that it’s loaded with epiphanies.  Why should it be so?  I don’t know but I’m at least the 148th writer to feel that way. There’s something about the light, there’s something about the way the buildings are, something about the people, something about the way the day goes along, something about the Seine, surely.  It’s a magnificent place and it offers itself up to you in small ways all the time.”


PARIS, FRANCE

ALAN FURST

BEST MARKETS IN PARIS

First Day Ever in Paris:    “I was walking the first day down the Rue de Bonaparte in the 6th Arrondisement and I came to a restaurant called Cafe de Beaux Arts and we went in and ordered dinner.  And, typical for the that time in Paris, they had that wonderful salad of mayonnaise and peas.  The next thing was a poulet roti with frites and I will admit to you, I wept.  Two big tears came out of my eyes and rolled down my face.  The whole experience was so overwhelming.  The street, the chicken, this place with its white and black tile floor. The hum of conversation.  I used that street later in a scene for “The World at Night.” The drains not the flowers:      “I think the way the brain works--that part of you that smells things--is very close to something else, to the creative part of the brain.  Smell is very important--of the six senses--it’s smell that’s much more important than people realize.  And what I love about Paris--it’s not the good smells you remember. It’s the smell of drains and old stone.  No other city smells like that.”

Paris is a city of markets, but the days and hours they’re open vary, so check out the markets you want to visit on line before boarding the Metro.

> Rue Montorgueil Market Street: Right in the

center of Paris , this market street is lined with fish and shellfish vendors, produce stalls, and the oldest pastry shop (since 1730) in Paris, Pâtisserie Stohrer.

> Clignancourt: Here’s the queen of Paris’ flea markets. Plan a day or two to browse for, well, for everything. From cheap trinkets to very expensive antique furniture, Clignancourt delivers in spades. It can be crowded—beware pickpockets. > Bastille Arts & Crafts Market: Open only on Saturday on the median of Blvd. Richard Lenoir, this market offers good art at deeply discounted prices. Plus you get to meet the artists. > Le Marche Du Livre Ancien et d’Occasion

(Antiquarian & Used Book Market): On weekends, entire libraries spill out on the pavilion near Parc Georges Brassens. While most books are obviously in French, it’s a great market for browsing. Further resources: Markets of Paris by Dixon Long & Marjorie R. Williams

ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE

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Cafe Bofinger, 5-7 Rue de la Bastille: “They hate me there because readers go in all the time and they look for the mirrors and they ask for Table 14 with the mirror and the bullet hole.  But it only exists in my mind. It’s an odd thing for a Parisian restaurant owner to have this devilment from tourists.” Favorite Museums:   Musee de la Serrure (Museum of Locks, now closed) “It was in a wonderful old house and the stairs creaked every time you climbed them. Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature: 62 Rue des Archives, Hotel de Mongelas.  “They have moth-eaten heads and bad old pictures of people chasing deer across a field. I love it.” Favorite novel about Paris:   Between Meals by A.J. Liebling. Secret place:   “If you drive on this little road 10 miles outside of Paris — just as you’re leaving a small town you make a left.  To your right is a church and it sits at this kind of angle.  It’s very old stone and every autumn it fills up with leaves.  It just knocks me out.”

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ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE


PARIS, FRANCE

ALAN FURST

BEST PARIS BISTROS > CHEZ ALLARD

41, rue Saint-Andre-des-Arts (6eme) 43-26-48-23 This famous Saint Germain bistro’s most famous dish (from the late namesake owner, M. Allard is Canard aux Olives, duck roasted with olives. The Coq au Vin, chicken in a dark, thick wine sauce, is also superb.

> AUBERGE D’CHEZ EUX

2, Avenue de Lowendal (7eme) 47-05-52-55 This charming bistro just behind Les Invalides offers the most spectacular selection of pork products in Paris including Le Chariot de Cochonailles, a cart filled with sausages, hams, rillettes, pates and terrines.

> BENOIT

20, rue Saint-Martin (4eme) 42-72-25-76 Right near the Pompidou Center, Benoit is chic and a bit more expensive due, in part, to its Michelin star. Best dishes are the beef salad, blood sausage with apples, tongue with herb sauce, and the dense cassoulet.

> CHEZ GEORGES

1, rue de Mail (2eme) 42-60-07-11 A classic place serving hearty, delicious bistro food. Start with the wonderful herring, then the grilled fillet with lush Bernaise sauce.

> JOSEPHINE (CHEZ DUMONET)

> AU MOULIN A VENT (CHEZ HENRI)

20, rue des Fosses-Saint-Bernard (5eme) 43-54-99-37 Located near the Sorbonne ,this is the place for beef, especially faux fillet (rump steak), a rustic cut. The escargots are great and so are the frogs legs.

> LE PETIT MARGUERY

9, boulevard de Port-Royal (13eme) 43-31-58-59 It’s a bit out of the way, but this bistro offers hearty food prepared by the Cousin brothers. Game is the specialty in season and there is a great selection of game terrines. Comfortable and lively.

> A SOUCEYRAC

35, rue Faidherbe (11eme) 43-71-65-30 The Asfaux family serves some of the richest bistro food in town. From October to December the house specialty, Lievre a la Royale, potted wild hare cooked in red wine and blended with foie gras and truffles, is a must. There is also fine cassoulet and sweetbreads.

> L’AMI LOUIS

32, rue de Vertbois (2eme) 48-87-77-48 This is the bistro of bistros. Located in one of the poorest parts of town, this world-famous place offers the best foie gras, snails, beef, chicken and game in Paris. Reservations are hard to come by— management is cranky ­— and prices are very high. Anyone who cares about good food should eat here at least once.

117, rue du Cherche-Midi (6eme) 45-48-52-40 This small, cozy place offers fabulous foie gras and, in season, truffles. The cooking is lovely and quite superb. Don’t miss the souffle for dessert.

ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE

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Best Public Gardens in Paris

Some of the best things in Paris are free. Like its public gardens. The Tuileries and Luxembourg garden are well known . Here are some other choice spot for a stroll or picnic.

> Boise de Vincennes: What other Western European park boasts a Buddhist temple, racetrack, restaurants, a farm and a baseball field? This huge expanse (along the lines of the better-known Bois de Boulogne) has the Park Floral, an elaborately landscaped amusement park.

> Parc André Citroën: Here’s a modern take on a garden in the 15th arrondissement near the Seine with a modern water park, wide open field, and tethered helium balloon that’ll take you skyward for the views. > Jardin de la Vallée Suisse: Tucked of the ChampsElysées near the Paais de la Décourerte, the “Swiss Garden” is a fantastic construction by a19th century landscape designer named Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand. It’s a wild garden in the center of town, with a waterfall, koi pond, and exotic plantings—a lemon tree in Paris? > Square René Viviani: Home to what’s reputedly the oldest tree in Paris, this pocket park on the Left Bank across from Notre-Dame offers perfect Parisian views. Paris is dotted with smaller parks like this in almost every neighborhood. More resources: Hidden Gardens of Paris by Susan Cahill and the web site, Paris-Walking-Tours.com/ parisgardens.html 6

ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE


PARIS, FRANCE

ALAN FURST

Famous Movie Sites

> At the end of “The Devil Wears Prada,” Anne Hathaway tosses her cell into the Concorde fountain across the avenue from the Hôtel Crillon (10, Place du Concorde), indicating her end as a fashionista. (Her boss, Meryl Streep, was supposedly in front of the Crillon, but her scene was actually filmed in front of a Los Angeles hotel.) The fountain was also the final dance scene in “An American in Paris,” but that was actually shot on an MGM sound stage in California.

> The nearby Hotel Meurice (228 rue de Rivoli) was the headquarters of the German High Command during World War II and appears as itself in “Is Paris Burning?” It was also where Jane Fonda stayed in “Julia.” > Further up the rue de Rivoli toward the Louvre is the Place des Pyramides (note the equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc) where Matt Damon considered his options in “The Bourne Identity.” > Believe it or not, some scenes involving the Mona Lisa in “The Da Vinci Code” were shot in the Louvre, though scenes involving damage were shot on a sound stage in London. > Not far from the museum is the famous bridge with the best 360-degree views in Paris, the Pont des Arts. It’s been seen in movies including “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn, Harrison Ford and Julia Ormand kissed there in the 1995 re-make of “Sabrina,” Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau was briefed on his case there in “The Pink Panther,” and the werewolf in “American Werewolf in Paris” experiences his first hunger pangs on the bridge. Further information: A great walking guide to Paris movie sites can be found in Michael Schürmann’s Paris Movie Walks. ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE

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Rudy’s Tip: Avoiding Long Lines At the Eiffel Tower There are two ways to avoid lines to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower, where lines can stretch for hours during good weather.

1. Buy a ticket to climb the stairs to the first or second floor of the tower. It’s 670 steps to the second floor where you can take the elevator to the top without waiting in line. If you can only make it to the first floor (half the number of steps) pay a small amount to take an elevator to the second floor and then switch to the elevator to go to the top. You cannot walk beyond the second floor. 2. Book a lunch or dinner at the Michelin-starred

restaurant, Le Jules Verne, that’s perched about 400 feet up the tower. The restaurant has a dedicated elevator where there’s never a line. This is an expensive option—celebrated chef Alain Ducase doesn’t run any diners. At last check, lunch started at 90 euros on weekdays, 410 euros for dinner. But the restaurant is superb, and the views of Paris are breathtaking. At night, as the lights of Paris come on, this is one of the most romantic restaurants in the world.

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ALAN FURST PARIS, FRANCE


PARIS, FRANCE

ALAN FURST

Rudy’s Tip: Avoiding Long Lines at The Louvre There are two ways to avoid lines to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower, where lines can stretch for hours during good weather. BuyAvoid the main entrance to the museum, which is at the iconic pyramid in the museum’s main courtyard designed by architect I.M. Pei. Walk toward the Seine and round the museum’s corner to find the Porte des Lions. It’s on the west end of the Denon wing and doesn’t appear in most guidebooks or maps — just look for the two lions on pedestals. Not many visitors enter from that direction. Alternative: Enter through the underground shopping complex called the Carrousel du Louvre (99 rue de Rivoli). If you’re only buying a day ticket, avoid the lines at the ticket window by using ticket machines in that shopping center. If you’re serious about your Paris museums, avoid lines by buying a Paris Museum Pass (ParisMuseumPass.com) that offers entry to 60 museums and monuments. Choose a two, four, or six-day period, but do compare prices—you can buy a day ticket to the Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay for less than the cost of a two-day Paris Museum Pass. The Paris Pass is more expensive and includes other Paris attractions as well as hop-on, hop-off bus privileges. Visit ParisPass.com 9


FEATURED WRITERS MARGARET ATWOOD Author of best-selling novels like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Oryx and Crake” reveals how a childhood spent in the Big Woods of Canada shaped her writing. And why she still returns. Sebastian Faulks BBC radio host and author of bestselling books that include “Birdsong”, discusses why he’s so drawn to La France Profonde, the heart of French countryside. Alan Furst Author of 12 best-selling espionage thrillers, including his newest: “Mission to Paris” discusses his inspiration places and spaces in Paris. ALEXANDER McCALL smith Creator of the “Ladies No 1 Detective Agency” series, discusses his favorite hideaways in London.

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Famous Writers Reveal The Places That Inspire Them  

Written by Rudy Maxa and Kerri Miller

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