Looking for love at the American Library in Paris


I finally joined the American Library on Saturday and really hope that the staff hasn't already labeled me as that desperate middle-aged woman looking for love. Admittedly, I wasn't very discrete. As soon as I had my new library card in hand, I rushed to the books on Paris and started pulling any of the ones with words like "romance", "passion" and kiss" in their titles off the shelves to do some research for this pre-Valentine's Day post. To dilute the steamy theme and make me seem less fervid, I threw in a few decoys, a couple of books about Americans in Paris, but the astute young man at the check-out desk wasn't fooled. Carefully averting his gaze from mine lest I interprete a meeting of our eyes as an invitation to pounce, he kept his attention firmly focused on his computer screen when he printed out my receipt.

While the library clerk may have been somewhat alarmed by my one track mind, love and romance is obviously a hot topic. Just take a look at some of the titles: The Best Places to Kiss in Paris, Naughty Paris: A Lady's Guide to the Sexy CityEvery Woman's Guide to Romance in ParisParis Passion Places and Romantic Paris.

Thanks to these delicious books, I learned some passionate phrases that they don't teach in French 101 like, "Je me jette à vos pieds" (I throw myself at your feet), which you obviously only do with someone you don't know that well because the author uses the formal "vos" rather than the informal "tes". In that case, I guess that it would have been perfectly appropriate for me to whisper this phrase to the library clerk after flinging my body on his shoes, while I should save the more familiar "Je rêve de toi" (I dream of you) for Stéphane.

It was interesting to note the frequent crossover of restaurants (Le Grand Véfour and Le Train Bleu), cafés (Café de Flore), tearooms (Maison de Mariage Frères), museums (The Erotica Museum and Jacquemart André Museum), and famous couples (Abelard and Héloïse) in the books, but Naughty Paris takes things a step further by revealing where to go for female-friendly toys, male striptease shows and pole dancing lessons. As the library lends books for 3 weeks, I'll soon be an expert on everything and anything to do with love and passion in Paris.

What's your favorite spot for romance? It's Valentine's Day tomorrow and I'm still looking for ideas!

Update: Normally Stephane and I don't go out for dinner on Valentine's Day, but after reading about  Le Train Bleu we decided to try it since he's arriving at Gare de Lyon tomorrow evening. As it was already fully booked, we're going to the appropriately named Je thé...me, a play on the French words for "I love you", instead. I'll let you know how it is.

Bassin de la Villette

Comments

  1. I love reading your posts, your picture of Quai de la seine reminds me of the time I spent there.
    P.D.
    Thank you very much for all the pictures you sent me :D

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    1. You're very welcome for the photos, Bel - I still can't believe that we were standing right next to each other on the Champs-Élysées on New Year's Eve! It just goes to show how connected we all are with the internet.

      Thanks for mentioning the picture in the post. Your comment made me realize that I should include a caption saying that I took it at the Bassin de la Villette. If you didn't get there during your last trip to Paris, try to go next time because it's a really cool place.

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  2. yes, I too like your last photo--nice, but I bet their elbows are hurting right about now (if not other body parts).

    I think hotels in Paris are particularly romantic and sexy, especially one with a view and the more intimate, the better. I'm still completely a fan of the Bel Ami in St Germain, although it's been several years since I've been there. Rue Bonaparte (with a Laduree shop) is right around the corner, and strolling from there is a complete flashback to another time and era. On one trip, we found a small restaurant, name now long forgotten, with a red red red interior in which we laughed through dinner and then cried from laughing because the "ile floatant" was so enormous.

    Of course, a "Henry and June" midnight, later-night stroll along the Seine would always be nice too.

    And of course, there would be champagne.

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    1. Their elbows must have been aching but they somehow managed to look comfortable. Ahh, the joys of youth!

      I'll be on the lookout for a restaurant with a red red interior when I'm in St. Germain. I frequently stop at that Laduree - I was there last weekend after my stroll through Luxembourg Gardens and my croque madame at Cafe de Flore.

      I had to google "Henry and June" and am disappointed that apple tv doesn't have the movie. It would have been a good one to watch tonight.

      And champagne - of course!

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  3. very funny, laughing out loud when you described your stint at the library! great piece!
    andrea

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. After enjoying so many of the author events at the library, it's high time that I became a member. I plan to do a "proper" piece about the library in the near future. It has a very interesting history.

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  4. I'm thrilled that you have joined the ALP. You will love being a member I hope. And now you can sign up for one of the special interest groups (mostly book groups but now also the art one and writing workshops).
    Terry

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    1. It was thanks to your recent comment that I joined the ALP! I had been meaning to but just hadn't gotten around to it until you mentioned the "Looking Closer" special interest group. Thanks again for giving me the push that I needed.

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  5. I love this!! Such fun finding out different and not the "norm" things and for a fun day like Valentine's Day. If and when you do get to Le Train Bleu, please let me know how it is. We want to try it but I'm sure you'll get there before we do! happy valentine's day!!!

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    1. I'll be sure to let you know about Le Train Bleu - but please do the same if you get there before me!

      Happy Valentine's Day!

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  6. Oh lucky you, a library to go to. Our one in Boussac closed but it had very few English books, other than the ones I gave it! Gueret has a small section but the wretched place is hardly ever open. It cost 10 million to build and I wonder why they bothered! Thank goodness for free ebooks, but I do miss browsing in a library.
    All those books look intriguing, especially Naughty Paris! Please do a book review!

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    1. I LOVE libraries and feel very lucky to have one so close.

      Now that you mention it, I should do a book review of "Naughty Paris". It's well written and presents a completely different side of the city than the one with which I'm familiar! Maybe I'll even have to do a bit of research and check out some of the places that the author recommends - want to join me! ;)

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