Author(s): Jean-Christophe Napias
There are almost 200 entries in the addictive Everything About Paris (or almost), a witty and sophisticated treasure trove of facts, histories, lists, records, quotations, and miscellaneous oddities that go well beyond trivia to include significant cultural enlightenment and a below-the-surface glimpse of what it means to be Parisian. Among the thousands of facts that most certainly haven't been assembled in one place anywhere else: Street names on the original Paris monopoly game of 1930 (with the colors, so we all can recognize them) that have been changed in the 2015 edition - and to what and why; the number of brothels, massage parlors and "places of pleasure" listed in a 1922 guidebook; Andre Breton's suggestions, published in the 1933 edition of Surrealism magazine, of statues that should be erected in Paris, and where, including Alice in Wonderland, Jonathan Swift, Freud; streets and locations whose original names were associated with Germany - and so were changed after WWII-and their current names; famous poisonings that occurred in Paris; eight ways to recognize a Haussmann building; a list of all the bookstores and record shops in the 1963 guide Julliard that have now disappeared; and, mottos of the five greatest educational institutions in Paris. It also includes: the criteria for designation as a Palais hotel; a short explanation of the Parisian chant of disillusionment: "metro, boulot, dodo"; former locations of the guillotine; addresses of the ten vineyards within the city limits; the date they were planted, their acreage, the type and amount of wine produced annually; playstation games set in Paris; how to tap Paris in Morse code; how to say Paris in sign language; and, ten vintage aperitifs to order in bistros; and, imaginary Parisian streets that appear in novels. It also covers: fines charged for municipal infractions (from feeding pigeons [35E] to appearing nude in a public place [35,000 E and imprisonment]); the history of the bikini, the cobblestones, the rooftops, and the trashcans of Paris; exploits staged at the Eiffel Tower from 1891 through 2010; and, innovative (unadopted) ideas proposed through the years to improve the quality of life in Paris: shut down museums and put the paintings in bars, turn churches into housing for the poor, and more...and that's just for starters.
Francophiles, Paris history buffs, and armchair travelers alike will love Everything (or Almost Everything) About Paris, a guide to obscure and unforgettable information about the City of Light. Available in English for the first time, this book is essential for anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of Paris, from famous poisonings to the history of the bikini.
Jean-Christophe Napias is the author of Quiet Corners of Paris, also published by The Little Bookroom. Simon Beaver grew up in the South of England, but moved to Paris nearly 40 years ago. He now lives in Brittany. For three decades he has been adapting books, TV and movie scripts, songs and biographies into English, writing subtitles and recording voice overs. Recently, he has added another string to his bow: concocting French versions of the HP Lounge app's humorous pop star gossip.