How Social Media Shapes Perceptions of Paris

17 October 2017
Paris Seine River at Sunset

On episode 9 of “The New Paris Podcast”, my co-host and I welcomed Arash Hajianpour of the design agency Optimistic Future, and Jane Bertch, co-founder of La Cuisine Paris cooking school, to discuss the ways in which our understanding of Paris may be shaped by what we see on social media. Those of you who have read my book know that traditional forms of media have greatly influenced the romanticized and even fetishized perception of the city but I did not do a deep dive into the role of social media specifically. We had an enlightening and passionate debate but it ended before we could tackle the topic of Instagram’s influence in the creation of new spaces in Paris.  Arash kindly offered to continue the conversation with some additional thoughts on the topic below.  — As social media increasingly democratizes journalism, we start to question where journalistic responsibility comes into play, if at all, on platforms like Instagram.  Because an Instagram user has 100k+ followers, are they influencing perceptions in an incredible way, perhaps in a way not seen before? How and why does that matter? With platforms to voice and field our opinions and ideas, we engage our day-to-day […]…

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The New Paris Dispatch #2

26 September 2017
Maison Aleph Caspar Miskin

Welcome to a new series bringing you quick news updates from Paris in everything from food and shopping to culture and urban development. DANIEL ROSE CLOSING SPRING  In sad restaurant news, chef Daniel Rose has announced he is looking to sell his most well known Parisian restaurant Spring. Get your reservations in while you can! The chef (and James Beard Award Winner) behind Le Coucou in New York City and La Bourse et La Vie and Chez La Vieille in Paris will focus his attention on other projects. WELCOME TO THE PASTRY SCENE, MAISON ALEPH As beloved as Paris is for gourmandes of all backgrounds, there is one type of treat that has long been maligned as cloyingly sticky-sweet, unrefined, and an unwelcome surprise at the end of a filling meal. Levantine pastries (Levant referring to the region that includes Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel, parts of Turkey, etc.), are traditionally soaked in honey and feature dried fruit and nuts though they are not always fresh. Their heaviness and excess is unfortunately what most people remember about them, said Myriam Sabet, the owner of the specialty pastry Maison Aleph when I went to meet her. “Too many people associate them with […]…

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Sézane Opens in NYC (+ Event update!)

18 September 2017
Morgane Sezalory Sezane

If you’ve read “The New Paris”, you understand the role of Morgane Sézalory and her brand Sézane in the evolving fashion and shopping scene in Paris. I first wrote about Sézalory’s unique career trajectory for The New York Times almost 2 years ago just as she was transitioning from an exclusively online business model to a brick-and-mortar showroom space called L’Appartement Sézane (which now includes an adjacent shop called La Librairie for handbags, small leather goods, books, stationery, and other lifestyle items). It’s been fascinating to watch her progression, especially as she moved beyond Paris with pop-ups across France to connect with the rest of her client base, capsule collections with the U.S. retailer Madewell, and now a physical space aptly called L’Appartement New York in Nolita, a project that emerged after careful, measured growth at home. In a milestone moment I will never forget, L’Appartement Sézane played host to my book launch in April. Now, to round out “The New Paris” tour for 2017, her New York space will welcome me in October, alongside Nichole Robertson of “Paris in Color” and more recently “New York in Color” and Will Taylor, author and creator of Bright Bazaar. Together, we will […]…

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The New Paris Dispatch #1

6 August 2017
The Beast Paris

Welcome to a new series bringing you quick news updates from Paris in everything from food and shopping to culture and urban development.   CREAM IS NO MORE  Belleville’s popular coffee shop Cream has closed its doors. It has been purchased by roaster Belleville Brûlerie and, according to a quick exchange with their communication director, will become some sort of a tasting space-slash-coffee shop hybrid. We’ll see when it opens in September. 50 rue de Belleville, 75020 THE BEAST HAS A BIG BROTHER Founded by Thomas Abramowicz (see the food chapter of “The New Paris”!), the city’s best barbecue now has a bigger sister. The Beast 2 is located on rue de Belleville, right next door to cocktail bar La Commune (also in The New Paris) and has all the much-loved dishes and sides as the original location but now with fish, vegetarian, and salad options. They also have a short but sharp cocktail offering and, in addition to The Beast brew by Deck & Donohue on tap, the D&D IPA. But the real surprise here is what awaits downstairs. Son of a Beast is a separate restaurant with a Chinese tasting menu. Thomas wanted to explore how barbecue could […]…

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‘The New Paris’: From the Cutting Room Floor

16 June 2017

I knew I would have trouble trimming words from “The New Paris” when it came time to edit, like quotes and details here and there, but I didn’t anticipate the grueling decision-making I would face with respect to the final photo selection. Somewhere in my mind I assumed we’d find (or make) room for extras but that couldn’t come at the expense of the narrative and so cuts were made. I recall sitting rapt before two images I love deeply and deferring to Charissa Fay for guidance. Alas, the photos that didn’t make the cut weren’t entirely lost! Here, we both share our favorites from the cutting room floor.  Spaces, places, faces and a little something delicious: these are among the images that didn’t end up in the final edit of “The New Paris”. I loved them all as they each convey something special but in most cases, another angle related to the same topic was included instead. The photographer’s perspective: “I love the fun shot of Le Mary Celeste team turning their camera on the photographer; the handsome portrait of Septime’s chef in his gorgeous restaurant; and the graphic composition and colors of the pastry and café shots.” – […]…

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