If you’ve been to Paris and not visited Shakespeare & Co. , then that, my friend, is a bonne dommage (real shame). This sanctuary for writers, readers and artists is to the left of Notre Dame in the Latin Quarter-bien sur. One can come in here to buy English books, read, take photos, sleep or just sit and contemplate. Or, if you really wanted, you could experiment with an ancient type writer, stare at the little paintings or read the magazine clips on the walls, rest on one of the beds, play the piano, make conversation with one of the countless regular intellectuals who are there 7 days a week or simply just be happy that you are in the most beautiful and romantic city in the world. Alas, here one can find any book from Jane Eyre to The Sartorialist coffee table book. And, If you’re lucky you might just open an old copy of a classic and discover that it is signed to Shakespeare & Co. by the author.
It is places like Shakespeare & Co. that make me realize how happy I am with my decision to come to Paris for a whole year, not just to study abroad or on vacation for two weeks. I now feel as if I have all the time in the world to discover the less touristy and lesser known side of Paris and really begin to love it in a different way. When my friend Katie was in town she asked me if there were moments when I regret not having a loved one here with me since it such a romantic city (and you basically see people snogging on every street corner). Not to get mushy or anything, but I have thought about this before and it did peeve me in the beginning. I told her that I really think that after 5 months I’ve started to develop such a relationship with Paris as a city that I truly don’t feel like I am lacking in the romantic/lovey-dovey department. Sometimes I feel like Paris is my boyfriend. Is that pathetic?
Anywho, Paris may not always love me back, but I sure am smitten with her! 😉