My husband and I think of cities like people.
"Well, hello, Madrid, lovely to meet you." "San Francisco, you are looking particularly stunning in that night sky." "Ohhh... Toronto, you are soooo quixotic. Well done."
Thus, we find ourselves giving cities high-fives, nudging them in the ribs (when something reminds us of them), and laughing about their jokes, long after they've been spoken.
We love cities. Cities are our friends.
So, when the opportunity arose to re-meet LA and Paris via the darling book, "Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? An Artistic Pairing of Two Iconic Cities" by Diane Ratican, we were pleased. Having spent days in both cities, I was quite curious. Upon meeting the book in person, i were was more entranced. The book is wonderful. I showed it to my sister who lived in France for five months and has spent most of her life in California, and she was very drawn in (pun intended). Her, "Hmmms" and soft memory remarks were just the sort of observations one would hope for in a both like this - gentle and affected.
The book feels like a blend of walking a themed art exhibition, one that takes you on a mental and philosophical journey; reading a memoir laced in affinity for Paris and LA; and a narrative, historical travel guide. The book smoothly and smartly brings the nuances and yet, bold characteristics of these cities into engaging view.
One of my favorite illustrations is the juxtaposition of libraries: LA's Public Library next to the Bibliotheque F. Mitterand (see image below). In both, people recline on the rooftops, leisurely engaging in distant lands and inspiring stories, their books... passports. In the right image, there is even a whimsical book-bridge from one building to another. It's quaintly delightful! That is a stellar example of how engaging the illustrations are. In moments, it feels like looking at a "Where's Waldo?" book, as one's eyes scan the scene for more and more delightful treasures.
So, maybe you love Paris, maybe you live in LA, maybe you've never been to either. Regardless, this book is enchanting and sure to inspire travel, engage your imagination, and prompt heart-smiles.
Right now, get it on Amazon for $15.83.
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