Paris. The name alone conjures images of chestnut-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafés, breathtaking façades around every corner - in short, an exquisite romanticism that has captured the American imagination for as long as there have been Americans.In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light. For Gopnik, this was above all a personal pilgrimage to the place that had for so long been the undisputed capital of everything cultural and beautiful. So, in the grand tradition of the American abroad, Gopnik walked the paths of the Tuileries, enjoyed philosophical discussions at his local bistro, wrote as violet twilight fell on the arrondissements.
At the same time, there was also the matter of raising a child and carrying on with day-to-day, not-so-fabled life. As Gopnik describes, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar journeys: both hold new routines, new languages, a new set of rules by which everyday life is lived.
Experience this weaving of the magical with the mundane in a wholly delightful, often hilarious look at what it was to be an American family man in Paris at the end of the 20th century.
©2000 Adam Gopnik; (P)2001 HighBridge Company