Grand Palais, Eva Ionesco and Parisian accents: essential Paris by Simon Liberati

A flamboyant writer, an eternal romantic: the author of Jayne Mansfield 1967 and Eva** describes his city in a few words.

What characterizes a true Parisian – and you?
Traditionally, lightness.

What trait do you appreciate most in Parisian women?
A Parisian accent – rarely found these days but common in my youth.

Their main flaw?
It used to be their teeth and bad skin.

Your favorite thing to do in Paris?

Are you a ham sandwich or pastry kind of guy?
Sandwich with pickles.

Your favorite neighborhood?
I don’t have one – each has its own charm.

A view of the city that looks could be from a fairy tale?
The flag that’s been flying over the Grand Palais for the past few years.

For you, what do women lack these days?
Nothing – which is the problem.

Two musicians to listen to while wandering around the city?
I never listen to music in the street.

An author who talks about Paris like a person?

A legendary scene from a movie filmed in Paris?
The night on the boulevards in the rain in The Good Time Girls by Chabrol.

A café: Le Flore, Les Deux Magots or your local spot?
I love Le Flore, I spent a lot of time there when I was young.

Your favorite restaurant?
A mediocre Japanese place on Rue de Rochechouart.

A book that sums up Paris?
La Vie de Patachon by Pierre de Régnier.

Typically Parisian entertainment?
The Louvre, where you can see Les Tuileries through the window.

A bar for a last late-night drink?
Le Montana***.

A monument you never get tired of seeing?
The Place de la Concorde at sunset.

A very Parisian icon – man or woman?
Eva Ionesco.

A Parisian ritual you’ll never let go of?
Buying my bread at the bakery, because in the country there are no more bakeries. 

Your favorite Parisian memory?
A winter night in 1979.

What do you pack for a weekend getaway?
An old book.

Do you feel totally Parisian? Why?
Because I was born here, like Eva.

* Grasset
** Stock
*** Le Montana, 28 rue Saint-Benoît (Paris VI).

Photo: Francesca Mantovani