Imagine strolling through Paris with a friend — one who knows the greatest little patisseries, cafes, outdoor markets and shops tucked along winding cobbled streets.
I did just that. Together the two of us tried on amazingly chic designer dresses at La boutique Didier Ludot, ambled through the courtyard gardens and gazed at the Swedish art work at Institut Suedois located in the Hôtel de Marle, a 16th century mansion in the heart of the central Marais district. We ordered small plates of fantastic food amidst 19th century murals of clowns at the appropriately named Clown Bar, considered one of the city’s finest restaurants. After stopping to admire the Eiffel Tower, we trekked even more before stopping to reward ourselves with ice cream at Berthillon Glacier.
We are, definitely, Parisian insiders.
Wait — don’t have a friend in Paris? Don’t even have tickets or plans to go sometime soon? Well, Rick of Casablanca told Else they’d always have Paris and for the rest of us, before we get there, we’ll have the recently released Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide (Rizzoli 2018; $27.50). It's co-authored by Jessie Kanelos Weiner, a Chicago gal who grew up on the Northside, and Sarah Moroz, both of whom have lived in Paris for the last decade. Charmingly illustrated with more than 150 of Weiner’s delicate watercolors, the book curates walking itineraries the authors put together to go beyond the typical guidebooks.
“We wanted to put together walking tours of a timeless Paris, the type of Paris that will always be the same,” said Weiner, who will be back in Chicago on April 6 and 7 for book events. “We wanted something that wasn’t too text heavy, a book that was a jumping off point to see what you want to see, one that wasn’t prescriptive but takes you down the side streets.”
Paris is Weiner’s passion and wandering its streets is what she loves to do.
“It’s a city based on pleasure,” she said. "And [it's] one with many beguiling things along the way.”
IF YOU GO
- Jessie Kanelos Weiner will talk about her book and teach a water color class during the conversation at Read It & Eat, 2142 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, on Friday April 6 at 6:30 p.m. Wine and a cheese will be available during the event, as well. For more information, call 773-661-6158 or go to readitandeatstore.com.
- On Saturday, April 7, from 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.,Weiner will be in conversation with photographer Rebecca Plotnick talking about Paris and her book at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St., Chicago. For more information, call 773-684-1300 or go to 57th.semcoop.com.