Nobody explains the sixth arrondissement(district) in Paris better than does food maven Dorie Greenspan. Trust me I know.
Over the last decade, Debbie and I have probably spent 30 trips to exactly the two-block area in the sixth arrondissement that Dorie describes so wonderfully here.
If you are thinking the “Lost Generation of Paris” in the twenties, you are thinking this real estate. To bring back all the history of that marvelous era of the ’20s in Paris take Dorie’s writeup with you and head forth soon. What a wonderful and historic time you are in for, I promise.
MY NEIGHBORHOOD (by Dorie Greenspan)
When we first moved to Paris, I’d work at home during the day and then, late in the afternoon, I’d take my work out to a cafe for a glass of wine and a good edit.
For many years, we lived steps from Place Saint-Germain des Prés in the sixth arrondissement, and I’d alternate between the neighborhood’s two great cafes. Some days I’d work at a back banquette at the Café Deux Magots – my favorite seat was under the picture of Ernest Hemingway and Janet Flanner, who chronicled Paris life for The New Yorker – and some days at a corner table along the wall at the Café de Flore.
Both places were considered great literary cafes. Both were homes-away-from-home for Sartre and de Beauvoir, who were rumored to go to one cafe until their bills came due, and then take up residence in the other.
We still live in the 6th, but now we’re a few blocks from those cafes.
And, while I still go to them both, you can usually find me at Les Editeurs, the perfect name for a place to write and edit.
These days, I work there for a while in the morning over coffee and in the afternoon over wine. Here’s the view from my office (and yes, that’s Le Comptoir, one of my favorite bistros, across the street).