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Paris, AKA the City of Light, has captured the imagination of travelers around the world. From the beauty of its historic architecture to the renown of its art scene, Paris has become synonymous with style and culture.

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There’s so much hiding below the surface of this spectacular destination that it’s hard to know where to start. Read up on some of the fascinating history of the city before you head off on your next romantic vacation (even if your trip to Paris is only an imagined one).

Paris may be the most visited city in the world, but some French people feel that the culture of this cosmopolitan city is really its own thing, separate and distinct from the rest of French culture.  In this piece, French Review author Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson wonders whether Paris even counts as France anymore.

For hundreds of years Paris has been considered one of the go to cities for creatives from across the globe. It would be nearly impossible to get a count on how many writers and intellectuals called the city home today, but from 1748 to 1753 a French police officer named Joseph d’Hemery, attempted to do just that.

Americans in particular have a long held fascination with Paris. Americans are also the most likely to romanticize the city, often overlooking its seedier or more problematic elements in ways that no European would. Adam Gopnik’s essay attempts to answer the question: Where does this strange relationship come from?

Paris is also known to many as the epicenter of food culture. Culinary schools still teach the French method of cooking and French food is often seen as the epitome of upscale dining. Considering this, you may be surprised to find that fast food is a growing trend in Paris. This article explores some theories as to why that is and what affect it might have on the future of French food.


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The French Review, Vol. 73, No. 6 (May, 2000), pp. 1052-1064
American Association of Teachers of French
Representations, No. 5 (Winter, 1984), pp. 1-31
University of California Press
The American Scholar, Vol. 73, No. 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 13-30
The Phi Beta Kappa Society
Theory and Society, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 201-243