Of all the world’s great metropolises, Paris and Los Angeles are among those that house the most significant and immediately recognizable cultural milieus. From the Champs-Élysées to the Sunset Strip, Marilyn Monroe to Brigitte Bardot, LACMA to Louvre, there is plenty for visitors and residents alike to fall in love with these storied cities – and in Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?, for the first time ever, they are revealed in parallel.
Written by Diane Ratican with illustrations by acclaimed artists Eric Giriat (Paris) and Nick Lu (Los Angeles), Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? is a gorgeous, full-color, 272-page collectible art book, travel guide, and personal journey. Playfully ‘connecting the dots’ between respective historical landmarks, architectural icons, style codes, and cultural peculiarities, Ratican weaves a compelling narrative in both English and French throughout Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?, which is interspersed with quotes from famed L.A. and Paris residents such as Walt Disney, Jim Morrison, Coco Chanel, and Ernest Hemingway.
Colorful, charming illustrations by Girat and Lu compare and contrast the foods, fashions, cultures, and cityscapes of the City of Stars and City of Lights. And, as an added bonus, precise GPS coordinates are included next to each illustrated page bringing the experience of these two incredible cities ‘off the page’ and into the real world!
Cleverly divided into seven distinct sections, Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? looks at:
· Cityscapes & Landmarks Magnifiques
· Culture Célébre: Cinema, Entertainment & Glamour
· Fashion, Style & Shopping à la Mode
· Sports & Leisure
· Communicating Ideas: Art & Culture
· Cuisine & Dining
· Cities in Motion
My Opinion –Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?
Have you ever been to Paris or LA? I can proudly say that I have. Only to Paris… And by being in Paris, I mean that I spent a maximum of an hour or two there. The majority of that time, I was in a bus station taking a break – bathroom and gas tank refill. It was a beautiful dark station with amazing bathrooms. Yes, I had to pay 50¢ (euros) for the toilet. Besides the station, I had the chances to see La Seine, the river that crosses Paris, and a few random buildings from the bus window. Now, you understand why I need to go back there?
Speaking of which, this book was a great catalyst to remember my love for France and French culture. With the American culture, I am well acquainted already. Wink-Wink. And regardless of my previous knowledge about these amazing cities, Diane Ratican’s travel guide poked my interest in them again. Also, let’s not forget that it is written in both English and French. How brilliant is that? And the artwork within the pages of this work? Marvelous!
As you can see throughout this post, I put some beautiful images from the book. It is a delight for the eyes alone. You get the chance to experience first-hand what it means to be lost in translation, literally. It was an intellectually fun experience as if this book had to writers, the author and “the translator.” Sometimes, I found myself having two different feelings about the same paragraph because the tone was different. It was just like reading two books in one.
The narration flowed easily with genuine information. It was noticeable that a person who lived in both cities wrote this travel guide. I did not feel overwhelmed by facts. And the artwork was and excellent divider between the chapters. All the written information was transformed into a visual delight of compare and contrast between Paris and LA. The they offered an idea of how those visiting places would look like in reality. Besides, the inspiring quotes, which accompanied the art work, were the cherries on top of a delicious cake.
Are you interested in Parisian and LA cultures? Then, this is the perfect book for you. Also, have you seen those graphics? Having this on your shelf would look amazing. Joke aside, Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? was my cuppa tea. I had fun reading it and I even got the chance to rediscover myself. Sincerely, I am already planing my trips to Paris and LA after this read.
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
I would like to thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Until next time, feel free to check out my latest post