Thursday, April 12, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to Paris

The first time, I mean. When I first moved to Paris in 2009, it was to replace another American writer at Ogilvy. Rosecrans Baldwin. He was done with living abroad and moving back to the States. I never met him in person, but heard great things about him. We became Facebook friends, commiserated via email a handful of times, and I knew through the grapevine that he was writing a book. About Paris. And Ogilvy.

Jump cut a couple of years. I got my hands on an advance copy of his book, brilliantly titled Paris I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down. I laughed out loud, tracing the characters in his book to mine—our colleagues in Paris. I got to relive the giddiness of my first months at the office all over again. I was secretly envious of his book and the cool way he described everything.

And then another funny thing happened. Today. A piece I wrote for NPR’s 3 Books, which included Rosecrans’s book came out. As did a roundup on that included both of our books.

How uncanny that we shared such similar experiences: being recruited by the same guy to come write ad copy in Paris, spending shy of two years being alternately seduced and slapped by the city, and then returning home and writing books about our experiences? The story of fate continues...


  1. I finally got your book from the library. Totally loving it!!! I can't wait to really be able to read it over the weekend!!!

  2. Dear ,

    It is a wonderfull exhibition .

    And what a pleasure to see the portrait of Gertrude Stein by Riba-Rovira .Beside Tchelitchew and Balthus .

    And also the Preface Gertrude Stein wrote for his first exhibition in the Galerie Roquepine in Paris on 1945 .
    Where we can read Gertrude Stein writing Riba-Rovira "will go farther than Cezanne...will succeed in where Picasso failed...I am fascinated " by Riba-Rovira Gertrude Stein tells us .

    And you are you also fascinated indeed as Gertrude Stein ?

    But Gertrude Stein spoke also in this same document about Matisse and Juan Gris .And we learn Riba-Rovira went each week in Gertrude Stein's saloon rue Christine .
    With Edward Burns and Carl Van Vechten we can know Riba-Rovira did others portraits of Gertrude Stein .

    But we do not know where they are ;and you do you know perhaps ?

    With this wonderful portrait we do not forget it is the last time Gertrude Stein sat for an artist who is Riba-Rovira .

    This exhibition presents us a world success with this last painting portrait before she died .

    Both ,it is one of the last text where she gives her last art vision .As a light over that exhibition now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York .

    Coming from San Francisco "Seeing five stories" to Washington and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York for our pleasure .

    And the must is to see for the first time in the same place portraits by Picasso, Picabia, Riba-Rovira, Tall-Coat, Valloton .

    You have the translate of Gertrude Stein's Riba-Rovira Preface on english Gertrude Stein's page on Wikipedia and in the catalog of this exhibition you can see in first place the mention of this portrait .And also other pictures Gertrude Stein bought him .

    And you have another place where you can see now Riba-Rovira's works it is an exhibition in Valencia in Spain "Homenage a Gertrude Stein" by Riba-Rovira in Galleria Muro ,if you like art ...


  3. I recently came across a blurb of his book and thought to myself, huh, they lived the same experience! Will have to pick up his book. On another note, the link to your NPR piece dead-ended :( Tried to find it via their search but couldn't land on it!

  4. Nice, I just finished Rosecran's excellent book and had to Google to confirm that, based on the descriptions of his client work, he was working at the same agency as me. Sure enough, this Googling led to your post, and has now inspired me to add your book to my reading list.