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Parisian flat containing €2.1 million painting lay untouched for 70 years

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Oh it was terrific because the cafés were such great places to hang out, they were so open, you could smoke hash at the tables, if you were fairly discreet. There was the expatriate crowd, which was more or less comprised of interesting people, creatively inclined. So we would fall out there at one of the cafés, about four in the afternoon, sip Pernod until dinner, then afterwards go to a jazz club. Bird and Diz, and Miles and Bud Powell, and Monk were all there, and if not, someone else. Lester Young and Don Byas. It was a period when the Village and St.-Germain-des-Pres were sort of interchangeable, just going back and forth. The thing to do was take a freighter—it was the cheapest way to go, a comfortable and interesting way to go because it was long, thirteen days. And the Scandinavian ones had pretty good food. There were only about eight passengers. We’d eat at the Captain’s table—and he was invariably some kind of great lush. So you’d get there—St. Germain, and the town was swinging. Once in a while you’d find yourself homesick, for one place or the other, but it was okay, because both were good places to arrive. Sometimes we would save up some money and just take off, On the Road-style. Sometimes we had a car, other times we took the train. It was always a gas.

Terry Southern, on Paris in the 1950’s
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Psychology is also at work when you look at the women of Paris. The principle at work here is the assumption of style and the amplification of grace. Because you are in Paris, you assume that women are fashion-aware, which colors all your judgments about dress, hairstyle, and other factors of appearance. Because you suppose the most stylish of intentions behind whatever the actual outcome, you will find seductive and ennobling qualities behind almost everything and anyone. What would be a dowdy old hag or a trampy termagant in the wrong part of Baltimore is suddenly the epitome of French cuteness. It’s a sophisticated variant on the “Emperor without cloths [sic]” syndrome.

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This is what somebody sees when they walk out their door every morning. In this case, the grass really is greener over there. [via parisislove]

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