I’m going to Paris.
(pause for dramatic effect because I can’t believe I just typed that sentence)
Yes, it’s true. My friend Channing, her mom and I are going to visit our friend Serena, who’s studying abroad in the City of Lights. It’s been one of my lifelong bucket list destinations—I studied French language, culture and history for 12 years in school, so it’s hard to imagine that soon (God willing) I’ll actually be in the Louvre. And eating real baguettes. Walking along the Seine, and mingling amongst the endlessly chic Parisiennes.
Naturally, as soon as I booked my trip, I went into Paris overdrive. While I’ve enjoyed watching nothing but the movies Amélie, Funny Face, and Midnight in Paris over and over, one night after work I decided that I also wanted to get a great guide book, pick up some lit from the Lost Generation, and brush up on my Français. This called for a quick trip to the bookstore.
But alas, I work in midtown. A couple of years ago, I could’ve walked right over to Columbus Circle and popped in Border’s, or strolled up a few blocks to the massive Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center. But both have shuttered (RIP), not leaving me with many options. Of course, I prefer independent bookstores, and I can spend hours in The Strand and Three Lives in the Village, but for a quick after-work trip, I found it hard to believe there aren’t any good spots in midtown.
And then—after a quick Google search—I found the Rizzoli bookstore on 57th Street between 5th and 6th, right by the F train stop I get on after work. As soon as I opened the door, my heartbeat quickened and I actually squealed. I’d died and gone to literary heaven, and I couldn’t believe it’d taken me so long to find it.
Three floors full of fiction, beautiful coffee table books, travel guides, gorgeous maps, indie movies, international music and foreign language magazines, all lit by stunning chandeliers. Yes, please! I picked up an assortment of all things Paris-inspired:
I’ve gone back a few times since my first visit just to walk around in a daze like the dorky bookworm that I am. Rizzoli is officially my new solo hang out spot.
P.S. Speaking of books and New York City, I can’t believe I missed this video “B*tches in Bookshops,” a literary spoof of Jay-z and Kanye West’s “N*ggas in Paris” when it first popped up in March. It’s pretty much my theme song. “Know how many bookmarks I own?” Classic. And the Belle from Beauty and the Beast reference? (hence, my blog post title)