Paris by day is elegant and refined. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the picture postcard surface of the City of Light to discover there is a deliciously louche, borderline seedy side to the world’s most-touristed city.
How do I know? Because I have been living here eight years, because I have spent an inordinate amount of time and money in cafés and bars conducting “research,” and because the fruit of that labour – a new book called A Town Like Paris – has just been published.
At the heart of the book is a love story. My love story. I came to Paris from Australia as a swinging bachelor – a young man bent on adventure, determined to foist myself upon an unsuspecting French female population and, in the process, eat my fill of Hemingway’s fabled moveable feast.
Photo of Shay courtesy of Carla Coulson.