Hemingway Haunts

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Hemingway Haunts

La Closerie des Lilas, Paris La Closerie des Lilas, Paris Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris Les Deux Magots, Paris Les Deux Magots, Paris Cafe de Flore, Paris Cafe de Flore, Paris Brasserie Lipp, Paris I knew going into it, that I was going to be disappointed when tracing Hemingway's steps in Paris. I expected cameras, hoards of people and the typical tourist trappings, but I was resolved to endure it all or block it out. If you've been around this blog long enough, you know I'm a huge Hemingway fan. I love his pared down, direct writing style and romanticize the Lost Generation's time in Paris. There is still a big part of me that sees Paris through a literary lens, and wants to pretend that nothing has changed. There are still notebooks and pencils, charged conversations and meals priced for struggling writers. Today, there are laptops, overpriced coffees, tourists, and get this ... bouncers. Yep, when I approached Closerie des Lilas, two thuggy men in black stood guard at the entrance. For real? I had no intentions of going inside, but was amused by the two men who took their job seriously. They recited their list of rules (no photos, must order a meal, etc.) to anyone who floated close enough to the entrance to demonstrate an intention to step inside. I quickly figured out the imaginary line and stayed just outside of it. This irritated the men in black. They wanted to exercise their power, they wanted to shout "pas des photos!" but I was outside their jurisdiction. I snapped a few photos, and enjoyed watching them squirm. I will never, ever figure out why some Parisians are averse to someone taking photos of a building's facade, but they are. To be honest, it was a funny dynamic. Here I was, an American in Paris, taking a photo of a place another American made famous, and was somehow seen as an evil-doer. Evan stayed far away, and I'm sure thought the whole thing was staged for his amusement. In the end, I got what I wanted. Thugs aside, I enjoyed seeing Paris Moveable Feast style.

18 comments

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by secret, fragile skies

Love all your beautiful posts! Happy New Year!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by katieleigh

I loved seeing Hemingway's haunts too – even though there's now a gift shop in one or the other of those cafes. Cheesy and touristy, but it's still charming to me. I read A Moveable Feast for the first time in Paris – so they are especially bound up together, for me.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Aesthetic Alterations

Crazy! I can't imagine such treatment happening ten years ago, and even back then it was a tourist trap. Too bad about the changes. I went once with a friend, and it's a lovely place to sit and enjoy a drink. Or was.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Penny

Hey Nichole,
Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you enjoyed the pics! Fellow PA girl here, grew up right next door to you in Berks County, hence my love of horses too! Thanks again for sharing your beautiful blog!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Penny

Wow – so glad you were able to get your photos. I always enjoy reading your beautiful blog! Thanks as always for sharing. I just got back from taking some beautiful horse pics in the snow that I posted on my blog. It's always a great feeling when you get some special pictures.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by risamay

How awful.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Susan

I had no idea they had bouncers there…crazy! I actually read A Moveable Feast (for the 4th? time) when I returned from Paris, felt inspired to. Great shots, despite the hassle!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Lucent Imagery

I love your cheekiness! Gorgeous photos as always. Hope you had a lovely festive season and have a wonderful New Year's.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Li + Belle

Very nice photos. The pictures are the right impression for our trip to Paris next year. Please more of that. :)

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by ...

That makes me so sad…I love Paris and I love Hemingway.

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