My books around, in, through and about Paris
50 walks in Paris with a superstitious dimension – leading to street names
It's a tiny book. Its pages are thick and cream-coloured. With its laminated cover, it looked like an actual book. Over 400 copies were sold between 2006 and 2007.
As I said in its introduction, the idea came from the Walks and more precisely from the walk “encounters” (“rencontres”) where I finished writing the word in Rendez-Vous street without aiming at doing so. I added: “I have no doubts about the health benefits of walking (a fresh complexion, a slim waist, toned muscles) but could it also have some kind of supernatural power? Could I possibly meet the man of my life in Rendez-Vous street ? I decided that I could. Then, I read the street index in my Paris map to find other promising street names, all types of names. I found wonders.”
Nicola told me about Joël Henry's Le Voyage Expérimental (The Experimental Journey() thinking that I could like it. It was the case so that I naturally sent “50 Walks” to Lonely Planet addressing my letter to “the publisher who published Le Voyage Expérimental”. Didier Ferat contacted me, my book made him laugh. He offered me to write a more important book about Paris in this surrealist spirit. Actually, its first title was Surrealist Paris (Paris Surréaliste). But then it became Quirky Paris or 36 serious walks that will make you laugh (Paris Décalé ou 36 promenades sérieuses prêtant à rire), it came out in 2009. It took me a full year and everyday walks for 5 months to create it. ( I lost 15 lbs.)
I just discovered Joëlle Lieber's drawings and I asked her to do the illustrations. I love what she does. I am still very proud of this book, hence the many pages shown here. Paris Décalé is now out of print.
Note: the title of each walk is written on the borders of the pages.
Illustration of the walk of the clocks
A strong need to visit Paris’ toilets
While I was preparing Paris Décalé (Quirky Paris), I started to spot the places where you could pee in Paris, for free. First, I wanted it to be part of the 36 walks but since there were so many options I decided to start a new book. Didier Ferat would have wanted to publish it. But his manager decided not to. Then, I self-published it. I bought a metallic binder, made color and black and white copies. Noëlle Liber did the cover illustration. And I went back to the bookstores with my sales representative cap on.
200 copies of Une envie pressante de découvrir Paris (A strong need to visit Paris' toilets) were sold, every copies I had printed. One of the copies drew the attention of Frédéric Martin, the co-publisher of Editions Attila. The copy was in the office of Cyril Houssais, then a journalist at Paris.fr. On the back cover you could read Où faire pipi à Paris ? (Where to pee in Paris ?) (I like subtitles). Frédéric contacted me and all went fast and well.
Where to pee in Paris ?
I won't publish pages to read here since Où faire pipi à Paris ? (Where to pee in Paris ?) is still available in bookstores.
First published in 2012, 200 toilets were then mentioned. You can now find 250 toilets in the 2017 edition (Editions Attila then became Le Tripode, for those who followed Frédéric Martin).
I went back on the road (but not full-time) to find new public or private toilets, always free entrance. I discovered 100 new ones and dismissed 50 others that were either permanently closed, or less interesting than the others.
According to Frédéric 20.000 copies of the book will have been sold in 2019. For now, it's my biggest commercial success : Did I win the Paris “Madame-pipi” title ?