“Love Is the Closest Thing We Have to Magic in Real Life”: YA Writer Stephanie Perkins on ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’

A good romantic comedy is a hard thing to find, and in the span of a few short years, young adult writer Stephanie Perkins has established herself as a wonderful writer of sweet and smart romantic comedies, with a loosely connected triptych of teenage love stories set in fabulous cities: Anna and the French Kiss (Paris), Lola and the Boy Next Door (San Francisco), and her newest book, Isla and the Happily Ever After (New York, Barcelona, Paris). There’s an earnest charm and swooning sincerity to her work, and the characters and cities unfold like a sweet teenage dream. Isla starts out with shy cartoonist Josh falling for the titular unconventional redhead, and the way their relationship unfolds is a delicious surprise — through Paris and New York, beyond the stresses of senior year, and other factors like being a senator’s son or having a best friend with Asperger’s. Isla is an entrancing conclusion to a delightful series, and we were excited to talk to Perkins about her writing process, romance, and her feelings about YA and adults. … Read More

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Those Love Locks You Adore Might Cause a Bridge to Collapse

Out of the 39 bridges crossing the River Seine in Paris, the Pont des Arts is one of the most striking: steel arches crisscross back and forth, creating a sturdy base for one of Paris’ most iconic pedestrian bridges, a famously romantic location to watch the sunset, have a picnic, or just make out. It has been a pedestrian bridge since 1804, linking the Louvre and the French Institute on each side. … Read More

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Beautiful Portraits of Parisian Residents Reflect the Vibrant Personality of Their City

We Americans have a general perception of what a Parisian looks like — a stereotype perpetuated as recently as last weekend’s Saturday Night Live. But just as most of our major metropolitan areas are incredibly diverse and impossible to contain in a single cultural stereotype, Paris is a melting pot, full of individuals with various backgrounds and identities. Russian photographer Constantin Mashinskiy is currently documenting the city’s inhabitants on his blog, 365 Parisiens, on which he posts a picture of a different stranger every day. (Think of it as an artier Humans of New York.) In his stark, black-and-white photographs, Mashinskiy captures the essence of a vibrant city through the various, sometimes extreme personalities of its residents.  … Read More

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20 Cemeteries You Need to Visit Before You Die

Sure, Halloween is today, but autumn is just generally the best time of year to walk through a beautiful cemetery and appreciate not only the serenity, but also the landscape, intricate tombstones, and sometimes even the final resting places of famous historical figures. Some people find them creepy, while others purposely seek out graveyards when they go out of town. For those of the latter persuasion, here are 20 cemeteries you absolutely must visit — before you, well, end up in one… Read More

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25 Famous Authors’ Poetic Descriptions of Paris

Happy Bastille Day! It’s the 224th anniversary of the storming of the famous Paris prison, which helped dismantled France’s repressive monarchy. If you can’t dance along the Champs-Élysées, but want to spread the Parisian pride, head past the jump for a few eloquent and adoring words from famous writers that celebrate the City of Light.

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Gallery: Preview Paris Photo’s US Debut

Devoted to the fine art of historical and contemporary photography, the annual Paris Photo fair brought 54,000 visitors through the doors of Grand Palais last year alone. Given that kind of success, it makes sense that the prestigious photo festival should finally make its way to the US, nearly 20 years after its 1996 debut. Paris Photo Los Angeles hits the backlots of LA’s Paramount Pictures Studios April 26-28, showcasing selections from 60 international galleries, along with a dozen publishers and booksellers. There’s also a series of solo shows, book signings, screenings, partner exhibitions, and more. … Read More

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10 of the World’s Greatest Hotels Inspired by Literature

After spotting this Jules Verne-inspired hotel in Canada, we decided to go on a worldwide hunt for other interesting hotels that pay homage to our favorite reads — whether in general, or focusing on a single volume, or even detail. After all, book nerds need someplace cool to stay as much as art nerds… Read More

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Stunning Photographs of Vintage Parisian Architecture

The big-screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables opens in theaters tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more excited. Considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, the five-volume, 365-chapter tale is as much a meditation on the complex moral and social struggles of humanity as it is a historical study of France and the architecture and urban design of Paris. The tome was first published in 1862, just before the beginning of the beguiling Belle Époque, or beautiful era, France’s golden age of affluence and artistic creativity that occurred before the turmoil of the First World War. From the architectural wonders built for the same World’s Fair that gave us the Eiffel Tower to the most famous, elaborate Art Nouveau restaurant, click through to be reminded of the design epoch that gave us one of the world’s most whimsical and romantic cities. … Read More

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Fascinating Color Photos of 1914 Paris

A boy pushes an overloaded cart through a picturesque city square. A soldier with a wooden leg stands next to a cannon, his uniform covered with medals. A group of young performers in period costume assemble around a statue. Then there’s this shot of the original Moulin Rouge, an architectural gem of the Belle Époque that would be destroyed in a fire the following year. Unearthed by Retronaut, these color photos of Paris back 1914 are not only lovely to look at, they’re incredibly narrative, like a visual prompt for the kind of stories that Hemingway would write about the city in the decade to come. If you need an escape from the impending holiday drama, or you’d just like travel over a hundred years back in time, click through our slideshow now! … Read More

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