St. Germain’s Less Gentrified Past

john-baxtrFollowing up on his popular book The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, John Baxter is writing a new series of books about the great neighborhoods of Paris. The first in the series is about Saint Germain des Pres, one of the most beloved areas of Paris. Part history and part guide book, Baxter infuses the book with entertaining and fascinating stories: the bizarre account of a garden behind Saint Germain church memorializing poet Guillaume Apollinaire involving Jean Cocteau and Picasso; the juicy details of legal brothels in Paris in the late 1800s–including two gay ones with Proust as an investor and, one on rue Saint Sulpice, catering almost exclusively to priests from the church; the history of chocolate including the first chocolatier in Paris (Debauve et Gallais); and the Beat hotel where Burroughs, Ginsberg and Corso resided. The easy-to-read book also contains a map with key points of interest, photos and drawings.

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