Sunday, October 12, 2008


In the ninth grade we were required to take a second language – French or Spanish being our only choices. I desperately wanted to learn French. My father insisted I learn Spanish, refusing to sign the permission slip for French. Back then I had absolutely no use for Spanish. I thought it common. French, however, embodied the sultry, exotic lifestyle I dreamt of one day having. Today, my Spanish is good. I can read it and write it and on occasion, hold a semblance of a conversation in it. Speaking French, however, still remains my secret longing but “bonjour” and “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”, are the extent of the vocabulary I know.

Many years ago I was blessed to be able to travel internationally. I spent a few nights in Paris, courtesy of that hotel-owning company I was employed with. My command of the language was exceptionally limited and the French are not overly considerate of Americans who cannot converse in their native tongue. None the less I still held onto my youthful dreams of all the sensual pleasures the French language embodied for me.

This weekend I discovered the most adorable book that reawakened every fantasy I ever had about France and the French language. NAUGHTY PARIS: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City by Heather Stimmler-Hall took me on a sultry tour of the city on the Seine. It is the most adorable montage of history, facts, and steamy secrets on everything from intimate hotels to erotic museums. This purse-sized, coffee table book and travel guide is beautifully illustrated with some 216 full-color photographs. I was like a kid in a candy store as I consumed the titillating prose and sensual imagery that explored that side of Paris that is still whispering my name.

I don’t often recommend other people’s stuff but when I do you can trust that it truly touched my spirit. Naughty Paris seriously touched a nerve. Described as a naughty guide for good girls this book is also a handy planner for you wicked women as well. After reading it I may well find myself back in Paris sooner than I’d imagined.

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