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Dreaming of France: 29 Avenue Rapp

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Scrolling through my Instagram& finding this image, I’m surprised I haven’t shared this particular French door for Dreaming of France before. 29 Avenue Rapp boasts what might be the most famous door in Paris. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful.



Designed by Jules Lavirotte in 1901 it’s a striking example of Art Nouveau architecture and features the very risque sculpted Adam and Eve above the door. I first saw the building in the movie Gigi as the building where Gigi's Aunt Alicia lives and where Gigi goes for her lessons in how to catch the right man. Preferably someone rich like Gaston.

Naturally when Mark and I visited Paris, we had to pay the building a visit. What struck us about 29 Avenue Rapp was how many people just walk on by, as if were nothing special, just another old stone edifice, the door, just another entry. I think even if I lived on the block, even if I saw the building and its door every single day, I would still have to pause and take it in. Not a whole …

Speaking of Bernard Cooper

Updated:  Bernard Cooper was doing personal essays so long, long ago... back in the day when english teachers and editors all said stay away from "I".

I remember reading "Maps to Anywhere" and feeling that I had found my personal compass rose. I lost my way somewhere on my writing journey and when a friend suggested she'd prefer to see my pieces, based on my life, as short stories, to see my life 'fictionalized', and I set to writing short stories that all grew out of my reality.  


They didn't just lack imagination, they lacked realism. I'm back to struggling with memoir, even if it does feel like a whole lot of me, the me feels authentic and true. That's the goal anyway. 



The link takes you to Vimeo and a reading by Cooper from The Bill from my Father: A Memoir

For some of my personal essays start here

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