"If you're lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." So opens A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway's memoir of the years he spent in Paris in the 1920s. He was not the only soon-to-be-great Anglophone writer drawn to Paris during this time, and this tour will introduce you to some of the key players and places of this moveable feast.
Start: Place de la Contrescarpe.
1. Place de la Contrescarpe
A Moveable Feast opens with a description of the grubby Café des Amateurs, which was located in this picturesque square. The cafe is no longer there, but there are plenty of student dives nearby on the Rue Mouffetard.
Head northeast out of the square along Rue Cardinal Lemoine.
2. Rue Cardinal Lemoine
Hemingway and his wife Hadley had the first Parisian apartment at no. 74. A little farther up, at no. 71, is where Irish writer James Joyce finished his modernist masterpiece Ulysses in the early 1920s.
Turn left onto Rue Monge, which becomes Rue Lagrange. At the river, go left. On your left you'll come to:
3. Shakespeare and Co.
Opened in 1919 by a young American called Sylvia Beach, this wonderful English-language bookshop soon became a meeting place for the all the Anglophone writers who were in Paris in the 1920s, including Joyce, Hemingway, and Ezra Pound. In 1922, Sylvia decided to publish Joyce's Ulysses.
Continue along the Seine to St-Michel and take Métro line 4 to St-Germain-des-Près.
4. Brasserie Lipp
The 1920s saw the literary and artistic center of Paris shift from Montmartre in the north of Paris to the cafes and brasseries of St-Germain and Montparnasse in the south. Brasserie Lipp (151 Blvd. St-Germain; tel. 01-45-48-53-91), was one of Hemingway's favorite watering holes, and he occasionally came here to write.
Turn right out of Brasserie Lipp and right again onto Rue Bonaparte. Cross Rue de Vaugirard and continue along Rue Guynemer. Opposite no. 4 is an entrance to the:
5. Jardin du Luxembourg
Hemingway used to walk through the gardens on his way to visit renowned patron of the arts Gertrude Stein (who lived at 27 Rue de Fleurus). When he was particularly strapped for cash, he used to hunt pigeons here with his son.
Exit the gardens on Boulevard St-Michel and take RER B to Port Royal.
6. La Closerie des Lilas
Another of Hemingway's favorite cafes, La Closerie des Lilas (171 Blvd. Montparnasse; tel. 01-40-51-34-50) is where he and the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald planned a crazy trip to Lyon to recover Fitzgerald's car. Today it's quite an upmarket restaurant.