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Gordon Cope

A Paris Moment

“In Paris, when you walk out the door … the day springs to life as a full-blown performance, and if you are not part of the audience, you are part of the cast.”

Sometimes your wildest dreams come true.  When his wife Linda is offered a one-year posting in France, journalist Gord Cope found himself on a fantasy assignment; a year in Paris with nothing to do but write.  They settle into an apartment on rue Barbette on the Right Bank of the Seine in Le Marais, a neighbourhood rich in culture, conspiracy and craziness—in short, their kind of place.

Armed with only a smattering of high school French, Cope journeys forth into the narrow, winding streets, sampling the delicacies of the boulangeries, befriending street people and savouring the rich heritage surrounding him.  He records the exuberant vignettes of Parisian life—the curse of the Vespa, the dangers of balcony gardening, learning the rules of French flea-market shopping—the odd and fascinating tales that just don’t make it into guidebooks.  This book is for everyone who would love to spend a year in Paris.

Read a sample chapter here.


“It’s a summer night in Paris. You’re standing on a bridge holding the one you love when an accordion player launches into La Vie en Rose. It’s magic—the magic of Cope’s Paris Moment.” –Ken McGoogan, author of Lady Franklin’s Revenge

A Paris Moment captures the flavour of Paris in a rich broth of characters and events, piquing the appetite for Cope’s tasty tales. His book bubbles like a fine champagne and satisfies like a perfect crème brûlée. And it’s calorie free!”

–John Gilchrist, travel writer and CBC Radio One restaurant critic

Available at AMAZON

While touring France, we stayed at a B&B operated by Max and Nathalie Domi, who own Champagne Domi Moreau near Epernay. Nathalie runs daily wine tours through the district (in English). You can also borrow their mountain bikes and ride around the vineyards. They are lovely hosts, and I highly recommend a stay at their B&B (every room gets a bottle of delicious Champagne each night). For more information, visit the Champagne Domi Moreau website.


When we visited Paris in May, 2007, we decided to rent a furnished apartment near Notre Dame. Our apartment was clean, modern and well stocked. It made us feel as though we were living in the Marais once again!

We were delighted with the staff at Roots Travel; they are friendly, dedicated people (and speak English). The next time you are planning to stay a week or more in Paris and are looking for a great, economical place to stay, contact Damien, Clement and their staff.

Roots Travel
85 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
Tel (from North America) 011 33 142 74 01 01

During our stay in the Marais, we visited many restaurants, museums,
parks, hotels and other attractions.  Here are some of our favorites.


Relais de L’entrecote
Steak and frites only, delicious!
20, rue St-Benoit Paris 75006
T 01 45 49 16 00

Wonderful bistro and staff.
24 rue des Francs-Bourgeois Paris 75003
Tel 01 42 72 20 50

Intimate, delicious food.
101, rue Vielle du Temple Paris 75003
Tel 01 42 77 10 52

Le Dome du Marais
Fantastic setting, excellent food.
53 bis, rue de Francs-Bourgeois Paris 75004
Tel 01 42 74 54 17

Italian cuisine with a delightful staff.
50 rue Francois Miron, 75004
011 42 72 22 74


The Abbey Bookshop
Every Canadian book ever printed.
Great owner, Brian Spence
29, rue de la Parcheminerie Paris 75005
Tel 01 46 33 16 24


Musee Picasso
Incredible art from the cubist master.
5 rue de Thorigny Paris 75003

Musee Carnavalet
History of Paris in a magnificent building.
24 rue Pavee Paris 75004


Hotel de la Bretonnerie
Chic and central.
22, rue st.croix-de-la-Bretonnerie Paris 75004
Tel (33) 01 48 87 77 63

Hotel de Lutece
Charming, intimate, on the Ile St-Louis
65, rue Saitn-Louis-en-l’Ile Paris 75004
Tel (33) 01 43 26 23 52


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