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Get the inside track on the City of Light

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 6, 2018

TROY — Tying in with the book featured in the Everyone’s Reading program, travel writer Ellen Creager will share her tips for visiting Paris, a city she said has been described as “the best city in the universe,” at the Troy Public Library Feb. 17. 

Adult Services Librarian Anna Barlow said she thinks Creager’s talk on Paris will fit well with the Everyone’s Reading selection of “The Paris Wife,” by Paula McLain. The book is a fictional account of Hadley Richardson’s time in Paris in the 1920s with her husband, writer Ernest Hemingway. 

“I thought this would give more breadth and insight to ‘The Paris Wife’ and insight into Paris then and now,” Barlow said. 

According to the program’s website, Everyone’s Reading “promotes community dialogue through the shared experience of reading the same book.” Libraries in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties sponsor the program, which is in its 17th year. 

Barlow said that McLain will speak at 2 p.m. March 6 at the West Bloomfield Township Public Library and at 7 p.m. March 6 at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. “Tickets are free, but limited,” Barlow said. 

Creager said she will explore Paris’ role, historically, as an inspiration for artists and writers, and as a travel destination. 

“Paris is a feeling,” she said. “It’s a place everybody wants to go to.

“Hemingway described Paris as a moveable feast,” Creager said. 

Creager will talk about how Paris is different than it was in the 1920s and how it “retains its mystery and dignity,” she said. “You need to visit it to really understand it.” 

Creager said it’s easy to get to Paris from Detroit and it’s easy to get around in the city, which is walkable. 

She said the hardest part is deciding where to stay. Accommodation can be expensive. 

“Apartments can turn out to be in bad neighborhoods or far out of the city,” she said. 

Creager will examine various day trips that people can take from Paris. She will also talk about why she thinks it’s not a good idea to combine Paris with other European destinations in the same trip, and how it’s important not to overbook the trip — leave time for spontaneous things. 

She will cover strategies on how to avoid lines and crowds, and she will leave time after the presentation for questions. 

“Paris Then and Now” will be held 2-3 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road. Visit or call (248) 524-3534 to register.