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Rue des Martyrs

“Elaine has been a great friend for a long, long time. We bump into each other at every corner of our lives. And now, in a very strange reverse way, I’m in Washington DC, she’s in Paris,” said H.E. Gérard Araud, The Ambassador of France, at a reception in honor of Elaine Sciolino, author of The Only Street in Paris: Life on the rue des Martyrs. They have been friends for 45 years and though the occasion fell on the heels of the Paris tragedy, it was also a celebration of those who love Paris and France.

“I simply want to say to you personally, but also to all Americans, how grateful and how moved we have been by the outpouring of friendship towards my country. Actually, you Americans are quite a compassionate people and you have shown it again in this unfortunate, horrible, horrible attack. So thank you again. Thank you very much.” Amb. Araud added.

Sciolino is the former Paris bureau chief of The New York Times. The book is about a small street in Paris. Her favorite reference to the street is: “I can never be sad on the rue des Martyrs.” She explains: “While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure.” She reveals ‘the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents―the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheese mongers, the showman who’s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs eighteenth-century mercury barometers―making Paris come alive in all its unique majesty. The Only Street in Paris will make readers hungry for Paris, for cheese and wine, and for the kind of street life that is all too quickly disappearing.’