|Global city category.:||Alpha+ Global Cities|
|City population.:||2,243,833 (2010) Rank: #45|
|Metro population.:||10,460,117 (2010)|
Paris is one of the largest book centers in the world, boasting a storied history in both literature and the publishing trade.
Throughout its history, the city has been, and continues to be, a magnet for writers and intellectuals of all kinds. This attraction has not been limited to francophone authors: many expatriate writers (notably American, but also British, Russian, and Latin American) have called Paris home and created some of their best works here. In the past, the city was also known as a free-speech and publishing haven, where expatriate publishers could evade their home countries' restrictive laws and regulations.
The River Seine divides the city into two unequal halves: the Right and the Left Bank. (The right bank is a larger in area). Both are subdivided into districts (arrondissements), which in turn contain smaller neighborhoods (quartiers), many of which are named after the villages they replaced. The districts are known by their numbers – from the first (1er) to the twentieth (20ème). Each number carries with it a whole set of socioeconomic connotations.
Most of the smaller quartiers fit in a single arrondissement, but some, like Le Marais, span two adjoining districts. If you are going to live in Paris for any length of time, you will absolutely need to acquaint yourself with the city's layout – ideally, by learning the basics features of all twenty districts. Even before that, however, practice answering the most elementary, binary questions: which bank is this thing or that located on? Soon, the pieces will start falling into place.
The arrondissements curl out of the central, historic area of Paris, which is why the whole arrangement is often compared to a snail (escargot).
Michel Houellebecq , Patrick Modiano , André Gide , Molière , Jules VerneParis City Makers »