1. What initially inspired you to move here or visit?
Sister Mary Theresa, my high school freshman French teacher. She enthralled us with vivid stories of France and French culture. She also plied us with Astérix and Obélisk comic books and chocolate, a tricky but effective way to hold our attention.
2. Earliest Paris memory?
Backpacking through Cimetière Père Lachaise with a map searching for Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
3. Best neighbourhood you’ve ever lived in?
Where I live now in the 5th. I love the feel of this most ancient quartier mixed with the vibrancy of students. And the Jardins des Plantes at this time of year is fabulous.
4. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Paris?
Le Chateaubriand in the 11th.
5. Sexiest moment you’ve had in Paris?
A packed restaurant in the 8th. I was at a table with six other guests. The handsome waiter and I were flirting only through eye contact for the duration of the meal. I was only 23 at the time, but I still remember how our restricted environment intensified the game. He was very busy. I was required to focus on my dinner guests. And in this chaotic, public setting, we furtively held long gazes and half smiles for three hours.
6. What do you hate most about living in Paris?
Attitude from caissiers for not having exact change for cash purchases. Trying to find a taxi late at night. I miss New York in those moments.
7. Who’s your favourite Parisian — be they living or dead, real or fictional?
8. Favourite cinema?
MK2 Quai de Loire.
9. Right bank or left bank? And why?
I’m bi. By nature I’m a left bank kind of guy, which is why I live there. But I still melt when I stand in front of those regal monuments on the right bank. C’mon, a stroll past a lit up Opéra Garnier at night after a Japanese meal on rue Sainte-Anne?
10. Favourite Caviste?
Any that specialize in Bio-Dynamique.
11. Where do you go to escape the city?
Saint-Tropez off-season during the month of May. There is a little bed and breakfast I visit next to a private beach. This is where I go to recharge.
12. Where are the best looking girls or boys in Paris and why?
Barrio Latino in Bastille on a Sunday afternoon. I go there sometimes to take a salsa lesson and am blown away at the sight of all ethnicities connecting through a common love of dance, music and a passion for big fun. For those two hours everyone becomes the best looking girl or boy in Paris.
14. Favourite museum?
15. Favourite shop?
I’m obsessed with Indian iconography so I head over to Indian Heritage on Ile St. Louis very often to have tea with the owner and browse his incredible, hand-picked collection. And most of my apartment is furnished from the puces at Vanves. I never leave that particular flea market empty handed. Nor do I ever leave Patisserie Carl Marletti empty handed.
16. Who’s the most stylish Paris personality?
Gaspard Ulliel. If only he was my waiter in Question 5 above.
17. What is your favourite film that is set in Paris?
Paris, Je T’Aime.
18. What about Paris most inspires you?
The attention to details, from the way a macaron is displayed to the manner in which a wine is poured. I’m also inspired by the speed at which people offer their seats to the elderly on the bus.
19. What makes someone a Parisian?
Responding with “Mais, non!” to every question.
20. What’s your favourite French word? (Swear words allowed!)
How about these French words: “Monsieur Holzman, vous avez tous les bons documents. Voici votre carte de séjour. À dans dix ans!”