Sue Rynski is a photographer.
1. What initially inspired you to move here or visit?
My Dad’s job brought my family here in the early seventies. I fell in love with Paris, did part of my art studies here and vowed to bring myself back.
2. Earliest Paris memory?
Staying at the Royal Monceau hotel, discovering the hip fashion shops on Boulevard Saint Michel and learning the strange word “soldes” meaning “sales” plastered in all the shop windows.
3. Best neighbourhood you’ve ever lived in?
Odéon has brought me lots of luck. I also liked living at Gambetta being within walking distance of all the cool rock bars.
4. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Paris?
My most memorable meal was at Guy Savoy around 1990. I don’t remember what I ordered, but Guy is a master of very subtle, unique sauces. All my senses were completely engaged and delighted. Whenever that happens – a meal, a concert, whatever, the feeling takes me over and then I don’t remember the details but only the experience. The entire meal at Guy Savoy was exquisitely refined: the food, the presentation, the ambience and the service. Guy Savoy is accredited by Relais et Chateaux and all of their member restaurants are exceptional!
5. Sexiest moment you’ve had in Paris?
The night I met my husband at the London Tavern in Saint Germain des Près. The London Tavern was an institution in Paris for decades, a really classy singles bar with a small house orchestra. Maître d’hotel Mustafa created a friendly ambience, finding seats for the ladies and introducing people. The London Tavern is gone now.
6. What do you hate most about living in Paris?
The civil engineering! Progressively the city has created obstacles to moving around which I notice increases stress levels and brings out aggressivity: metal posts on sidewalks which make it hard to avoid bumping into people; huge bus lanes with concrete barriers which create traffic jams and increase pollution; bike lanes that run on sidewalks and are scary and dangerous for pedestrians. Also the signposting in the Métro is poorly placed — everybody is bumping into each other.
7. Who’s your favourite Parisian — be they living or dead, real or fictional?
Serge Gainsbourg. He’s all of the above.
8. Favourite cinema?
Wherever they’re playing the film I want to see.
9. Right bank or left bank? And why?
The divide in Paris is now east side-west side. On the east side people are mostly creating, on the west side they’re mostly consuming. The centre of Paris is a mix of both.
10. Favourite Caviste?
Make mine a citron pressé.
11. Where do you go to escape the city?
London, far east end. Hey, I’m a city girl! Anyway, London’s east end is like a country of its own.
13. Where do you get your news?
I try to avoid the news! But Le Grand Journal on Canal Plus is ok.
14. Favourite museum?
Maison Européenne de la Photographie.
15. Favourite shop?
époque(s) gallery, 71 boulevard Raspail near Sèvres-Babylone. The place to find original pieces of designer furniture and decorative arts of the twentieth century. Gallerist Graziella Semerciyan, a former commissaire priseur, is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about design. She creates regular exhibitions around a theme with a selection of pieces from different decades. You may even find a one-of-a kind prototype!
16. Who’s the most stylish Paris personality?
My friend and divine rock and roll muse, Andyva Warhola.
17. What is your favourite film set in Paris?
La Traversée de Paris with Jean Gabin and Bourvil, 1956.
18. What about Paris most inspires you?
The changing colours of the light on the Seine.
19. What makes someone a Parisian?
A hardcore Parisian detests the idea of going outside of Paris – not even to the close suburbs!
20. What’s your favourite French word? (Swear words allowed!)
Two words: “ma chérie” when my husband pronounces them.