Synopses & Reviews
"When you fall in love with a city, it is forever." --Toni Morrison
This unique book is about exploring Paris and Los Angeles, a mixing and pairing of yesterday and today, the monumental and the everyday, the people and things, all shared through text and illustrations that tell the stories of these two very different, yet similar, cities.
For the first time, the cities of Los Angeles and Paris are illustrated in parallel. "Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?" represents a visionary approach to a comparative study of two major, contemporary metropolises. As a long-time resident of both cities and a successful entrepreneur, author Diane Ratican curates visual pairings of Los Angeles and Paris with a newfound appreciation for their similarities, differences and eccentricities.
"Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?" features full-color illustrations by famed artists Eric Giriat (Paris) and Nick Lu (Los Angeles), highlighting the Yin-Yang relationship of everyday life between two of the world's great cities. Primarily an art book, this visual publication playfully "connects the dots" between respective architectural icons, historical legends, fashion trends, and cultural peculiarities. With the added benefit of historic information, cultural trivia, and a guide to the author's favorite "addresses," "Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?" is a unique visual guide for visitors to Los Angeles and/or Paris who want to experience the cultural milieu of these two distinguished cities.
"As an entrepreneur dealing in children's clothing, Ratican splits her time between Paris and Los Angeles. In this travel guide and visual ode to the two cosmopolitan cities, Ratican compares and contrasts her two homes, declaring 'Los Angeles is my husband, and Paris is my lover.' Ratican breaks down styles of architecture, from L.A.'s art-deco City Hall and Spanish influences to the 'Gothic grandeur' of Paris's Notre Dame cathedral and baroque Palais du Luxembourg. She celebrates the cities' shared qualities as iconic birthplaces of cinema and excellence in cuisine in passages on L.A.'s famed food trucks and farmers' markets and Paris's bistros, patisseries, and fromageries. As for the differences between the tons, Ratican calls L.A., the 'world's denim capital' with an 'undeniable aesthetic of youth,' which is quite unlike the Parisian tradition of Haute Couture. Illustrators Giriat and Lu not only capture the author's joyous esteem for her subjects but steal the show with their whimsical pop-art illustrations depicting famed locales and various ephemera, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, Jim Morrison's grave, and a French cheese spread. While the artwork is charming, Ratican's account is generic, readers with even a passing knowledge of Paris and L.A. will not find a lot of new information." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Diane Ratican compares the unique attractions of two popular metropolitan areas in Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? An Artistic Pairing of Two Iconic Cities. The fanciful illustrations of Eric Giriat and Nick Lu add visual excitement to her engaging narration. This inspired tour of two cities is both a sophisticated travel guide and an informative coffee table book. ... Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? merits attention from those planning to visit either or both cities. Those who prefer to travel vicariously through the book's pages will delight in discovering the two metropolises' special qualities. --Foreword Reviews
About the Author
"It is as though there was never a time I did not love Paris. The minute I arrived and got a glimpse of the cityscape, I knew that I was born to be there. I am able to experience the privilege of a lifetime in being who I am--and this awareness has brought bliss to my life in Los Angeles, created a harmony between the two cities, and opened doors I didn't know existed." Diane Ratican, educated at University of California Berkeley in History and Sociology, then at UCLA with a Masters in Sociology and Education, started her career educating gifted children, and then moved on to become a risk-taking entrepreneur. This background uniquely prepared her to engage in this latest endeavor, as writer, conjuror of images, and artistic director. Sharing her enchantment with, and knowledge of, both Los Angeles and Paris has become a complex project with all the depth and nuances of a richly textured tapestry. As an entrepreneur, Ratican built a highly successful business importing children's clothing from France for upscale retailers across the U.S. Ratican's excitement and infatuation with Paris, her second home, plus her enthusiasm for her resident city, Los Angeles, uniquely positions her to engage readers to develop their own love affair of both these dynamic destinations. Ratican is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother living in Pasadena, California.Nick Lu received a BFA in illustration from Art Center College of Design and is currently working in Los Angeles. His work has been recognized by annuals including Communication Arts, American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, 3×3 Pro show, and he's been profiled in Communication Arts magazine.