Parisian blogger, restaurateur and sommelier Olivier Magny hopes to get a few laughs while setting the record straight on what Parisians are really like.
Magny recently visited The Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk to promote his book “Stuff Parisians Like” a compilation of previously unpublished and best regarded bits of his humorous and informative blog, O-Chateau.com.
As the product description of Amazon.com states, “To be mistaken for a Parisian, readers must buy the newspaper Le Monde, fold it, and walk. Then sit at a cafe and make phone calls. Be sure to order San Pellegrino, not any other kind of fizzy water. To truly be cool in Paris, own an iPhone, wear Converse sneakers, and order sushi. And as they stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, remember-they can’t go wrong wearing black.
“I wanted to bring normalcy to [perceptions]. Parisians who read the blog tell me how dead on it is,” said Magny. “I’m lucky people follow the blog.”
Magny even has quite a following. Many of the guests who attended the book signing had visited Magny when he started O-Chateau, his Paris wine bar that his blog is named after, back in 2004.
One guest came all the way from the Jersey Shore just to meet up with him. Guests Lorrie and George Hanny even presented photos to Magny from their visit years ago.
Magny stayed at the shop an extra 30 minutes to hang out with customers.
“I was telling him how I once used his bathroom,” said Lorrie Hanny.
In the early days, when Magny, then just out of university, began teaching wine classes, he lived where he worked. Magny has since moved his wine bar to a new location and shows no sign of slowing down.
“I was just working on a television show and I have another book that I am working on,” said Magny.
His planned book on Terroir is how his book “Stuff Parisians Like” came about.
Terroir is a French term in wine used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestow upon particular varieties.
According to Magny, he and his literary agent were marketing the Terroir book to publishers when they found the blog a much better deal.
“They said, ‘forget that book.’ Oh, you have a blog. Give us that.” said Magny.
The Spiral Bookcase was the second stop on Magny’s U.S. tour which began in New York City and will eventually head on to California. After Philadelphia, he was headed on to Jackson, Miss., where he dreaded going, but not because it was the American South.
“That’s where my girlfriend’s parent live,” said Magny, smiling.
During his time at The Spiral Bookcase, Magny expounded a little on his philosophy and knowledge. Magny explained that an average bottle of wine in France costs around $5 to $6.
“I preach what I stand for. I love small, independent shops like this,” said Magny, who then put his fist in the air. “Resistance.”