A self-described Francophile, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris—drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins—so when the opportunity to work as a copywriter for an advertising agency in Paris presented itself, he couldn’t turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he wasn’t exactly fluent in French.
Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down is a nimble, comical account of observing the French capital from the inside out. It is an expedition into the Paris of Sarkozy, smoking bans, and a McDonald’s beneath the Louvre—the story of an American who loves Paris all out of proportion, who loves every beret and baguette cliché, but who finds life there to be very different from what he expected. At first, it’s just the joy of running across the lingerie section in the hardware store, but over the next eighteen months, Rosecrans must rely on his American optimism to get him through some very unromantic situations—at work (where he discovers a shockingly long-honored Parisian work ethic), at home (where his wife, who works at home, is dismayed not just by his hours but by the active construction that surrounds their apartment on five sides), and everywhere in between.