Bonjour Paris, You Talkin’ To Me?

Bonjour Paris, You Talkin’ To Me?

February 02, 2012 at 4:00 am

Author: Vahram Muratyan
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: Jan. 2012

MetroFocus recently spoke via email to Vahram Muratyan, the graphic designer behind the book “Paris versus New York,” about his images comparing these two most impressive (if we do say so ourselves) cities.

Q: Alright, let’s start with what everyone wants to know: If Amélie and “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw got into a fight, who would win?

A: Amélie is cute and naïve, but she got herself involved in other people’s lives way too much. Carrie is self-centered and surrounded by a bunch of self-conscious, independent female friends — and men. She would kick Amélie’s ass.

Q: What made you so interested in the New York/Paris comparison?

A: I’m a Parisian and I’ve been obsessed with New York since I was a child. Since then, I’ve managed to come here often. I spent a few months living in New York in 2010 and I started to count all those little things that made my two beloved cities so special. You can find the differences in the small details.

Q: What was your first memory of New York City?

A: My first souvenir was a meter of snow. And the seemingly endless perspectives created by the streets…When you were a child, it’s even more impressive.

Click the images below to see Muratyan’s visual representations of Paris versus New York City:


Cuisine II


Q: Your book is pretty fair to both cities. But was it hard not to make it seem like a “worse vs. better” comparison? For example, one might argue that the street grid of Manhattan is a better layout for navigating a city, or that a Parisian macaron beats a cupcake any day…

A:  I wanted to focus on the positive aspects of living in two incredible megalopolises. I see excitement and possibilities — progress and solutions — when others see Paris or New York as crazy hellish jungles. The grid is pragmatic and useful but I love the charm of little random streets in Paris, or for that matter, in Greenwich Village in New York. No macaron nor cupcake– vive le chou à la crème [known to New Yorkers as puff pastries]!

Q: Do you prefer baguettes or bagels?

A: A traditional baguette when it’s still warm from the oven.

Click the images below to see more of Muratyan’s visual representations of Paris versus New York City:

Greetings & Salutations

All the Single Ladies


Q: Woody Allen or Godard?

A: They’re so different. I love Woody’s neurotic experiences — I think the same way sometimes, which is scary!

Q:Did you see “Midnight in Paris”? What did you think of Woody Allen’s version of Paris?

A: “Midnight in Paris” showed the city’s DNA through art and I found it really inspiring.

Q: Do you love one city more than the other?

A: That’s my secret…

MetroFocus Production Coordinator Daniel T. Allen conducted this interview, which has been edited and condensed.

Muratyan will be signing copies of “Paris versus New York” at a book launch event at the Standard Hotel on Feb. 2, 2012.

Mutual of America PSEG


MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.


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