Paris In Winter

paris in winter // david coggins (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

Sometimes, it seems that the universe aligns to deliver the book you need at the exact moment you need it. This January, Paris In Winter was that book.*

'walking the dogs' by david coggins for paris in winter (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

‘walking the dogs’

Written and gloriously illustrated in watercolor by Minnesota-based artist David Coggins, Paris In Winter (powerHouse Books $24.95) serves as a memoir/journal of his family’s annual trips to Paris, a tradition that spans more than 30 years. Though their initial visits were in warmer months, eventually they discovered that winter’s slower pace suited their schedule perfectly. (It is worth noting that, as Coggins spends most of the year in Minneapolis, a January getaway to Paris will usually be a favorable trade in the weather department, too.) Coggins, his wife and two adult children spend their days living the Parisian good life, which means lots of leisurely meals, chats with restauranteurs and shop owners, and plenty of afternoons spent wandering Paris’s many museums, galleries, and parks, all of which appeals to me immensely. I found myself constantly stopping to jot notes as I worked my way through the book, not only to remember a new place to explore but also to stop and do a quick bit of research into Paris history (including shoring up my art history knowledge, which is woefully lacking).**

'notre dame with christmas tree' by david coggins for paris in winter (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

‘notre dame with christmas tree’

The book’s tone lures you in: it feels a bit like reading missives from a dear friend — — so much so that I was constantly imagining myself into the scene — and the illustrations whimsically and endearingly capture snippets of their adventures.

'boy in scarf' by david coggins for paris in winter (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

‘boy in scarf’

The closer I get to empty-nest status, the more time I spend thinking about “what’s next”, and I’m hoping that it will include an annual getaway like this. Travel is not only for inspiration, but restoration, and Paris is the perfect location to find both.

*  Though, as usual, when you dig a bit deeper you discover there were forces guiding you towards discovery all along. My road to Paris In Winter started with some of my savvy Internet friends who recommended the book last fall. Then, a January weekend trip to Paris sparked a love for the city in winter. I bought the book as an early birthday gift to myself. And per usual, now that I’ve been introduced, I’ve started to notice David Coggins’s influence everywhere, including this article for Paddle8 where his son discusses art with Andy Spade. (updated as I incorrectly assumed it was the elder David Coggins when I read it)

** A short list of places I’ve added to my “must-sees” includes Galerie Vero Dodat, Maille, and Librairie Galignani.

images courtesy of powerHouse books: Paris in Winter is currently available at Barnes&Noble stores and online: the reprint will hit Amazon late March (I told you it was good!)


  1. February 3, 2016 / Permalink

    LOVE this! Must order now. :) Reminds me of similar feelings I have for Adam Gopnik’s From Paris to the Moon.

    Thanks for sharing this, sweet friend. x

  2. February 3, 2016 / Permalink

    What a beautiful concept for a book and the illustrations are wonderful. Thank you.

  3. February 4, 2016 / Permalink

    Thanks so much for your kind words about “Paris in Winter.”
    And for including some of the drawings. Un grand merci, David Coggins