I have been reading a lot of literature from the post World War I era recently--Wharton, Cather, Hemingway, and I'll be reading a Fitzgerald book soon as well.
The Sun Also Rises is set (so far) in Paris, and in Willa Cather's The Professor's House, the City of Lights maintains a shadowy background presence throughout the entire book. I miss Paris. And though I couldn't ever afford (or fit into) the Closerie des Lilas while I was in Paris, I still felt a vague and nostalgic longing for those ex-pats that spent their days together drinking whiskey and soda, wandering from bistro to bistro having jolly times, and writing passionately and haphazardly as the fancy struck them.
I whined to someone recently about how I wanted to be a part of that lost generation, spending my days in Paris amongst Americans who didn't want to be in America, and how it is a damnable sin that I was born too late, and decidedly in the wrong sort of society. I might not be able to smoke a cigarette (though, I suppose, if one never tries one never knows) but I can ruddy well handle my gin. Hemingway would have to like me on principle, I think.