Letters from Montmartre: Receive Beautiful Notes from a Parisian Stranger

By

14th May, 2013


A
fter I finish telling you about this, I’m going to write a letter to someone; with a pen, and a piece of paper, and an envelope. Because, when was the last time you received a beautiful letter? This is the question being asked by Lettres d’un Inconnu (Letters from a Stranger), a most charming new start-up based out of Montmartre, here in Paris. With a dream to revive the lost art of receiving and writing handwritten notes, Lettres d’un Inconnu is a subscription service that brings you two beautiful letters each month written by a stranger, hand prepared and personally addressed to you on fine stationary with love and care from the heart of Paris, Montmartre, and delivered to your letterbox by your local postman.

Subscriptions to these unique letters are available in English, but if you’re keen to refresh your language skills, you can receive your letters in French from a stranger recounting a personal memory, a chance encounter, an intimate confession from afar…

This short video (in French) beautifully illustrate the project:

 

Last Christmas, Lettres d’un Inconnu founder, a Mademoiselle Fanny Auger, wrote and sent out about 40 cards and received only three herself. Either the postman was playing a cruel joke on her or people just don’t know how to write letters anymore; they can’t find the words, or maybe can’t even find a pen.

“Everyday, when I open my mailbox, my naivety fills my heart, for a fraction of a second I’m hoping to find something other than bills or advertising,” says Fanny, sharing an all too familiar feeling.

As much as we communicate through email, text, messenger, Skype, she says we’ve lost a certain essence. “Reading a letter is a moment for yourself. We may read the letter while standing next to the mailbox, keep it in our bag or pocket until we have a moment spare. A moment to share the sender’s sentiments, the stranger who wrote the letter and told you their story.”

I’m going to be terribly cliché about it and say this is just the sort of romance we owe ourselves in what can often seem like very unromantic times.

Allow yourself that frivolous moment in your day to imagine a different life, another era of communication. Some handwritten, some typed in delicate fonts, some featuring pictures, poetry or illustrations; these are letters to hold on to, hide in a shoebox somewhere or carry around and keep close at all times for re-reading.

Since Lettres d’un Inconnu was born in October 2012, Miss Auger, a well-travelled literature graduate (and fellow MessyNessyChic reader!), has sent out more than 10,000 letters from the Abbesses post office in Montmartre. The authors of the letters are sometimes known Parisian personalities, sometimes unknown or totally anonymous. The stories they share are always real.

“Around me, people always tell me about their extra-ordinary life stories, some life stories that simply touch me, and deserve to be told, to be written, and shared with the world,” Fanny explains, who also encourages subscribers to reply to their letters on occasion by post, email or even the social networking sites (let’s hope she’ll get more than three Christmas cards this year). Perhaps you also have a letter to share with Fanny and the community of subscribers; one you wrote or one you’ve cherished?

“Why would only great authors have the chance to have their stories and letters published?” Fanny asks. “My objective is to find, investigate, curate letters that are as beautiful and extraordinary, written by some ‘ordinary’ strangers.”

Feed your nostalgia, discover Lettres d’un Inconnu

Gift subscriptions are also available– (an original idea for loved ones you haven’t been able to find the time to write often).

All images via Lettres d’un Inconnu website and Facebook page 

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Desirable DigsDon't Be A TouristInspiration VaultNostalgiaOff-Beat & Little KnownTime travel

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Picture Perfect LA

You should probably know that I'm a California virgin and so this was my first visit to the city of Angels. When you arrive in such an iconic city, it can be a little overwhelming to know where to st...

Trending 247
SONY DSC

10 of the Most Fantastical Burning Man Creations

This week, an otherworldly gathering in the desert is taking place in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada. A celebration of life, earth and all the incredible things we're capable of building and...

Trending 12,266
johnies

Hollywood Ghost Diner

I've been on the lookout for a truly authentic 1950s diner since I arrived in California. I finally found it, driving down Wilshire Boulevard and screeching to a halt as soon as I locked eyes o...

Trending 8,092
featureclub

My LA Boogie Nights Bar

After 24 hours in the city of Angels, I had yet to find the perfect LA hangout I was looking for. I have this romantic vision of Angelinos hanging out on seventies lawn chairs in their backyards wi...

Trending 4,286
phantomlake

Unmasking the Parisian Phantom of the Opera

What if I told you there is a lake under the Paris Opera House, just like in The Phantom of the Opera? Down, down, down, deep underneath the Garnier Opera in a dingy room with a square-shaped hol...

Trending 20,522
mecaniquefeature

The San Francisco Antique Playground

This might sound odd, but I'm not really a museum buff. I generally find that if something is behind a barrier or kept in a glass box where I can't pick it up or touch it, I won't linger very long i...

Trending 5,042