The Second Wave in Paris

As many of you may already know, a curfew has been imposed here in France. Starting tonight, residents are required to be at home from 9pm to 6am. Exceptions for municipal and hospitality workers will be made (paperwork required), but for the average Parisian, it means finishing off the last glass of wine at 8:45pm … More The Second Wave in Paris

A Brief Update from Paris

As the US deals with increasing infection rates, I thought it might be helpful and perhaps a little comforting to offer a little perspective from Paris. To recap quickly, the pandemic spread to France from northern Italy and Switzerland in January and February of this year. On March 17, 2019, the country was locked down, … More A Brief Update from Paris

An Update from Paris

My apologies for the delay in replying to comments recently, and if I by chance missed a comment, please forgive me. Ironically, after an initial lull in the action, the workload here has intensified. I have been squeezed for time and responding to everyone’s contributions in a timely manner has been difficult. I hope to … More An Update from Paris

Moi Aussi…#MeToo in France

David, one of our longtime contributors and a fellow expat resident with me here in Paris, forwarded the link below, suspecting that I might find it fascinating. He was right. France, home to both legendary male chauvinists and trailblazing feminists, is having what you might call an identity crisis at the moment: is it going … More Moi Aussi…#MeToo in France

The Greek, The French, and Me

I recently read a short, interesting book by Yanis Varoufakis. He is a former finance minister of Greece and was an all-round thorn in the EU’s side during Greece’s financial collapse a few years ago. The book, Talking to My Daughter About the Economy – A Brief History of Capitalism, is worthwhile. The history behind … More The Greek, The French, and Me

Paris…For Parisians

When you arrive in a new city, especially one as unique and international as Paris, you become hypersensitive to your surroundings. At least I have. Paris is ‘foreign’ to me, in the sense that the natives do not speak English as their first language, and some of their customs and habits are unique. Unique not … More Paris…For Parisians

The Paris Experience: Cafe Life

Aside from the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, there’s probably nothing as quintessentially ‘Parisian’ as the sidewalk cafe. A lot of other cities in the world have cafes, and very good ones: Rome, Vienna, Barcelona, Buenos Aires. But as a unique cultural institution with its own permanent place in our imagination, it’s the cafe in … More The Paris Experience: Cafe Life

Go Day

At a cafe in the gold-plated first arrondissement, the expatriate writer perched at the corner of the cafe counter. At a right angle from him sat the Parisian. The Parisian and the expatriate had always nodded, but, not unusual for cafe life, had never introduced themselves. The Parisian always looked like he’d slept in his … More Go Day

Message in a Buckle

The nonverbal communications embedded in French culture are a never-ending source of fascination for me here in Paris. Because I’m not fluent enough in French to catch certain subtle, revealing turns of phrase, I miss that part of the ‘delivery’ that might carry double entendres or hidden gems of humor in conversation. I do, however, … More Message in a Buckle