Deja vu, the feeling of having been somewhere before. In French, literally, “already seen.”
That’s me, living in Paris for the second time. Round one occurred about ten years ago and lasted for three years. Now I’m back — husband and two kids in tow — with fresh eyes and new experiences to share about the city we now call “home.”
What you’ll find here: A peek into daily life for a native Californian in Paris. A mom closing in on “a certain age” with a family, a dreamy apartment and somewhat limited prospects for gainful employment. Mostly, it will be about what happens when one decides to leave the comforts of home in pursuit of better food, better shoes and a renewed sense of adventure. Tips on where to go, what to eat and what to wear, with (and without) kids in Paris.
I’ll attempt to cover some of the good and the bad of living out this particular kind of American dream. But, let’s face it, it’s mostly pretty good.
What you won’t find here: Dull cliches about expatriate life, grumbling about “the French” (well, maybe just a little) and not a single usage of the phrase “City of Light” (really). I won’t overuse exclamation points (I promise!!), or post endless images of my kids’ art work. If I discover a great spot, a new restaurant or must-visit shop, you’ll read about it here. Ideas for places to stay, things to see and what to read may also make their way in. Pictures and links will render life as it is here, a la francaise.
Me. One-time political consultant and non-profit fundraiser turned freelance writer and professional pastry taster. Years ago, I dusted the Santa Monica beach sand from my feet and headed to San Francisco where I met Greg Frost and began a life-changing journey to Paris via Boston and back again. My two sisters are my dearest friends and the fact that they don’t live here is the thing I dislike most about Paris. My kids have changed my life from the inside out. I often wonder how I got so lucky.
Greg. Husband of almost 11 years, born in New York, raised in Paris & London. More French than many Parisians, he is now “home,” except for that pernicious habit of running several miles each morning while most locals are still enjoying their grasse matinee. Thanks to him, I live here now and have had a life that I never dreamed possible. He’s a writer/journalist/communications guy who can answer just about any trivia question thrown his way and cook an unforgettable rack of lamb.
Cole: First-born son, light of my life. Smart as a whip, sensitive and thoughtful, he can tell you the name of just about any dinosaur and build a mean spaceship out of Legos. He kissed his first French girl about a week ago. He’s five.
Adele: Sheer exuberance in a four-year old body, Adele is silly, adorable (thanks, Dad), and entirely her own person. She likes nothing better than to be barefoot, covered in dirt. Hilarious, independent and a pint-sized lover of Camembert cheese.
Thanks for joining me. Alors, on y va?