French Like Moi

Scott Carpenter’s memoir “French Like Moi” revisits B.C Paris (before corona virus) with wit and humor. Carpenter, who teaches French literature at Minnesota’s Carleton College, tells a traveler’s tale that is both funny and full of cultural insights. His saga is sure to evoke a chuckle from anyone
who has spent some time in Paris. As the French might say, the book is… “très amusant.” Continue reading “French Like Moi”

Emily in Paris

When the going gets tough in these pandemic times the tough get Netflix. “Emily in Paris,” updating the ever popular American in Paris story, premiered this month on Netflix with Lily Collins as the titular character moving to Paris for a new job with a French marketing firm. It already ranks among Netflix’s top ten! The rom-com, written and produced by Darren Star—whose previous hits include “Beverly Hills” and “Sex in the City” —follows Emily for ten episodes as she searches for love and struggles to achieve success in a French workplace while experiencing the usual franco-american culture clashes. Continue reading “Emily in Paris”

Drinking French

While dreaming  during these troubled times of getting back to France, it’s great to have a new book that evokes some of the things we love about the country. With “Drinking French” author David Lebovitz serves up more than 160 recipes for trendy cocktails, quintessential apéritifs, café favorites, typical Parisian snacks and more. Continue reading “Drinking French”

Paris Cemeteries…where the saints go marching

Image
Oscar Wilde’s grave

November in Paris begins with yet another long weekend away from work – le pont de la Toussaint (All Saints Day) – one of many strewn along the French calendar year. As Paris florists bring out their stock of chrysanthemum for the annual commemoration of Parisians now gone, and as other Parisians pack their cars and pile up at the exits of the city for yet another frantic weekend on France’s chock-a-block highways, why not use this most appropriate time of year for a less stressful outing to one of the capital’s cemeteries. This should be completed with the purchase of Georges Brassens’ “La Ballade des Cimetières,” a perfect way to record your outing and do your French homework. Continue reading “Paris Cemeteries…where the saints go marching”

The Latin Quarter Revisited

Discovering the 5 & 6th district

Romantic myths of Left Bank intelligentsia which date back seven centuries are brutally shattered on today’s busy bd St-Michel, the main artery of the Latin Quarter, where the 5th and 6th arrondissements meet.

The venerable Sorbonne, the quarter’s historic seat of intellectual life, is still there, but these days the forlorn chime of its chapel bell, which has punctuated the studies of generations of scholars, is drowned out by the din of passing traffic. Indeed most people who stream past the place de la Sorbonne seldom notice its beautiful 17th century chapel with its graceful dome. Continue reading “The Latin Quarter Revisited”