For the 9/11 anniversary we are re-running a commentary written by Parisvoice’s David Applefield on how this event was experienced by American expats in Paris at that time. The edition with these observations appeared two weeks after 9/11. Continue reading “Remembering 9/11 as Seen from Paris”
Red Zone/Blue Zone jokes were never really funny. And today as Paris expats head to their former homes in the Deep Rouge of Duluth and Denver, Dallas and Detroit to share the holidays with family and friends the bittersweet irony of color-coded bad blagues causes high anxiety among the chronically transcultural. Continue reading “Blue Christmas in the Red Zone”
It should come as no big surprise that for foreigners getting married in Paris this is no Las Vegas-slam-bam-thank-you-mam-you-may-now-kiss-the-bride affair. Continue reading “On Getting Married in Paris”
This time only expats are welcome here. So, if you’re a tourist, even a groovy one, désolé, bug off; go order a cappuccino in some overpriced sidewalk café and write kitschy postcards to jealous co-workers and doubting lovers. I want to talk to my people, the Great Anglo-Masochistic Zealot Cult (GAMZC) that keeps coming back for more perennial abuse and cultural belittling. Continue reading “Welcome Back Home?!”
The joy of being a tourist anywhere is that the stimulation is constant and you get to lose your innocence all over again. You re-enter the child’s world of discovery, observation and fascination. And this begins with your very first moment in the new country. At the airport, even. Okay, let’s back up a few days. To the day you arrived in Paris.
After a number of years in France there are a few odd things that you end up only knowing how to do only in French. For example, I can change the embrayage of my car with my eyes shut, but I cringe at the idea of touching the clutch. As a publisher, I know the ins and outs of brochage, but bookbinding totally befuddles me. I can poser une moquette or handle carrelage, but I’m lost when it comes to laying carpet or dealing with bathroom tiles. In fact, on the whole I’m not too bad as bricoleurs go, but if it’s one thing I’m not it’s handy! Continue reading “Pardon my French”
The news is out. Nine million Americans are traveling abroad this year. But the more important statistic is how many will be visiting YOU this summer!
Fifty years ago this month, Paris was swarming with the task of recovery – material and psychic. The spring of 1947 brought with it a huge wave of displaced Europeans, and Paris emerged as a “plaque tournante” for a battered continent finding its bearings. In the crowded streets around the Gare Saint-Lazare one heard Polish, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian. The little hotels were stuffed with people with tattered suitcases, unpronounceable names, and small wads of US dollars and perhaps a few pieces of gold sewn into threadbare overcoats. Many handed over everything they owned for a visa to a far-off country, Cuba or Venezuela, Canada or the United States, the promise of a new start. Many stayed, dug in, opened little shops and became part of France’s merchant class. Others battled to gain passage on a Salvation Army charter boat that left from Le Havre and pulled into the Hudson River two weeks later. Continue reading “Remembering Paris in 1947”
When asked in a recent survey to name their number one fantasy, most Americans polled did not reply “being president of the United States” or “writing the great American novel.” The number one fantasy was, mais oui, our present reality – “living in Paris.”
The shortest month of the year can be downright inspiring. It was February to be exact when I first knew I wanted to be a writer. Mrs. Richland’s second grade class at Mount Pleasant Elementary School. And the first oeuvre committed to pencil remained unpublished until now: Continue reading “Paris Valentines”
Chers readers – yes, you – as we converse, I look out into the near future, and see you there sitting pretty somewhere in the heart of a gleeful Paris December, the holiday season unfolding around you with its annual engorgement of foie gras, saumon fumé, huîtres d’Oléron, Veuve Cliquot and Christmas lights. But many of us time-warped journalists are still hovering over our monthly deadlines back here in ol’ forgotten November, the most joyless month in Paris. “It’s a Wonderful Life” flashes in the background of the imagination as this last column of the year falls into place. Continue reading ““Bonne Fin d’année, Monsieur.””