French Culture

Traveling in France: Yes, we can! Traveling in France is what I have been doing since the end of June. I plan to take more trips, cautiously, yet resolutely, through the summer. I often get asked what it is like, these days, to travel around France. Here are some answers. On May 14, 2020 as…

Paris Lockdown: parameters Week 2 of le confinement (it always sounds so much better in French!) is wrapping up. My life, these days, is much smaller: Hours go by within a few blocks in a quiet, (too quiet) neighborhood in the French capital’s outskirts. I used to show tour groups and visitors around the city…

Becoming French: the Myth Becoming French is a popular topic, in literature and in social media. Becoming French, to some francophiles or expats, is a goal, a rite of passage, an achievement to be proud of. An urban legend claims becoming French has a lot to do with {insert one, or several of the following…

Paris as I live it Another week in Paris has just wrapped up. The French capital has been testing us all for the last few weeks during the longest public transportation strike the city has experienced in decades. The strike is also impacting other cities, other regions, but few depend on public transportation as much…

The day I met my Parisian elevator My Parisian elevator and I met in March, when I visited the elegant red brick building, built in 1936, I came to call home. Two weeks earlier (I was still in Seattle then,) my father had told me he may have found a studio for rent located on…

Heat wave, glorious heat wave! It’s been a hot July, one of the hottest ever recorded. This month, I toured around France for two weeks with a group of brave travelers: We never got a break, and the heat wave was our daily companion from Paris to the Loire Valley, in Lyon, Annecy and the…

Au revoir, Junior! Junior, my 19-year old, flew home to Seattle yesterday. He spent his last night in Paris at his grandmother’s house. We decided to meet at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport (“Roissy,” as the French call that marvel of 1970s urban design,) to send him off on Monday morning. I could have splurged…