French Life

France is a lot more than old buildings, food and wine, bérets and accordion music. Look beyond stereotypes, and discover the real France through the eyes of a native.

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…

Re-bonjour (Hello again! ) For those of you who have been following my adventures, you know it’s been a hectic few months since I relocated to France after living in Seattle for 23 years. Over the last 4.5 months, I have handled endless relocation-related administrative steps; found a place to live; started a new professional…

Le village d’Auteuil, a historic village inside Paris Life was peaceful in the old commune of Auteuil west of Paris, until Baron Haussmann and his employer Napoleon III decided to overhaul the French capital and turn it into one of Europe’s grandest cities. By 1860, Paris was incorporating Auteuil and several other suburban areas including…

Tired of the crowds and traffic when visiting Paris? Looking for a change of pace and a taste of Parisian life that does not involve lining up at a major museum or landmark? Bienvenue to the 15th arrondissement, one of the largest and most densely populated areas in the French capital. A favorite section of…

Coming home to France: Yes, I can. There are days when I still don’t realize I will soon be France-based again, after 23 years in the United States. There are days when I wonder how challenging it will be to go through the administrative hurdles; how I will react when I have to deal once…

“Monoprix: Not your Everyday Everyday.” In France, if you live in a city of 50,000 people or more, you probably shop chez Monoprix. Born in Rouen in the 1930s after the Great Depression, Monoprix may have been modeled after successful American chainstores like Woolworth’s, it remains a French success story. La marque Monoprix (the Monoprix brand) has changed…

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle! I am so glad you could join me for this French housewarming party, ma pendaison de crémaillère. After weeks of hard work, it is time to celebrate: I am happy to invite you to discover French Girl in Seattle‘s new {virtual} home. I hope you enjoy visiting as much as I…