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.

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…

Next best thing to being in Paris? Watching movies set in Paris. Reading books about Paris. Listening to other people’s stories about Paris. Or, if all else fails, listening to favorite French songs about Paris on Youtube. This list is not exhaustive. There are many contenders! The City of Light has inspired artists depuis toujours (forever.)…

French Girl in Seattle: The beginnings Happy Birthday, French Girl in Seattle! You have just turned 7. You were born in Paris, during a very cold winter when snow fell – and stuck – in the French capital’s streets, making sightseeing challenging and time spent indoors irresistible. You started as a blog meant to help…

When this former Parisian, now a tourist, visits the French capital, there is little pressure to hit landmarks, museums, or famous parks. It is all about taking a family stroll downtown, and getting reacquainted with my parents and my brother’s family while savoring favorite locations. Paris, always a willing partner and a generous host, provides the…

French markets: They exist in most towns and cities all over the country, and within cities, in major neighborhoods where merchants gather at least once or twice a week. They can be outdoor (le Marché Saleya in Nice,) or indoor, in old buildings often referred to as les Halles, like the lively Marché des Carmes in…