The French are crazy about Christmas. It was sometime after Halloween that I gradually began to see a sprig of holly here and there. My cousin, an ex-pat married to a Frenchman, hypothesizes that the Christmas Craze occurs because they have no Thanksgiving, and, therefore, nothing else in between to look forward to.
Now that it’s just a few days away, the entire city feels like it’s celebrating. The winding streets of the Latin Quarter are lit up with twinkly lights, the windows of the department stores have been transformed into lavish, glittery displays, and on just about every corner you’ll get a whiff of a hearty, nutty smell—street vendors roasting chestnuts. And the food. Oh my God. The food. I spent about a half-hour browsing the new Christmas section in my grocery store, fingering packages of foie gras, caviar, and pâté. Marzipan shaped like cherries. Pale green pistachio macaroons. Sugary marrons glacés.
Being a Jew, I’ve never really celebrated Christmas, but the idea is highly appealing to me. It feels warm and festive, and more about love and the feeling of being home. It was because of this that I was initially terrified of Christmas’ arrival—a painful reminder that I’m not exactly in my dream life yet. To follow Mindy Kaling’s relatable “Scripting a Fantasy of a Family” essay that ran in the Sunday Times, my ideal holiday season would look something like this …
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Like they say, two steps forward, one step back.
This week has been a lesson in relationship building. What I’ve learned: you do need to get out of your comfort zone, but sometimes you have to cut your losses and stay put.
It seemed like the fates had answered my prayers for some more social intrigue when last week an email landed in my inbox. An admirer! A French one! With XY chromosomes! Keep reading »
In a country that adores cheese and foie gras, vegans in France are a joke in the same way that Lindsay Lohan thinks she’s a designer. So you’d think the French wouldn’t give a damn about politically correct food. However, tensions have risen lately in Paris over the use of horse meat in contemporary cuisine. Last week, the trendy Le Fooding event went down, this year’s theme being “Les Incorrects,” meaning meals filled with indulgent and controversial ingredients. One dish focused on horse meat, and in response, an anti-horse meat group (only term we could think of for them) ramped up its presence in the city with campaign buses and in-your-face subway advertisements. Brigitte Bardot‘s still-existing animal rights foundation has apparently been combating the issue as well.
So now you have something to throw in the face of the next snobby Frog who condemns American food culture. “Hey, Americans might be obese … but at least we didn’t get fat by eating horses.” [Je Ne Mange Pas De Cheval] Keep reading »
Look, I don’t know anything about the singer in this video, JP Nataf, although I understand what the title means — “Come Tell Me.” But I do
know that the little white blob-thing that stars in it is extremely cute
. As for the lyrics, perhaps our Leo
will tell us what the heck this dude is crooning about? [Et Si
] Keep reading »
“So what’s the vibe of this place? Fashiony? What are you wearing?” I texted my new friend Sarah on Friday night.
We were about to embark on our third official friend date, which safety moved us from “acquaintances” to “girlfriends.” When I’d admitted earlier that week in an email that I’d hardly left the house due to my self-imposed, post-dump pity party, Sarah had thankfully taken the reins and made plans for us to meet up at the Experimental Cocktail Club. I’d read about this uber hip bar on Paris blogs, but hadn’t been to any comparable venues, so I had no idea what to wear. I was hoping it would be a bit fancy—I was getting sick of settling for skinny jeans and boots for every cheap, boho bar most of my younger friends would ask me to join them in. (Sarah’s in her 30s, so she’s thankfully more inclined to meet up for a nice dinner or “grown-up” drink.) But now that I seemed to have the pick of my wardrobe, I felt even more confused by choice, and it looked as if my closet had vomited all over my studio apartment. Keep reading »
This has been a real week de merde and I’m currently bumming out big time. It was great having my sister here for Thanksgiving (or le Sanks-geev-ing-uh as the French like to say). We spent the past few days on a veritable Parisian binge—drinking bordeaux, shelling out at fancy restaurants, and buying typically Parisian clothing. (I must literally be a walking cliché thanks to my growing wardrobe of striped shirts, blouses with bows, and pleated skirts). Keep reading »
I keep forgetting that the French don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. When it occurred to me last week that the holiday was around the corner, I wasn’t sure what made me more depressed: A) Celebrating in Paris with some bastardization of the meal—I picture foie gras stuffing or turkey cassoulet; B) Not being with my family; or C) Leaving Paris to be with my family. I’d have to go with C … it’s been nearly three months since I arrived, but I only just feel like I’m settling, and the thought of going back to the U.S. right now leaves me scared that it would somehow break the magic of everything.
Lucky for me, I got the perfect compromise. My sister and her husband decided last minute to come over for a visit, so I’m pumped to spend the week with them not eating turkey, and gorging myself instead on gooey cheeses, crêpes, and butter-infused dishes (as if that’s any change from my diet now). The only issue—American Boy is expecting to meet them. Uh, what? Keep reading »
Here’s a movie poster for the French film “La Domination Masculine.” The title should give you a hint as to what this knitter is creating … see the full (NSFW-ish) image after the jump! Keep reading »
“So … I’ve kind of been hanging out with American Boy,” I confessed hesitantly on the phone to my friend, S. I held my breath, a bit worried about what she would say. S and I went to high school together (she is, in fact, my only remaining friend from high school), and she now lives in Paris. It was through S that I met American Boy in the first place—they’ve been friends for a while, and I met him at a group outing in a bar back in September. I wasn’t sure how S would feel about me tumbling into bed with one of her good friends. Not that she would be disappointed, necessarily, but that she’d maybe feel awkward about the whole scenario. I should have guessed that it was just me who felt awkward about the whole scenario. Keep reading »