My first week in Paris is coming to a close, and, generally, I’m feeling super positive about things. My apartment could not be more perfect. It’s incredible teeny, but has two windows overlooking the Seine (eeee!), and at night the tourist boats pass by, illuminating the entire room for a few seconds with their lights. (See some pics here!) I spent the first two days alone, running all over town to take care of paperwork and get things for the house. I had been feeling pretty lonely up until last night when I went out with a mutual friend, whom I’d never met before, to have Vietnamese food and see some French pop bands at a grungy-yet-hip underground club in Belleville. There were many, many cute boys there who definitely have improved style since the last time I was here four years ago. Now, instead of wide-leg jeans and ribbed turtlenecks, they’re sporting leather jackets, thick-rimmed glasses, and the type of sweaters you know you’d steal if you were dating. It goes without saying that I will be frequenting this place a lot. Keep reading »
Most summer vacations for teenage girls involve getting a job at the local Dairy Queen or tempting skin cancer at the beach. But in France, hundreds of girls disappear each summer when they are sent abroad and forced into marriages with men they’ve never met. Most of the victims are Muslim and of Asian, African, or Middle Eastern descent, so the government has generally considered it a cultural or religious issue. But since other European countries like England have governmental units that track down women who are forced into marriages in their countries of origin, we’re happy that France is just starting to keep up with the times. The French school system is working to set up an alert system for these girls who never return to school in the fall and last year they published a guide to help officials suss out forced marriages. The government is even making efforts to protect girls who want to annul their marriages. [Reuters] Keep reading »
I can’t believe I leave for Paris tomorrow. I haven’t slept in two nights. I’m so wired. The past week has been a complete whirlwind. Between packing, last-minute doctor appointments, and taking care of arrival details, I’ve also been organizing tons of goodbyes. I’ve lived in New York City for most of my life (I was born here and grew up in Manhattan), so I didn’t think I’d feel sentimental about leaving this city that feels so normal. And normalness, as you may know, is my pet peeve these days. But all of a sudden, I do feel a pang of sadness, not so much for my surroundings, but for the people in them. My whole family is here, and we’re very close. My biggest fear is that I’ll come back from Paris a year later to find everyone’s changed. Who knows—by the time I return, Big Sister could have a baby, or my parents could suddenly be old. Keep reading »
Nothing spells quarter-life crisis more than turning your world upside down to move to France without much thought as to how it will affect your career, happiness, relationships, or bank account.
I am about to turn 24 in a few days. And a few days after that, I’m packing up my life into two suitcases (somehow) and moving to Paris for a year. While I don’t quite fit into the mid-twenties bracket when the quarter-life crisis traditionally sets in, I knew about six months ago that it was beginning to happen.
Two years out of college, the regularity of my life had become puzzling. On the one hand, I realized how I was settling in with the idea of being a “grown-up.” On the other, the lack of transitions was starting to get to me. It’s ironic how you spend the first 22 years (if not more) of your life in transition with markers of beginnings and ends. Change, to me, was a comforting constant.
During this two-year period, I began dreaming of Paris. I’d spent my junior year abroad there. It wasn’t the most fantastic year of my life, and I even left the city thinking I’d never be able to live there again, but, yeah, I changed. A lot. Keep reading »
Forget the crotch shot … what’s up with those rad shoes? [Ladiesroom.fr] Keep reading »
Jack, why are you lying on the sidewalk? I understand that you are on vacation in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, and I am sure you are feeling very relaxed, indeed, and I hear that the mechanics were working on your boat, but a public nap? Well, you are Jack Nicholson. So, I guess that means you can do whatever you want. [Splash News, 8/11/09] Keep reading »
Ahh, oui, gay Pareeee, citeee of l’amour where we Parisiens smoke les cigarettes and drink ze wine all day is, how you say? Bohémien?
Maybe not anymore. France, the country once known for indulgence, freedom, and luxury has been doing some legal housecleaning in the past few years that may change its image permanently. What, I cannot smoke here? Non! Picnic with my wine? Non!
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After thinking a lot about that crazy singles map of the US and how all the ladies on the East Coast are screwed, I got back to my navel gazing about what it means to be single. (I have plenty time alone to think about these things.) I moved on from my bubble of self-absorption (played out) and started wondering what it must be like to be single in other countries—not that I’m thinking of fleeing or anything. Is it better in France where fidelity is not a cultural moray? Is it worse in India with the caste system and arranged marriages? And what are those cold singles in Iceland doing to stay warm? Well wonder no more, because Liz Tuccillo (Mrs. “She’s Not That Into You” and former “Sex and the City” writer) is travlling the globe to demystify singlehood in an awesome web series called, “How to be Single.” Um…amazing! After the jump, a few of my fave revelations from single sisters around the world. [Your Tango] Keep reading »
Toward the end of last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed Parliament, stating his position on burqas. He said the face-covering, body-length Muslim veils are an unacceptable symbol of “enslavement,” and that it’s not a religious issue, but simply a “sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women.”
This discussion has resulted in threats from Muslim groups outside of France, but Parliament hasn’t made a decision on the matter just yet. A committee held its first meeting today, and Jean-Francois Cope, the head of the governing conservative party UMP, suggested a two-stage ban of burqas. Meaning there would be “six months to a year of dialogue, explanation, and warnings” before the ban would go into effect. Keep reading »
The French seem to do everything better. They’ve got awesome healthcare, don’t get fat, and have closets full of Chanel. Apparently, they also know how party on the 4th of July—with a city-wide treasure hunt in Paris, called Les Trésors de Paris (the treasures of Paris). The day-long experience leads groups through sets of riddles that take them to destinations that even Paris natives might not know about like secret gardens and historical buildings. Along the way, you get to meet shopkeepers and other participating business owners. If you make it to the secret final location in time, you’re entered into a ballot from which you get the chance to win rad prizes like swank dinners, hotel stays, or special Paris walking tours. The grand prize gains the winner entrée into an annual secret cabaret that’s one of those invite-only events Parisians clamor to get into. Two other awesome things of note: the hunt was organized in part by the city itself (props to the French government), and in part by a company that specializes in making treasure hunts, which might possibly be the raddest job ever. Except of course, working for TheFrisky. [Tresorsdeparis.fr, English translation available by clicking the U.K. flag item at the bottom of the page]
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