Quotes

Apr 15, 2019

Adieu Notre Dame, Flames and Tears: Brique Cendrée

THE STORY:  

When we first moved to Paris, Pippa was just six years old. Every time we passed by and pointed out Notre Dame to her, she corrected us: "Not Notre Dame, Ma Dame." Meaning "Not Our Lady, My Lady." And that is how she, and I, and all of our family still feel about Notre Dame de Paris. Yes, I know it belongs to the world, to France, to Paris, to the Catholics, but also -- specifically and personally -- to us and our family. It was the playground where our kids grew up. Gigi's handprint is still on the tree just outside the church, a remnant left from a day of finger painting in the garden about seven years ago. Notre Dame was the backdrop to our Parisian lives.

Feb 27, 2019

La Vie est Belle: Petit Breton

THE STORY: 

Life is beautiful or, as they say in French, "la vie est belle." In the case of this tiny river named "La Vie" ("Life") in the Vendée, it's quite literally true. La Vie is beautiful. And even though it's a tiny river in a tiny town, it packs a big wallop of fun in the form of the inflatable water park, something that France and Europe has embraced.

Feb 13, 2019

Those Three Little Words: Biquette de Vendée

THE STORY:

Though I have hundreds of thousands of photos, and I seem to have lost the ability to keep up with my careful cataloguing system a couple years ago, it only took me a few minutes to find a photo of me smooching one of my kids. You can see it happens so frequently, Pippa looks a little bored ("Yup, my mom loves me. Ho-hum."). I have warned the girls that it's one of my life's missions to kiss each and every freckle on their faces. That ensures me infinite kisses.


Jan 30, 2019

Radishes and Butter: Baba Périgourdin

THE STORY:

If you're French, you will not even be able to understand why I'm writing about radishes and butter; its a pairing as common as cheese and bread, coffee and cream, croissants and jam. For the Americans, it's like peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers, nachos and salsa. In other words, they just go together.

Jan 16, 2019

Those Roamin' Romans: Lingot de Gâtine

THE STORY: 

And speaking of megalithic stones (having recently written about them in a post about our trip to Malta)... One day while visiting my friend's house in the tiny town of Apremont, I leave the house with my camera to see what I find. What I find is a very well-educated history buff of a French gardener who takes it upon himself to send me on a  walk to a local Roman megalith.


Jan 2, 2019

The Rainbowfication of the Marais: Tomme au Génépy

THE STORY:

You may know of the Jewish history of the Marais, especially prevalent on the Rue des Rosiers (end 19th, beginning 20th century). You may know of the history of the Marais as a place for nobility (13th-16th century, and especially 17th century) or artists (latter 20th century). And while you still have people who are rich, artsy, and Jewish living in the Marais (and sometimes all three), there's no mistaking one of the newest and biggest identity markers in the Marais nowadays, thanks to the quick and complete rainbowfication of the neighborhood: it's been the gay neighborhood of Paris -- the LGBQT center since the 1980s.

Dec 19, 2018

Tanks for Nothing: Gabiétou

THE STORY:

I'm not going to tell you the news any better than the major news outlets can, but I can just tell you  the stories from my friends in France. The mood is, as you can imagine, bleak. It's not been helped by the fact that the weather the past couple weeks in Paris (and France in general) has also been bleak -- dark, cloudy, rainy, cold. Add to that cars burning in the streets, protesters building barricades, riots, injuries, looting, graffiti, a center-city lockdown, and now a terrorist shooting in Strasbourg on top of it all, and you'll understand my Parisian friends' gloominess. The photos of tanks on Paris city streets are, simply, surreal.

 
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