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The Expat Mom Experience: To Paris and Back with Bébé

HiP Paris Blog explores the expat mom experienceLisa Czarina Michaud

My family and I got back from our annual summer visit to New York. And if that wasn’t action-packed enough, we threw in an oh-so-out-of-the-way trip to Los Angeles. And as the cliché goes, we need a vacation from our vacation. Sure, it was a good time with memories to go around, but between the jet lag and the door-to-door travel time, which clocks in at about twelve hours, we’re wiped out. Raising a child, whose American roots are just as important as his French ones, pushes us to visit more often than we did when it was just the two of us. It just takes the wind out of us more now than it did then. Quelle surprise?

In our son Georges’ almost two-year life, he has crossed the Atlantic twelve times. And you would think after ten times, mom would have the system down like a pro. But no. Each time, I’m that mom. I’m the mom that scares girls in their early 20s, making me an involuntary PSA for birth control. Why? Because I make it look hard. Dressed in leggings encrusted with applesauce stains, stressed out hair that needs something —a relaxer, maybe? Do they still do that? — And frenzied attempts to keep my son off the moving walkway and to not touch the other passengers, I am not exactly the portrait of motherhood made easy.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

August in Paris: What to do When the Parisians Disappear

HiP Paris Blog tells you what to do in Paris when the Parisians disappearNo Entry – Joann Pai

August is always a strange time in Paris. Streets which are usually buzzing with people suddenly take on the deserted appearance of a town in a Western movie; and the queues that normally snake from the most sought-after establishments completely dissipate. The desperate rush to squeeze inside my metro is usually an exercise which resembles the evacuation of the Titanic (except I’m pretty sure the first class passengers had the decency to wear deodorant – which is more than I can say for the armpits you get wedged under on the Line 13). But in August the metro is eerily empty (although while the armpits on the Line 13 are unfortunately remain as sweaty as ever).

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Posted in Cocktails, Events, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

August Events in Paris: Cinema en Plein Air, Rollerdisco and Rock en Seine

HiP Paris Blog rounds up the top events this AugustAfterwork Food/La Villette

The Musée du Quai Branly has teamed up with the Refugee Food Festival for a garden dinner party on August 3. Chef Mohammad Elkhaldy will be sharing his French-inspired Syrian cuisine over three seatings, at 7pm, 7:45pm, and 8:30pm. Entry is free, but space is limited.

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Le Cairn: Gluten Free Dining, Naturopathy and Beyond in Paris’ 7th Arrondissement

HiP Paris visits Le Cairn - naturopathy and coffee shop

“Coffee. It’s time to chill.” If you’re fortunate enough to have stumbled upon Le Cairn, a charming coffee café and naturopathy—tucked between Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, on Rue Dupont des Losges in the 7th arrondissement—you’ll hear soothing, indie soft rock on loop harmonizing alongside the comforting hum of the espresso machine. Welcome to the barista / wellness hideaway where you’ll truly feel at home.

Enter this wellness wonderland, and nestle into the rustic, yet light-and-airy interior for a fluffy gluten-free Madeline or wheat-free, cake-like quiche. Organic, local products comprise the boutique eatery. Whether you match your healthful dish with the jus du jour or an artfully crafted soy latté, everything in house rotates daily, and is fashioned 100% sans gluten: rich, dark chocolate-chunk-laced muffins, melt-in-your-mouth carrot cake, artisanal yogurt, seasonal salads, cakes, and soup (in the winter) make up the café-style menu.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

A Socially Responsible Wine Shop in Paris: Les Petits Domaines

HiP Paris Blog visits Les Petits Domaines - a wine shop for women

Isabelle Larenaudie of Les Petits Domaines is a true woman of wine—moreover, she loves supporting other passionate females shifting the historically male-dominated realm of fine wine and spirits. But you don’t have to be a woman to appreciate the in-house selection or hospitality here.

An ambassador for women who make wine and also for small, ethical producers, Isabelle is eager to educate you on socially responsible vignerons from France’s treasured wine regions.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Wine | 1 Comment »

Ground Control: A New Home Near Gare De Lyon, Great Eats, and a Community Garden

HiP Paris Blog reports on Ground Control's new address

Ground Control, the 18th arrondissement’s beloved ephemeral summer hangout spot, has changed its zip code. After two years in its original location at a former railway warehouse, the pop-up has moved into a former post office space in the 12th, near the Gare de Lyon.

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Posted in Events, Food, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

The Expat Mom Experience: Reconsidering Paris

HiP Paris Blog explores being an expat mom in Paris.Lisa Czarina Michaud

I came to Paris with a three-month plan: go, see… and take it from there. Lacking any foundation like the security of a job, contacts, a suitable apartment or having much money, this plan had all the makings of a disaster. But I had to go. At twenty-eight years old I had yet to experience The Great Paris you read about in legacy literature and hear mused about in film dialogue. I wanted to experience the city as a local and showed up on Paris’s doorstep naïve and hopeful. The three-month trial swelled into several years where Paris built me up and broke me back down, enchanted and embarrassed me, and led to the quietude of marriage to the now constant movement of motherhood. Paris has given me nine lives. Having been a tourist, a wanderer, an outcast, a local, an expat wife, and now, an expat mom, these layered experiences ironed out the jagged edges of living abroad. Good thing, because if being an expat felt like the ultimate exploration into the unknown, the birth of our son Georges made me discover Paris once again, this time through the eyes of a mother.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

July Events in Paris: Afropunk, Mark Shaw, the Cuban National Ballet, and More

HiP Paris Blog lists what's on in Paris this JulyLes Heures Heureuses

We’re kicking off summer with the return of Les Heures Heureuses from July 5 – 7. The culinary concept remains the same – to offer Parisians gourmet apéro snacks for 2 euros at restaurants around the city but this year, for its 6th edition, the event has grown to 17 foodie walks with more than 300 addresses will partake. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about how to sign-up.

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

The French and Their Cigarettes: The Growing Anti-Smoking Movement in France

Smoking in ParisGH Cheng

I first learned about the complex relationship between the French and their cigarettes as an English assistant in a high school in the French countryside. The staff was split on the question of whether or not smoking should be banned in the teachers’ lounge, where profs had been enjoying cigarettes for as long as the school had existed.

As a young American living in France for the first time, I was adjusting to several cultural changes. Seeing teachers pass bottles of red wine between them during lunch break in the cafeteria (something students did themselves until alcohol in school cafeterias was banned about 60 years ago) was one example of such differences. The smoking in the teachers’ lounge debate was the next one to add to the list.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »

French Chic: Decoding the Secrets of Paris Fashion

French Chic, fervent-adepte-de-la-mode, Flickr 16

French chic.

Those two simple words have taken on such mythical proportions that they’re practically their own literary genre. Take a stroll through any big bookshop and you’ll inevitably come across a how-to section devoted entirely to helping us hopelessly style-challenged North Americans attain the elusive je ne sais quoi that our sisters across the pond seem to possess by birthright.

French Chic, fervent-adepte-de-la-mode, Flickr 12

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Posted in Fashion, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »