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Another Expat in the City of Light: Finding ‘Home’ in Paris

Impressions from expat's early days in Paris.Letizia Bordoni/John Towner

Editor’s note: We love when writers share their personal experiences of making Paris their home on the blog. The expat experience is full of trials and errors, risks and rewards, and often the payoff is not at all what we expect. As expats, we take what we can get and accept beauty and life lessons whenever and wherever we find them. This post from Marisa Gupta combines the uniqueness of each of our experiences moving to a new place with some universals that come with the adventure that is living abroad.

Moving to Paris after many years as an expat in London, I expected my first few weeks in France to be smooth and uneventful. Paris, and its joie de vivre, had seduced me in ways London had not quite managed. It was nearby and somewhat of an old friend, as I had visited many times. With an elegant apartment lined up for my French partner and me, I was excited to embark upon my new life.

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Rachel’s Restaurant and Bakery Opens Shop in Paris’ North Marais

HiP Paris Blog, Rachels, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Montage 2

A California summer salad with quinoa, a New York deli-style pastrami sandwich, smoked Banka trout on a sesame bagel— these are just a few of the homemade lunch items you’ll find at the newly opened Rachel’s restaurant in the North Marais.

HiP Paris Blog, Rachels, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 5

Parisians might recognize the name from Rachel’s Cakes in Montreuil, a bakery and catering business that Ohio native, Rachel Moeller, started with her friends, Maria and Birke. In a 60m2 apartment crammed with two stoves and an extra refrigerator in the bedroom, they began to supply fresh, made-to-order bagels, apple pies, muffins, burger buns, and their legendary cheesecakes to Paris eateries like Le Bal Café, Le Camion Qui Fume, and The Broken Arm.

HiP Paris Blog, Rachels, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 3

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Americans in Paris


This website, chock-full of interesting cultural tid-bits and recommendations, is like a crash course in life in France. Whether you’re looking to understand how French cell phone contracts work, trying to find American organizations in France, or simply want to figure out why it is the French are obsessed with McDonald’s, this site is brimming with resources for Anglophones in France.

Fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, Provence and Tuscany:

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