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French Countryside Living: Finding Inspiration From French Women

HiP Paris Blog explores countryside womenWilliam Sun

When I moved from Paris to the French countryside two years ago, I knew I would miss things from the city- I just didn’t know exactly what those things would be. I was certain that country life would be enriching and come with added benefits; more space, a slower pace of life, fresh air, a nightly view of the starry sky, but I had no way of knowing that I would miss so much about my city life.

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Posted in Green | 1 Comment »

Demain: Hope, World Change & How We Can All Make a Difference

Demain, The Film by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent

I wrote this post in October, before November 8, before the world turned upside-down for the seemingly umpteenth time since 2016 began. It seems even more apropos now.

As someone who calls two continents home, I have watched anxiously in worry and fear as places close to my heart have become increasingly polarized by divisive politics. Things I never thought possible even five years ago have happened, and continue to happen. At times, I feel overwhelmed with despair. How did we get here? Is there even a way out of this mess?

Now, more than ever, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that there is hope in the midst of chaos. It’s easy to forget because voices raised in fear and hate tend to drown out those around them. But we need to remind ourselves that quietly, all over the world, there are men and women who get up every day and continue to fight the good fight. They are the everyday warriors and the more we share their stories, the more power we give them. And perhaps, through sharing their stories and showing what is possible, we can find the strength and courage we need to effect change too. – Darlene

“There are solutions. And if we give it everything we’ve got, if we all join our forces and hearts, we can all start to change the world. Demain.”

Demain, The Film by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent

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Posted in Reader Tips & Reviews | No Comments »

An Interview with Kristen Beddard, Author of Bonjour Kale

Chatting with Kristen Beddard, Auther of Bonjour Kale and Founder of The Kale Project

When Kristen Beddard moved to Paris five years ago, it wasn’t to fulfill a childhood dream of living in the French capital, or with the hopes of falling in love in the land of éclairs and socially acceptable daytime drinking. It wasn’t because her career, which was beginning to take off at a New York advertising agency, had brought her there, and it wasn’t because she had decided to explore Europe as some recent college graduates often do. Kristen’s Paris story doesn’t start as intentionally as any of those scenarios; it starts with the somewhat unexpected transfer of her husband to a city she barely knew with a language she didn’t speak.

While Kristen’s story begins with struggles – learning enough French to go grocery shopping, making new friends after leaving perfectly good ones behind, struggling to find a job as a foreigner in a new city – what she did with her time in Paris is truly a story of success. After several frustrating attempts – and failures – to find kale in Paris markets and supermarchés Kristen launched The Kale Project, a blog that documented her endeavors to find kale in her new home, and her subsequent quest to reintroduce the forgotten vegetable to the French. Five years later, The Kale Project has thousands of supporters and has also been featured in The New York Times. But the true testament to Kristen’s hard work is that kale can now commonly be found at markets and health food stores in Paris and the rest of France. Bonjour Kale, Kristen’s memoir of Paris, love, and recipes, tells her story of finding a home in Paris, sharing her love for her favorite leafy green, and all the surprises that the life of an expat brings.

Chatting with Kristen Beddard, Auther of Bonjour Kale and Founder of The Kale Project

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Posted in Food, Green, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Composting in Paris II: Kitchen Compost Buckets & Worms on the Balcony

Composting in Paris

CAFNR

Despite the growing number of community composting systems in Paris, many city dwellers find themselves far from an urban garden or apartment courtyard equipped with composting facilities to welcome their green waste. In response to an absence of composting options, industrious and eco-minded Parisians have taken it upon themselves to find ways to compost at home.

Parisian apartments are not known for their extensive floor plans or outdoor spaces – I’ve never had a kitchen that I couldn’t cross in two long strides and was lucky enough to have a balcony in two out of my seven apartments in the city – but where there’s a will there’s a way, and it turns out that city composting is possible even in the smallest of urban apartments.

Composting in Paris

Ali Catterall

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Posted in Green, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Composting in Paris: Neighborhood Gardens & Community Efforts

Composting in Paris: Community Gardens and Neighborhood Compost Bins

szczel

Once you start composting, you can’t go back. Maybe it’s the immediate difference you see in the amount of waste you throw away each day, or the excitement of seeing food turn into rich and healthy soil, or the fact that composting is a simple way we can nourish the earth that nourishes us.

I live in the countryside now, and when I adopted a brood of chickens from a friend who was moving into an apartment, the only caveat was that she be able to stop by whenever she wanted to visit the chickens and feed them her food scraps. “I just can’t throw food away,” she explained, and I completely understand. Before I moved to the Loire Valley, I had already become a composting convert.

Composting in Paris: Community Gardens and Neighborhood Compost Bins

Compost à Paris

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Posted in Green, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

Paris’ First All Bulk Organic Supermarket Pop-up: BioCoop21

HiP Paris blog. BioCoop 21, Paris' first bag-free organic bulk shop. So many organic, fresh options!

BioCoop, a French organic grocery chain, has opened BioCoop21: Paris’ first all bulk, organic pop-up shop with over 250 options to buy 100% en vrac. The aroma of ripe fruit welcomes customers who come to fill up on groceries at this pocket-sized shop in Paris’ 10ème arrondissement. Small paper bags or durable glass containers can be purchased for one’s dry goods, which include teas, coffees, grains, and legumes.  Ideally, clients will bring their own containers, cloth, and paper bags for their bulk shopping needs.

 

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Posted in Green, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Community Gardening: Creating a Greener, Eco-Friendly, Biodiverse Paris

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

Though you might not expect it, Paris – with its boulevards lined with grey Hausmann-style buildings and its meticulously cultivated and pruned city gardens – is home to over 150 independent community gardens. From transformed abandoned lots to reclaimed city property, these urban gardens of all sizes can be found throughout Paris, welcoming wildlife and creating biodiversity within the city.

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Isabel Miller-Bottome

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The Parisian’s Paris: Fabulous Dining Around Nation

The Parisian's Paris: Best Restaurants, Boutiques, and Bistros around Nation

Le Dalou

Do you remember the film 2 Days in Paris? I imagine if you’re reading this—the Francophile that you are—you are familiar with this movie. The scene in which French actress Julie Delpy narrates all of the arrondissements in Paris she had lived in struck me as grand, not realizing that five years after seeing the film I would be sharing this very narration.

The Parisian's Paris: Best Restaurants, Boutiques, and Bistros around Nation

Le Picotin

In the five years I have lived in Paris, I’ve lived in the 15th, the 3rd, the 4th, Oberkampf (twice), stayed in the 12th and the 13th, and even had a stint in Vincennes before settling down in Nation (also the 12th).  When my husband introduced the idea of checking out this residential enclave, especially after having resided in the more popular and bohemian areas, I couldn’t help but wonder if we were still going to be within Paris city limits and if my friendships were going to become long distance.

The Parisian's Paris: Best Restaurants, Boutiques, and Bistros around Nation

Le Picotin

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Posted in Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 3 Comments »

Le Super Petit Marché: A Retro Grocer Selling Artisanal & Local Produce in Paris’ 18ème

Le Super Petit Marche A Retro Grocery Store in Paris 18eme

When Martine Boutin left corporate life in Paris’ La Défense business district to become her own boss, she first considered opening a dating agency or a cheese restaurant. Instead, she opted to open a retro-style grocery shop near the mairie of the 18th arrondissement, to keep the neighborhood stocked with products that are often only available at farm shops in the countryside.

Le Super Petit Marche A Retro Grocery Store in Paris 18eme

Martine, the granddaughter of farmers, grew up in a small country village of 700 in the department of Vendée, between the Atlantic Coast towns of Nantes and La Rochelle, so turning to farm products was an obvious step for her.

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Celebrating Local and Seasonal at La Récolte, Paris’ New Sustainable Food Shop

La Recolte Paris

In the two years that led up to La Récolte‘s opening in summer of 2014, owner Mathieu Mulliez tirelessly explored France visiting independent producers. His goal was simple: find dedicated artisans practicing sustainable agriculture and bring their fresh, seasonal products to Parisians. The concept may seem simple, but it is shockingly difficult to find shops like La Récolte in Paris.

La Recolte Paris

Bringing together quality products from France (and sometimes neighboring countries) as well as maintaining opening hours that correspond to busy city dwellers’ work schedules is a rare combination in Paris. Mathieu, who has worked his fair share of 9-5 jobs and has a love of cooking with quality ingredients, decided to meet this demand head on and create a shop that could welcome customers who are on their way home from work or looking for a quick, healthy lunch.

Bento Italian and Noisette Chocolat

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Posted in Food, Green, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »