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The Expat Mom Experience: Paris Fashion Post-Baby

HiP Paris Blog explores the fashion mom bluesParis Fashion Week – Jag

The air in Paris is getting cooler and the metro a little busier with Parisians restored from summer vacation, which signifies la rentrée is in full steam. September marks the unofficial start of a new year where to-do lists are acknowledged again and event calendars fill up. And if you are in a major city, September also marks Fashion Week.

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Posted in Fashion, Parisian Living | No Comments »

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 »

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 »

Les Pinces: A New-England-Style Lobster Joint with a Parisian Twist

HiP Paris Les Pinces lobster spread

Le Marais is considered by many to be the dining capital of Paris with choices abound. Varying from take-out hot dogs on the corner of rue Vieille du Temple to falafels on the iconic rue des Rosiers to up-and-coming hipster hangouts where the design is equally as important as the menu, choosing a place to dine is a culinary experience in itself. One group of French restaurateurs with a penchant for North American travel decided what the chic quartier needed was a splash of something different, and opened a lobster joint.

Steering away from the opulence that could be equated with going out for lobster in Paris and taking a cue from Northeast lobster restaurants they frequented on their travels, friends Damien Borjesson, Remy Bougenaux, Vivien Mathieu, and Louis Kerveillant opened Les Pinces (meaning “claws” in French) in November 2014.

HiP Paris Les Pinces montage

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Inside Steel: Paris’ Premiere Coffee and Cycling Shop

We recently rounded up our favorite new coffee addresses in Paris with Kate Robinson and took a closer look inside Honor. Today we continue with the story behind Steel. -ErinHiP Paris blog. Inside Steel. Street view.

Many delight in discovering just how bicycle-friendly Paris is. With a network of over 1,500 bike rental stations and designated bike lanes protected from traffic, the city is not exactly subtle in encouraging this type of eco-transport. In addition, Paris City Hall recently announced their intentions to make Paris the “world capital of cycling” by rolling out a multi-million euro campaign that will stretch out over the next five years, which will include adding fifty miles of new bike lanes throughout the city. With Paris taking the reigns in two-wheel inter-city travel, Steel, a new boutique café located in the 11th arrondissement makes for a clever addition to the concept shop boom.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel.  Cafe side vs store side.

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Rude or Simply French? Debunking the Cultural Clichés

HiP Paris blog, Rude French, Brasserie terrace

What is it about Paris that incites such strong feelings? With the exception of New York, no other city seems to have such an effect on people. Sharing the fact that I live in Paris tends to invite strong opinions, ranging from those who have spent a considerable amount of time in France’s capital to those who have never set foot on French soil, offering their impression on what Paris is, or specifically what the French are like.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 18 Comments »

Inside Honor: A Closer Look at One of Our Favorite New Paris Coffee Shops

We recently rounded up our favorite new coffee addresses in Paris with Kate Robinson, but just had to find out more. Here’s the story behind Honor. -Erin

Honor Café: Our Favorite New Paris Coffee Shops

The truism that Parisian coffee is terrible (and not in the French slang way where terrible actually means good) is slowly becoming a belief of the past. Thanks to the wave of cafés taking the reigns in delivering a premium cup of coffee using only quality beans, the picking, packing, and delivering are all considered in the process of making a proper cup of coffee. Expanding beyond the Cafés Richard variety, coffee in Paris is steadily revolutionizing from burnt-tasting to burgeoning.

Honor Café: Our Favorite New Paris Coffee Shops

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The Perfect French Playlist for Springtime in Paris

Learning French with a Parisienne's favorite French music

Lisa Czarina Michaud

When I’m asked how I learned French quickly as an adult, I tend to slide the credit over to my move to Paris. However, the truth is, my first year in Paris was spent primarily speaking English with other expatriates I crossed paths with, or conversing with newly acquired French friends whose English majorly trumped my fledgling French.

While living in the city certainly expanded my vocabulary, truly improving my French took effort beyond embarrassing myself at parties and studying text books; I immersed myself into French pop culture by way of music.

I’ve compiled an edit of my favorite French songs that helped me make sense of this gorgeous language, and had me tapping my feet at the same time. I invite you to bop along with the selection, which I assure you will be a fabulous accoutrement to the burgeoning spring season.

Learning French with a Parisienne's favorite French music

Rebecca Plotnick

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Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

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 »

Ici-même + Gallerie Graphem: Wine Meets Art in Paris’ 12th Arrondissement

Ici Meme Counter

What happens when two fine arts graduates of the prestigious École du Louvre team up with a French wine expert? A cadre made in French heaven: a wine shop art gallery hybrid for enthusiasts who like their Sancerre with a side of up-and-coming art. Ici-même + Gallerie Graphem, located steps away from the manicured gardens of the Promenade Plantée, finds itself a home in this bohème corner of the 12th arrondissement.

Ici Meme, Tables

Art directors Fabienne Lafaye and Claire Aimonier-Davat, who started their careers in fine art galleries throughout Paris, conceptualized the adjoining Gallerie Graphem. Through their experience in the art world, they have been able to cultivate relationships with artists from all over Europe who have been invited to display their work at exhibitions booked through 2015. During their residency, artists are invited to bond the two spaces with a light sketch trailing from the gallery into the wine shop.

Ici Meme, Montage Interior

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Posted in Arts, Restaurant Reviews, Wine | No Comments »