Archive for January, 2009

An Old-Fashioned Pig Slaughter

Each year my French in-laws buy a pig from the farm next door and help slaughter and butcher it. We ate last year’s pig for months, every time we visited we would walk away with a bag of meat. So I decided to go this weekend. For a week I have been professing my noble […]

The Nanny Diary

The new nanny started last week and I don’t think our association will make it to the end of next week. So once again, I’m nanny hunting. DO NOT APPLY IF YOU PLAN ON DOING THE FOLLOWING: -Asking for August vacation dates on your first day at work (in January). -Asking for a salary advance on your […]

Trekking to the 15th for Afaria

  Afaria, a Basque restaurant, draws a smart crowd who find it well worth a metro ride and a long walk right down to the edge of the residential 15e arrondissement. Booking is essential, especially if you want to eat at the communal Tapas table to share a bite-sized menu over a glass of sherry […]

Lonely Lady

The sight of a closed down restaurant should not be surprise in these economic conditions, but the striking element of the Mirabelle in the Rue Taitbout (75009) is what has been left behind – the poignant 1960s style block lettering and decaying facade. This is an establishment which seems rather to have been a survivor […]

Is That You, Spring?

Even though this morning was 28 °F and I am still wearing tights under my jeans every day, I am beginning to sense the signs of spring. The days are gradually growing longer again. Where in December it was dark by four-thirty, these days we have a full hour more of “sunlight.” Of course I […]

Why I Struck

Between 65,000 and 300,000 people took to the streets yesterday in Paris, and I was one of them. My first manifestation! A real rite of passage. (I’ve only ever mocked from the sidelines, as you might recall.)  Some were there to protest the way the government has handled the economic crisis.  Some were there because they’re up for any […]

A Striking Scene

There were several big demonstrations in France yesterday and the largest one, as always, took place in Paris. It ended up at the Opera house where I took this photo. I thought it was pretty funny to take an anti-capitalist poster in front of two shiny adverts for Rolex and Commerzbank in the background! FYI, the sign […]

Backstage at La Comédie Française

Yesterday, I had the incredible luck to go on a backstage tour at the venerable Comédie Française, the theater company that’s been putting on shows since 1680 and working out of its current quarters from just after the French Revolution. Beth Thompson, an American woman, is the relatively new head of the hair and makeup […]


It’s not that the French even necessarily cook better than Americans. It’s that there are better things to eat here. In fact, I think American chefs are rather masterful in that they can actually cook so well under extremely challenging culinary circumstances. A case in point is my lunch today. I had forgotten all about […]

Ruminating on the Strike

Our French friends and colleagues take strikes as a fact of life. They’re not really annoyed by it, although in general it seems that the tolerance for striking is diminishing in France. I always have found it a rather irritating way of negotiating. I understand that it has been a very powerfull weapon in France, […]

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