I recently handed over the reins of my business to my children so I could retire. Originally hailing from New York City, I moved to Paris to experience something I’ve always dreamed of. From a very young age I took French classes and was fluent by thirteen. I had visited France many times before deciding to move here, each time more fulfilling than the last. My favorite part is probably it being acceptable to drink wine at every meal! Besides the hundreds of bottles of wine available, there are so many other reasons one should retire and move to Paris instead of Florida or other “typical” locations.
As with most typical Americans who come to France, one of my favorite things is the food. There are so many restaurants in Paris and I will probably never run out of options. The chefs here are phenomenal, each adding their own distinct tastes into their food. No matter who is cooking, though, you can always count on the food being rich and delicious. One of my favorite foods I’ve eaten here is coq au vin – wine adds such a great flavor to the chicken and vegetables. Many bistros serve this dish and each is unique in its own rite.
Another key aspect of French culture is the abundance of cafés! At any given time, you can walk down a side street or boulevard and there will be people sitting on patios enjoying each other’s company or reading the paper. They are nearly always open and you can pop in for a pastry or coffee – some even serve bistro dishes like escargot and specialties from other regions besides Île-De-France. There are many famous cafés in Paris – Les Deux Magots is known for having hosted authors, scholars, and artists ranging from Picasso to Hemingway.
On weekends, it’s tempting to travel to these other regions and soak up the change in geography. While the city life in Paris is wonderful and always busy, it’s nice to escape to Normandy and Bretagne for a holiday by the beach without so many tourists. France’s diverse landscapes make it an ideal place to live because there is always something new to do – hiking in Provence, tasting wine in Champagne and Burgundy, or skiing in Rhône-Alpes.
I don’t miss living in the States – I have so much for me here. However, the business I used to run is expanding and my kids need me to help them with documentation. Thanks to the internet, I don’t have to travel and I can form a corporation online in California. Being able to incorporate my company from Paris is a great feeling after so many years of traveling for my business. It’s nice to be able to relax!