Over the last few weeks, between visitors, I started exploring some new programs and tools that seem like they might be useful professionally. It's been a lot of fun to learn something that's not French! Since I didn't have an actual project to work on, I tasked myself with using Esri's Story Maps tool to … Continue reading A Day Without Cars
I know you're all anxious for an update on my secret identity - and I promise I'll get to that soon - but the prelude to that update is actually my recent trip to Italy. I know, I know—after having just written about how this fall is jam-packed with visitors, how did I have time … Continue reading A quiet realization
The success of every spy (so I’m told…) depends on the strength of their cover – their “legend.” Without a good one, a spy’s going to get found out before they even make it to Chapter Two. That’s probably not news to you if you’ve read any spy book ever. But here’s what you might … Continue reading Five truths about being a spy and learning French
While Colin's brother was visiting, he mentioned that he wanted to try some macarons. So although Colin and I had to leave him to meet our landlady for a glass of wine (she was passing through Paris, and we'd never met her in person), we gave Ross directions to the nearest Pierre Hermé and told … Continue reading More macarons!
I may have mentioned a time or two before that Paris is very easy to love. Beyond the list of things written about in every guidebook, the city reveals its character in small ways, in the otherwise understated gaps between the glitz and glam. One of the most powerful of these glimpses is the plaza across … Continue reading Responsibility and overcoming indifference
Well, it's officially la rentrée (back-to-school) in Paris! I didn't realize how empty the city had been until all the locals came back—now it's definitely bustling. And between the tourists that haven't left yet and the shops that are just reopening, it seems like everyone is going a little extra crazy these days. Losing our heads, you … Continue reading Losing our heads
France has made international news several times lately for coming up with creative solutions to public problems. Like the Uritrottoir, which made its debut in early spring. I think it's clever, but apparently it's pissing off our neighbors (pun intended). And a theme park in western France is hoping that people will litter less if crows … Continue reading Stray observations
People warned us that Paris would change in the summer. After le 14 juillet, locals would skip out of town for four or five or six weeks of summer vacation, while international tourists would take their places. And shops would close, leaving us to rethink our regular routines. Sure enough, our regular produce market is closed, my … Continue reading Paris in August
Every now and then, some poor lost soul mistakes me for a French person and asks for directions. I take it as the ultimate compliment that they think I look like a person who lives in Paris; the only problem is that they also think I look like a person who understands French. Usually I … Continue reading Directions
There are a few things you absolutely have to eat in Paris—wine and cheese, obviously, but also escargots, crème brulée, and macarons. (And one thing to avoid: the dreaded andouillette.) Colin and I have definitely done our part to support the French economy with our consumption of the first two, but somehow we made it nearly … Continue reading Mmmacarons!