Search Results for “{un}glamorous paris”

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Chambre de Bonne

Nothing irks me more than when people say I live a charmed life because I live in Paris. Really, there’s a lot of unglamorousness behind the scenes, particularly when it comes to living in Paris apartments. My life is definitely not like you see in the movies! This month marks 7 years I’ve called Paris home since moving here for grad school in 2009. In June I moved into my first “real” Paris apartment. For the first time in 7 years I have my own mailbox and can check my... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Finding an Apartment, part deux

The truth about Paris: it’s all a façade. Here’s why.   Over the past few weeks I’ve started looking for a new apartment in Paris. At first it’s a really exciting task, but quickly becomes daunting and painful, and just plain depressing. For instance, there are plenty of unexpected surprises along the way. You waste your time visiting places where when you sit on the toilet your feet are in the shower, or that “courtyard view” that was advertised is in fact a white wall that is 3 meters away... Read The Rest →

{Un}glamorous Paris: Bureaucracy

I have a confession: I no longer can carry on a conversation without bringing up the trials and tribulations of my French paperwork. No matter who I talk to – someone I’ve never met, the lifeguards at the swimming pool, my friends, somehow I manage to drop it into a sentence. I try to restrain myself, but inevitably, it’s tied to everything I do, and interconnected, so more comes out. You should see the pain on the faces on the receiving end, as they start to feel my pain. Ever... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Visitors

If you don’t like being a hostess, you shouldn’t move to Paris. More than anywhere in the world, I’d venture to guess that Paris is the #1 place people will go out of the way to visit you (or even those people you don’t really remember – but who are suddenly your new best friends – will find a way). I’ve stopped counting how many visitors I’ve had pass through Paris in my various stints here. However, I can tell you that in 2003/4 when I lived here, during the... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Les Toilettes

Week after week through my {Un}Glamorous Paris series, I think I’ve come up with the most unglamorous side of Paris. But then I remembered: les toilettes. Starting close to home is the best way to set the stage here. The older I get, not only do my apartments get smaller, but the toilet is no larger part of my actual living space. Yes, while “normal” people typically have to go down the hall to use the bathroom in their own homes, I do the same. I just share it with... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: La Piscine

If you want to see the French at their most unglamorous, all one needs to do is take a trip to the local piscine (swimming pool). Speedos and swim caps required – need I say more? The pool quickly becomes the most untraditional (and most affordable) fashion show in Paris showcasing unflattering speedos, some with tiger or plaid patterns, and other baggy ones that flow in the water like the plastic shopping bag in American Beauty. Even many women seem to struggle with the concept that swim suits are not... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Working in France

Let’s start with the perks of working in France, because let’s face it, it just goes downhill from there. 1) You live and work in France! 2) Who wouldn’t love a 35 hour work week (down from the US standard of 40). If you do the math, that’s an extra 260 hours of your life a year to actually get something done. Pas mal! But really, I think it’s 3) the 5-9 weeks of vacation a year that takes the cake. And unlike Americans who pretend to take vacation and... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Finding an Apartment

Finding an apartment in Paris is like trying to guess the digi-code to my front door. You can have a million tries but you still may never get it right. If you don’t learn anything else from this series, the best lesson you can take is to lower your expectations (or rather have none at all), so things can only go up from there. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for major disappointment. The first, and most important thing to understand is that apartments in Paris are SMALL. My entire sense... Read The Rest →

{Un}Glamorous Paris: Paperwork

Social media does a lot of things. One of the things it does best is let you construct an image that you wish to project (don’t you love the view from my window above?). For myself, that tends to mean sharing the good stuff. Of course, I love the bad stuff when it makes for a good story. Lately I’ve been getting more emails asking me how they can move to Paris and seeing folks on Twitter planning their great move. Meanwhile, my friends and I debate daily if, and... Read The Rest →

First Paris Apartment

Over the weekend the latest group of students attending the American University of Paris arrived in town. Hard to believe that was me three years ago. Also hard to believe that since first arriving here I’ve only graduated 2m2 – from 10m2 (110sf) to 12m2 (129sf). My friends here have long bonded over our small living, and I have to say it’s one of the most empowering exercises to have to go through (especially when your age is closer to 30 than to 20). I remember having that naïve dream... Read The Rest →

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