Monthly Archives: March 2013

Gardening in Paris


Though the weather might not look it, it is officially spring. All across the city, plants are starting to pop up in gardens and trees are beginning to bud. The perfect way to bring that spring spirit home is by planting your own flowers! Though most of us are not fortunate enough to have a garden to plant bright, colorful flowers in, there are other ways to bring touches of spring plants into your life. You can get creative with potted plants on your balcony or hanging planters on the exterior railings of windows. Or spread the spring cheer throughout your apartment with some indoor plants.

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There are many locations around Paris to pick up any kind of plants you could want. Florist usually sell potted plants, though the selection varies based on the florist and the season. Some offer mostly indoor plants like orchids and fruit trees and others selling pansies and daffodils to plant in larger pots or hanging planters. And for those among us without green thumbs, there are always the beautiful bouquets of flowers for sale. Continue reading

An Expat Life | Harriet Lye – Author, Editor and Entrepreneur


For most people, living in France does not just mean eating croissants and drinking good wine every day. This blog post is a part of our series, An Expat Life, exploring what it is like for an expat to live and work in Paris. Through these profiles of expats who have made their lives here, we will show you the different opportunities that exist in France and the (many) struggles that go along with them.

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When Harriet first came to Paris in 2007 as a student at the American University,  something clicked inside of her.  With the pivotal encouragement from a few professors,  Harriet realized that she wanted to write.  It was in Paris where one of her teachers told her that, in fact she was already a writer (in the sense of this word as a verb, not a noun: she was already writing).  In Paris, her life found a home.  Even though she returned to her hometown, Toronto, Canada to finish school, and later went to New York for an internship at Random House, Harriet felt the tug to continue her life in Paris for a second time.

Harriet is one of those fortunate “my parents happen to be European” expats, and has avoided much of the beloved red tape some of us experience so intimately in France.  Regardless of struggles to “re-establish” life, she has managed to become the creator and editor of her own magazine, Her Royal Majesty as well as finish her first book, which was recently sent to several publishing houses for review.   Her novel has been five years in the making, but the idea, and some of the characters, came to her in one of the writing classes she took during her first year in Paris. “My first story was about an elderly and deranged expatriate male etymologist stalker living near Port Royal – in some ways, he’s just as autobiographical as the twenty-something female characters I write!”

Harriet’s experiences have taught her a lot about the dynamics of integrating into society. “The expatriate community, is somewhat of a double edged sword”, she explains.  “The welcoming embrace of the community is something that can’t be challenged.  It’s there where connections are made and new possibilities arise – friendships are formed. The downside is, in turn the deep involvement in this community can isolate you from the very thing you came to be a part of.  It’s a bit of a catch 22, like many things in Paris.”

It was this very community, however, that propelled her to publish her own magazine, Her Royal Majesty.  Her inspiration came during her first year in Paris, she was working at Shakespeare & Co. and was surrounded by artists from all around the world who were creating and developing things around her.  She wanted to provide a venue for them to express these creations.

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Harriet’s creativity and love of community continues.  In every issue of her magazine, she chooses a theme to convey a certain creative flow, similar to the experience of walking through a gallery.  The launch of each issue is celebrated with a party, the last of which was shared in 7 cities simultaneously! Not only is the magazine an excellent way  to learn about new people and feel even further connected , it’s now a community-driven effort that creates an instant impact.

The idea of moving elsewhere is still a possibility for Harriet.  Although, with the flexibility she has to invest time in writing, the various projects she has her hand in and the rich community that has blossomed around her, Paris is home for now.  Her story is a lovely inspiration of how life is always waiting to be discovered and molded into something we may never have imagined it could be.

 

 

Kristin Merryman | Paris’ Personal Trainer


After our wonderful yoga session a few weeks ago with Meritxell, we have been exploring some of Paris’ best personal fitness specialists and Kristin Merryman, who started InFlow Fitness, is exactly that.

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Kristin offers in home or office personal training that includes Strength Training and Cardio and has added other trainers to her team that offer Pilates and Yoga classes as well. She specializes in private Continue reading

Paris via Denver


They say Denver is reminiscent of Paris in how the Platte River winds through the city, a bit like the Seine runs through Paris.  Although clearly there is no comparison, Denver has charm of it’s own.  If you ever find yourself on that side of the globe, gazing at the majestic Rocky Mountains and a craving for some French cuisine overtakes you, take heart!  We have a list of our favorite, little Francophile addresses to be discovered while in the Mile High City.  From the magical absinthe bar at À Côté  to the fine pastries at Katherine’s, something will surely tickle your French fancy.  Enjoy!

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Brunch in Paris | 3 Greats That Take Reservations


The traditionally American concept of Brunch took Paris by storm a couple of years ago and it seems to be a trend that is sticking around. Parisians are very serious about Le Brunch. Normally served on Sundays (though some places have started to offer Saturday brunch too), a Parisian brunch involves many courses and usually takes a couple leisurely hours. Most places do not take reservations for this weekly affair and as a result you may find yourself waiting in line for a table or being turned away at the door if you do not show up early enough. Happily, if you are like me and don’t like waiting in line anytime but especially when you are hungry, many places have started taking reservations. Here are our 3 picks, from an old favorite to a couple of new places sure to become brunch stand-byes.

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Belmont

The Belmont is a trendy restaurant that opened earlier this year in the Sentier area. The feel is retro and laid back, with the waiters joking around and occasionally dancing along with the old “Soul Train” episodes projected on the wall. A DJ plays music from the balcony of the first floor, mixing a range of songs from the 70s and 80s with some newer ones. Though their menu the rest of the time is very international, their brunch is very French. Priced at a very affordable 20 euros, you get a hot drink, juice, bread and pastries to start off, then continue with a choice of several egg dishes, or a bacon burger or Cesar salad for a more American twist. After brunch, check out their reasonably priced and creative house cocktails. The food is very tasty and the atmosphere is perfect for a brunch outing with a group of friends.

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Foxy Green Smoothie Recipe


Collaboration is the word buzzing around Paris these days.  Jenny and Tara, the lovely and innovative ladies from The Sporting Project, have given us a refreshing display of what that can look like today.  These New York based beauties have moved camp to Paris in order to fuel the flames of this growing concept among local business owners.  Their mission which, “meets fashion, discovers art, shares food and livens culture”,  has come to us most recently in the form of pop-up events.   However, we are happy to say that their permanent location is planned to open this week in the the 11th.  We can’t wait!

To give you a real taste of what this is all about, the girls have been so kind as to share one of their delicious and nutritious smoothie recipes!  Not only that, but we have a second recipe from their latest collaborators, Bob’s Juice Bar!

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The Broken Arm | Creatively Delicious!


The glimpse of springtime weather this week seems to have brought us Parisians out of our winter hibernation. A friend and I hopped on her Vespa and headed over to the upper Marais to check out the newly opened combination coffee shop/concept store The Broken Arm.

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We walked into the light filled coffee shop and sipped down a deliciously beautiful café crème made on their state of the art La Marzocco coffee machine. Their coffee comes from Solberg & Hansen, the Continue reading

Meritxell | The Personalized Yoga Guru


As winter sings it’s final songs, we begin to entertain thoughts of sunshine and wardrobe changes.  Hibernation season can be very anti motivating when it comes to getting exercise and keeping our bodies healthy and limber.  Yoga, in my mind, is a perfect remedy for rusty joints, tight muscles or just  overstressed minds and bodies.

To give you a more intimate, absolutely personalized experience, allow us to introduce to you Meritxell, our private yoga specialist!   This lovely gem of a woman, hails from Barcelona and has called Paris home for 10 years.  Referred to us by a trusted client, who has been a student of Meritxell (pronounced Ma ri chel) for 8 years, we decided to treat ourselves to a private session at home with Meretxell.

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Renting an Apartment in Paris


Paris is a very small and very densely populated city, creating an incredible demand for apartments. People seem to be willing to do just about everything and live just about anywhere in order to say they live in Paris, as is apparent from the recent story of a man who lived for 15 years in 1.56 square meters! Apartments go quickly when they are available so it is important to act fast. Be prepared with your completed dossier full of financial and personal information before you start looking so you can make an offer immediately on something you love.

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But don’t despair if you are searching! This guide, complied with help from our friend Nelly Romary of Esprit Relocation, is designed to help you better understand the process and what you can get for your money.

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