Paris Restaurants: the Barista List

26 September 2012

When I look at my monthly budget, over 50% of my finances go toward dining out. Blame the plethora of food options in Paris or my depleted inspiration in the kitchen, restaurant hopping has become a regular part of my urban lifestyle. Given that frequency, I confer with friends and café owners whose opinions I value for personal recommendations – as much as I try to stay abreast of new openings, there are  many under the radar, less publicized spots that I miss. Two of the movers and shakers whose tastes I trust are Nicolas Clerc and David Flynn of Télescope, my favorite and regular coffee shop (get the lowdown on them in my post HERE). They are part of an army of talented baristas who have helped to perfect the palates of a new breed of coffee connoisseur and have subsequently found themselves elevated to near celebrity status. And if their filtered coffee and flat whites are any indication, they know what’s good in and out of a coffee cup. In fact, it’s not unusual for Clerc and Flynn to serve up pitch-perfect restaurant recommendations to regulars and occasional out-of-towners. But where, precisely, would they go for a bite on those rare occasions […]…

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Scenes from The Hive, Berlin

22 May 2012

 Nicole, Alex, Emily, Ashley, Me, Brittany, and Anne at The Hive // When Yvonne Dewerne, co-founder of The Hive blog conference, asked me to speak in Berlin, I replied with a resounding yes, but not until after a lengthy moment of genuine surprise. I was stunned that my site had captured the attention of bloggers in Germany (and beyond) but I was both humbled and thrilled to attend. I booked my ticket, asked Bryan to join me and endured several months of anticipation. After returning from three action-packed days in Berlin, surrounded by inspiring and creative bloggers from all over Europe, I can say confidently that attending was unequivocally one of the best decisions I have made. Each speaker brought something fresh and thought-provoking to share and most important, applicable to both new and seasoned bloggers. I spoke about managing life with a growing blog (and other offshoot projects), using my own experience as a multiple-hat-wearer as an example. I have yet to master each of the 10 tips for achieving a healthy balance that I recommended to the audience but as I, and a number of other bloggers, expressed during the conference, we are all works in progress. (For an overview […]…

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Franco File Friday: Chasing Heartbeats

13 May 2011

As much as I enjoy traveling, particularly by train, I haven’t used my proximity to the rest of France to my advantage. At least, not enough. There are so many areas of this country I have left to discover and not enough long weekends to make it happen. Brittany, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg and Nice all fall on my must-visit list (though I will soon be able to cross off Toulouse). Each December, Mr. C considers taking me to Strasbourg, aptly labeled the Christmas Capital, for their famed holiday market but we still have never gone. We get caught up in local festivities and try to avoid large crowds. After connecting with Ashley of the blog Chasing Heartbeats, however, who works and lives near Strasbourg, and reading just how much there is to do, I am determined to get there this year. A photographer and freelance writer by trade, Ashley left California for a year in Paris before settling on the Franco-German border with her German fiancé. Chasing Heartbeats documents her life, travels and inspirations, often through photography. Of late she’s been chronicling her search for the perfect bridesmaid dress for her forthcoming Fall wedding in Cape Cod. But when […]…

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