Franco File Friday: Bryan Pirolli (aka Where Is Bryan?)

21 October 2011

Bryan and I instantly hit it off when we met at a costume party two years ago. It could have been our Philadelphia connection or perhaps our mutual appreciation for Paris beyond the glitz and glitter (we’re right bankers, after all). Whatever it was, we’ve since spent countless afternoons nursing coffee, people watching and waxing nostalgic about American pop culture, among other pre-France memories. But who is Bryan, the man everyone seems to know around town? Master’s student at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, journalist, skilled tour guide and overall renaissance man, Bryan made Paris his permanent home three years ago. When he’s not in class or schmoozing with the butcher on his weekly (daily?) chicken-run, he’s the Paris correspondent for SmartPlanet.com and the U.S. Community Manager for Colunching. He knows the peculiarities of the French university system and what not to miss on your next trip. More below…Describe what you love about the French in three words. I live here. What is the most striking difference between American and French universities? Which do you prefer? The French university costs as much as books do for one semester in an American university, to give you an idea. But you get what you pay for in […]…

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Colunching at Coutume Café

27 September 2011

Perhaps the most daunting aspect of moving abroad is the inevitability of starting over. Even if you’re fortunate enough to know a few people in your adopted city or town, it probably won’t be enough to constitute a solid network. That’s exactly what my parents were concerned about when I made the move to Paris – that I would struggle to form connections other than those facilitated by entering into my husband’s network (but as I mention in this interview, I didn’t win over his friends immediately). It wasn’t until I went to grad school in Paris that I developed an extremely tight group of friends, some of whom eventually left to return to their home countries. While those are people who will forever be in my life, regardless of their home base, I attribute my social wings to blogging and heavy social media use. Whereas it was once unacceptable to meet strangers online (let alone admit it), it has become the fastest way to integrate and make friends in Paris. Fortunately for those without blogs, Twitter accounts and only mild internet addiction, there exists a fun, free, social service to facilitate meeting locals. Colunching is a communal dining social network […]…

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