How Social Media Shapes Perceptions of Paris

17 October 2017
Paris Seine River at Sunset

On episode 9 of “The New Paris Podcast”, my co-host and I welcomed Arash Hajianpour of the design agency Optimistic Future, and Jane Bertch, co-founder of La Cuisine Paris cooking school, to discuss the ways in which our understanding of Paris may be shaped by what we see on social media. Those of you who have read my book know that traditional forms of media have greatly influenced the romanticized and even fetishized perception of the city but I did not do a deep dive into the role of social media specifically. We had an enlightening and passionate debate but it ended before we could tackle the topic of Instagram’s influence in the creation of new spaces in Paris.  Arash kindly offered to continue the conversation with some additional thoughts on the topic below.  — As social media increasingly democratizes journalism, we start to question where journalistic responsibility comes into play, if at all, on platforms like Instagram.  Because an Instagram user has 100k+ followers, are they influencing perceptions in an incredible way, perhaps in a way not seen before? How and why does that matter? With platforms to voice and field our opinions and ideas, we engage our day-to-day […]…

Continue Reading

The New Paris Dispatch #2

26 September 2017
Maison Aleph Caspar Miskin

Welcome to a new series bringing you quick news updates from Paris in everything from food and shopping to culture and urban development. DANIEL ROSE CLOSING SPRING  In sad restaurant news, chef Daniel Rose has announced he is looking to sell his most well known Parisian restaurant Spring. Get your reservations in while you can! The chef (and James Beard Award Winner) behind Le Coucou in New York City and La Bourse et La Vie and Chez La Vieille in Paris will focus his attention on other projects. WELCOME TO THE PASTRY SCENE, MAISON ALEPH As beloved as Paris is for gourmandes of all backgrounds, there is one type of treat that has long been maligned as cloyingly sticky-sweet, unrefined, and an unwelcome surprise at the end of a filling meal. Levantine pastries (Levant referring to the region that includes Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel, parts of Turkey, etc.), are traditionally soaked in honey and feature dried fruit and nuts though they are not always fresh. Their heaviness and excess is unfortunately what most people remember about them, said Myriam Sabet, the owner of the specialty pastry Maison Aleph when I went to meet her. “Too many people associate them with […]…

Continue Reading

Marché Maman: A French Marketplace in NYC

1 August 2017
Marche Maman NYC

If Paris is a perennial draw for Americans, it should come as little surprise to know that the French are head over heels for New York City, the capital of opportunity and a place where hard work actually pays off in spades. Among the many success stories of French-operated businesses, small and large, Maman ranks rather high. Opened by Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal (head chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Chassagnette in Arles), Benjamin Sormonte (entrepreneur/restaurateur) and Elisa Marshall (baker, designer, event planner) in Soho in October 2014, the bakery-canteen is very much a relaxed, country-chic gathering place reminiscent of Arnal’s childhood environs in the south of France that quickly gained popularity. Less than a year later, they opened a location in Toronto, followed by several other locations in NY — Tribeca, Meatpacking, and Greenpoint. They do simple, beautiful food and baked goods, serve good coffee and an environment you can’t help but return to (especially if a trip to France isn’t scheduled anytime soon). As of the end of last month, they’ve taken the concept of the artisanal French lifestyle a step further to launch Marché Maman, a marketplace with quality French brands and artisanal snacks for sale — beauty & […]…

Continue Reading

Summer in Paris: Best New Outdoor Hangouts

14 July 2017
Maison Maison Paris

Since I’m kicking up my feet in Marseille for the week, I’ve asked my friend and fellow writer Sara Lieberman to share some of the newest outdoor hangouts in Paris where you can mix and mingle with locals, enjoy the ultra late sunsets (as I write this, the sun is fading at 10:15pm), and take in summer in the city. Amusez-vous bien! — As a New Yorker born in August, it’s in my genes to like me some summah-summah-summah-time—especially since I’m what New Yorkers refer to as “bridge and tunnel.” (I was born in Long Island where people sometimes pronounce it lawng eye-lund and get to Manhattan via a bridge or a tunnel. Voila.) This means that as a kid, I spent those glorious months of June, July and August catching crabs on the dock in my backyard, running out to stop the ice cream man for a Good Humor bar (Strawberry Shortcake!) and bringing bagel sandwiches to the beach. But once I became a “real New Yorker” (aka ditched the Midtown tunnel for those of the subway) summers became all about outdoor movie screenings, Shakespeare in the park, street food festivals, yoga on the pier and more. But if […]…

Continue Reading

The New Paris tour + Air France Sweeps!

11 May 2017
The New Paris Cafes Belleville

On April 20, I boarded an Air France flight to Los Angeles, the first stop on a 16-day book tour that would connect me with bookstores, book lovers, and, most importantly, passionate Francophiles in California, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and New York. As I flew back to Paris, eager to vote, on the final flight out of JFK last Friday evening, I thought only of how I would manage to assimilate the experience. How could I condense and accurately capture the overwhelming emotions of the last two weeks? Bringing “The New Paris” out into the world was entirely foreign to me, both in process and sensation. Much of researching and writing the book was so solitary that I was taken aback by the unadulterated joy I felt upon receiving early feedback. All those galling moments of self-doubt, the waiting, the planning, the many nights of fitful sleep, the list-making, become nary a consideration when you’re finally presented with a stack of your own work and avid readers waiting to discover it.  Though some might find the comparison to pregnancy and birth a bit hyperbolic (and I can’t speak from experience), the visceral response is one of amazement and bewilderment. Did I produce that? Were those […]…

Continue Reading