2017: “The New Paris” Year

31 December 2017
The New Paris Smithsonian Magazine

As I think of 2017’s swift end, I think of the disparity between what I observed for the world at large — a tumultuous year punctuated by political strain, instability, destruction, and uncertainty — and what I felt in my own little world. How do we reconcile personal accomplishments and contentment all while feeling distraught at the direction the world is heading? Perhaps enduring the emotional and psychological impact of the grim news cycle can’t be disassociated from the rest of our lives? I don’t have a firm answer to either question but what I do know after the intensity of the last year is that gratitude, support for others and the recognition that beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places, has never been more important. It’s probably why I’ve thrown myself wholly into holiday festivities this year and have allowed my spirits to be lifted by every twinkling light and rendition of Jingle Bells. I’ve also finally had a moment to reflect on the fact that the biggest project of my life was released into the world this year. I feel tremendously proud of “The New Paris” but mostly I feel grateful that so many readers have reached out to me to discuss it. It’s after the eight months since its release that I […]…

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The New Paris Dispatch #3

12 November 2017

Welcome to a new series bringing you quick news updates from Paris in everything from food and shopping to culture and urban development. LA GRANDE EPICERIE OPENS RIVE DROITE Well, don’t get excited, it’s not in the section of the right bank with the most to do and eat. The new outpost of Le Bon Marché’s beloved food hall is deep in the 16th arrondissement on the shopping street rue de Passy. It has the same vast selection of international goods, fresh pastries, local brands and culinary events. If you want to go but aren’t sure what else to do/see/eat in the 16th, might I recommend: –Palais de Tokyo contemporary museum followed by drinks or lunch/dinner at Les Grands Verres -Drinks, lunch, dinner at La Rotonde de la Muette, a recently-renovated brasserie institution with all-day service and a cozy atmosphere for lingering after a day of shopping or museum-hopping. -Spa treatment, swim, or drinks at Hotel Molitor La Grande Epicerie Rive Droite 16 rue de Passy, 75016 Métro: Line 9, station La Muette AMERICAN STAND-UP COMICS PERFORM AT LE THEATRE DE L’OEUVRE Paris has no shortage of theaters, concert venues and comedy clubs but you’d be hard pressed to find […]…

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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 […]…

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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 […]…

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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 & […]…

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