Guest posting for Misadventures with Andi – A Passion for Paris

I was invited by Andi of the wonderful blog Misadventures with Andi to post about my passion for Paris. What’s below is the full version of my story about how and why I wound up in Paris.

Paris: A Love Story

by An Alien Parisienne aka Paris Karin

roses

Roses – pariskarin aka karinlynn68 @ flickr

Expatriates in Paris seem to wind up living in Paris for three reasons: for work, for love of the city, or for a loved one. Of all the blogs and books I’ve read about how and why people have come to live in Paris, it is invariably one of these three.

I’m not here for work, and I do not have a natural affinity or passion for Paris: I arrived in Paris because the man I love, an American in his mid-forties, has lived here for twenty years. Paul landed here because of a cute little French Girl (is there any other kind?) who captivated his fancy at that time. A marriage, two kids, and a divorce later, he’s still working at the business English training center where he began teaching eighteen years ago. Paul’s life is well-rooted in the City of Light.

I, on the other hand, am from Colorful Colorado, the Mile High City of Denver.

J K and P 1985

Janet, Karin, and Paul – 1985

Paul and I first met in the mid-1980s when I was in high school, 17-going-on-18 and he was a 22-year-old about to graduate from Michigan State with a degree in Creative Writing. Paul is the oldest friend (in terms of length of time) of my best friend, Janet, who has also lived in France on the Côte d’Azur for the past twelve years. Paul was on a spring break skiing trip to Colorado, where Janet and I lived and went to high school together. During that trip, Paul fell in love with Tanja, Janet’s and my mutual friend. Paul and Tanja were passionately in love for about nine months. My first understanding of Paul was through the glowing expressions of youthful love from my friend. After that relationship cooled and ended, several months later Janet herself entered into a long-distance romance with Paul. They had known each other since she was four and he was nine, and it seemed to be a natural step in the evolution of their friendship to see if there was more than just being friends. After twelve months or so, it was apparent that romance was not in the cards for them, but their friendship survived.

The last I had heard about Paul for many years was in the spring of 1990. Paul and Janet had mended fences, fixing the sections being in a romance had damaged, and she informed me in our Twentieth Century American Literature course at Colorado State, while we were reading The Sun Also Rises no less, that Paul was leaving the job he’d been working at for the past couple of years, was selling everything he had, and was planning to go to Pamplona, Spain for the annual running of the bulls. He wanted to actually run with the bulls.

Run with the bulls Paul did, and upon meeting French Girl during his subsequent European adventures, he settled with her in Paris.

I did not know about any of these things until sixteen years later, however.

espresso cup

Espresso

Enter the day and age of “blogging.” I’d first heard of blogs and blogging in about 2003, and had even made some early attempts at reading and writing them as far back as that, when blogging was in its nascency. It wasn’t until the birth of my second son when Janet, in an attempt to renew contact with one another’s lives, invited me to join the blogging community at the now-defunct Yahoo! 360°.

One of her contacts and blog readers, and, in fact, the person who had invited her to join the blog community, was Paul.

All three of us writers at heart soon became passionate about posting blogs and keeping up with the details of one another’s lives. We also connected with many others who became not only good online buddies, but fast real-life friends as well.

The intensity of involvement on this written level for over a year became fairly consuming to the point of revealing the fault lines in my second marriage. It was at this point when Paul and I went our separate written ways: it was too much pressure for the both of us with the distance involved, with my being married and having two kids, with the added complication of not really knowing if the passionate feelings gestating within both of us would really lead to a viable life outside of the virtual world. It was too soon for any serious decisions to be made and the wrong time for them to happen. The relationship aborted.

brocante

Brocante

One rocky year later, Paul and I resumed our correspondence. My marriage also took an irreparable turn into separation and divorce proceedings. Our relationship once again became pregnant with possibilities. There were moments in the following six months when the tumult in my life caused the relationship to falter, and it was at risk of miscarrying, but this time, things carried on. In the spring of 2008, I visited Paul in Paris and we cemented our feelings for one another.

I decided to visit Paul again in the summer, after my duties as a high school English teacher were completed at the end of May, 2008. The initial summer weeks we spent together were a blur. I was exhausted from the prior year and feeling a bit upside-down with life. I had left things somewhat open-ended with our end-of-summer plans, but I also with a hopeful heart gone ahead and wrapped up my life in Colorado, selling or giving away almost everything I had and settling my affairs to the best of my ability.

After spending June and July in Paris, Paul invited me to stay at his family’s summer home in Ontario, Canada for the month of August. We had talked about how, if Paris life disagreed with me and if leaving family and friends in Colorado proved to be too difficult, I had the option to return to the U.S. after the end of the month in Canada.

The end of August arrived and I chose to return to Paris with Paul. Almost two years later, I am still in Paris.

metropolitain 02

Métropolitain

While some people take to Paris like a duck in water, I often feel like a squirrel trying to swim. I’m here for love, but not love of the city. I imagine my relationship with Paris as what an arranged marriage must be like. I’m currently reading Antonia Fraser’s biography of Marie Antoinette. While reading, I’ve noted that my relationship to Paris has parallels to Marie Antoinette’s marriage to the Dauphin: it took them some seven years to get the passion going in their marriage bed. I’m trying to find passion for Paris by doing what I can to interact with the city and find that near-orgasmic pleasure about which the bloggers I call “The Paris Cheerleaders” write – the fans of Paris who cannot have enough of her, praise her charms and benefits, and share with the world what a grand place she can be.

laduree_licorice

Licorice Macaron

I’m getting there. We’ve had a few moments which feel like getting to at least third base with her, such as the time I tried a Ladurée licorice macaron, or the time I broke down a year ago and finally visited the Eiffel Tower (which I had deemed as being “too cliché” before actually seeing it in all its tremendous wonder). Paris and I are figuring it out.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

When approached by Andi to write this post about having a passion for Paris, I had a completely different piece in mind. I was making mental notes to write about how my love for Paris is growing not at the Louvre, or the Champs Elysées, or the cafés in Saint-Germain, but in the mostly unknown places that have grown near and dear to me in the 19th arrondissement, where I live.

the 19th

The 19th arrondissement – view from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont

I realized, though, that my entire blog, An Alien Parisienne, is geared toward coming to terms with how I have come to be in Paris and how to find a passion for Paris. My blog exists as an attempt to bloom where I am planted and learn to love where I live. I invite you to visit there [ummmm, here — this part was in the guest post, lol] for more of the continuing love story that is me, Paul, and Paris.

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54 thoughts on “Guest posting for Misadventures with Andi – A Passion for Paris

  1. “The Paris Cheerleaders” That cracks me up 🙂 I completely understand what you’re saying. I think that some of the cheerleaders have only visited, and never faced the realities of being an “Alien Parisian”.

    I personally have a love affair with Paris, but I know in my heart I likely could not live there. For me, much of her charm is in missing her…

    • Hi Beej!

      Well, it’s Paris Blog High School, remember? So yeah, there are cheerleaders. 🙂 I don’t mind the rah-rah so very much. It does have a place. But there is a lot of reality, here, too, like my blog friend Sion just wrote about La Poste.

      Oh I know what you mean: I know once I have left Paris (when that day will come I do not know, but I don’t picture myself here forever), I will probably pine after her with total abandon. I think she is just like one of those women that you can’t live with, and can’t live without, lol.

  2. Hi Karin….always happy when I get an email alert that you have a new post (and not just because I’m bored at work..ha)
    Your story is long and winding like all good love stories…and I was interested to find out how you ended in Paris…I imagine your kids are still in the States?

    I can only imagine how hard it was for you to pick up your life and move it over to a place where the language was a mystery and you had no burning desire to live there.

    For me Paris was always somewhere I didn’t want to know about ..and for the silliest of reasons….my husband and his first wife went to Paris back in the 80’s (she had won a contest at work…random) they actually won a trip to Switzerland but took the train for an overnite in Paris…so in my mind Paris belonged to them (even though neither of them EVER talked about the trip much) and for years I avoided the topic ..crazy how your silly mind can work…ANYWAY it wasn’t until I went in sept 08 that I could finally exorcise that demon (and by then I was married to him)..Paris wasn’t theirs ..it now belonged to me…alone…..

    have a good weekend…lovely post

    • Hi Deb! I am so glad you enjoy visiting here, and I like having you visit, too.

      It was a long and winding journey to be here, yes, indeed… Yes, the kids are still in the States. I have written about that a little here, “I deed eeet & Thanksgiving Musings.

      I could totally relate to your reasons for not liking Paris, lol — actually, mine is kind of the same, hahaha. Paris really has been a lot about Paul and his ex and their story here. I know what it is to try to make it belong to yourself. I’m really glad you understand this. 🙂

      Thank you again, Deb, and you have a good weekend, too!

  3. Hi Karin, congrats on the guest post – what a lovely read and romantic story!

    I love how you compared your relationship to Paris to an arranged marriage. Its such a visual and accurate description of moving to a new town for love of a person rather than love of the place itself. And you moved such a long way…

    Have yourself a good weekend!

    • Hi Piglet! 🙂

      I am so glad you enjoyed reading. It’s an important story for me to tell, so I am glad I had the chance to tell it.

      I am glad that the comparison worked! I felt it was apt, but it is good to know it communicated what I hoped it would.

      You take care and have a good weekend, too.

  4. Hi again Karin…thanks for the link about your kids…I’ve been close to that decision myself…my husband lived 2 hours away before he moved here….at one point we were deciding on what to do and one of the choices was that I would go there…alone…not that he didn’t want the kids (he has 3 sons of his own) but I couldn’t imagine taking my kids away from their Dad…and in the end he moved here….the only thing I wonder about in your situation is kind of a sexist question..but what if they had been 2 daughters..would you have been able to leave them?…I have one of each and could imagine my son living with his dad but not my daughter full time….she’s 19 now and he’s 15 but I’m talking about 10 years ago when all these decisions were out there…

    hope I’m not being too nosy…just curious

    • the only thing I wonder about in your situation is kind of a sexist question..but what if they had been 2 daughters..would you have been able to leave them?…

      hope I’m not being too nosy…just curious

      Hi Deb —

      This is a really good question! It’s really hard for me to imagine having daughters and whether it would have impacted things or not.

      I know with the case of my oldest son, he was at an age (12 at the time) where it was becoming more and more obvious that he needed time with his dad as a boy nearing adolescence. Probably if he were a girl I would have wanted to help her through the teen years & all that entails. So yes, it could be that this story would have been different if he were a she.

      In the case of the younger child, I don’t think it would have made a difference, except that his father may not have been as insistent on having custody and manipulating things so that our child stayed with him if he had been a girl. I think that he was a boy impacted more how his father behaved, and he may have been more willing to let go of his controlling ways if our son had been a daughter. Yeah — there is a whole side of that story that I probably won’t ever write about, not here. But it did impact my being here as well.

      Not too nosy a question at all! Unfortunately the answers are more complex than I can address here. In a nutshell, it probably would have made a difference with my older child.

  5. Great post! Loved reading your story and in doing so, reading a bit of the ‘backstory’ from your earlier linked posts.

    Cheers to you and your sweetie from one of the Paris cheerleaders (I guess … first time in my life I’ve can say I’ve ever been close to being one but for Paris I’m willing to take the label …).

    Take care.

    • Thank you, Carolyn! I’m glad you enjoyed getting the backstory. I realized it was one that needed to be told here when I was thinking about Andi’s topic.

      I am glad you are one of the really cool Paris cheerleaders, willing to be friends with not just the crowd that says “rah rah” about the city, but is also a friend to us geeks who are ambivalent about it. 😀 This made me giggle: “I guess … first time in my life I’ve can say I’ve ever been close to being one but for Paris I’m willing to take the label …”

      You make a cute cheerleader! 😉

      You take care, too, and continued good luck with all of your transitions going on.

  6. coming from the “story” that is your blog and reading this, it is much more a prelude (to the story that is your blog) than “the” story, but very concise intro it is.

    • Hi Ken!

      Yeah, it is a prelude, for certain, but it is a story I have not told here, yet, so succinctly, like you wrote. But of course it is one that you have known for a while, since you were in on the story as it was emerging. 🙂 I figured it was time to write it here, too, and it seemed to fit the theme of Andi’s guest postings, too.

  7. I’m one of those who came to Paris with my French husband. I never would have done it on my own. I really love Paris now. I never dreamed I would live here, that’s for sure.

    • Hi Linda —

      I am glad to know I am not alone. 🙂 And it is good to know that it is possible to fall in love with Paris, too.

  8. Carole

    After all that history with Paul and it finally comes to fruition in PARIS? Wow. Sounds pretty damned romantic to me. Funny I should read this today considering I was in Paris a year ago. My French adventure did not have such a happy ending. LOL.

    • Hi Carole!

      I know — pretty wild, huh. Ahhhh, I am sorry that your French adventure did not have a happy ending. But here’s the thing: it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, right? So who is to say that it is the “ending” just yet?

      Here’s to the continuation of love stories. 🙂

  9. Hi Karin,

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story!
    I grew up in the 10th and went to school near the Buttes Chaumont until highschool. Loved it! Especially PE class in the park! Now that I live in the 15th (my sister couldn’t believe I was moving to the “rive gauche”!), I have discovered many other jewels of this beautiful city. But you are right, it is in the mostly unknown places that this beauty lays.

    My husband, like you, is in Paris for love, not love of Paris, and I find it challenging sometimes to make him understand this place. Especially on a cold and gray weekend like this past one 😉

    Take care,

    Leo

    • Hi Leo! I am so glad you found my blog! 🙂 And you are welcome for sharing the story. I think it would have been fun to grow up near the Buttes Chaumont. It is really one of the best (dare I say *the* best?) parks in Paris, and the neighborhoods in and around it are very dynamic. I actually am really grateful that we live in this area because it is so dynamic.

      I have been to the 15th a few times now — not many, but what you write is true: there is treasure to be found in unknown places. Maybe that is true of life in general, no?

      The one thing I really *do* appreciate about this city is that it is a complex place to understand! There is always a mental challenge or puzzle to be figured out. Even on the cold and gray weekends, lol. And if the weekends get TOO cold and gray, well then there are “Sex and the City” re-runs to be watched on Freebox’s Free Home Video. 😀

      Thanks again for stopping by and I shall return the favor to you, too! (Actually, I already peeked at your blog and I LOVED your photos of Italy! I’ll comment there soon. 🙂 )

  10. Like living with someone is not completely one-sided, I agree that lving in Paris is not only macarons, fashionable shops, restaurants, Eiffel Tower…, it’s also all the rest, the hidden little corners, the 19th arrondissement… and after 36 years here I still discover and love the place more and more! I have a feeling that you are also on the way to appreciate life here more and more, with all its different aspects!

    • Hello, Peter! It’s true: like a person, Paris is multifaceted. I think it is glorious that after 36 years of living in the city you still love Paris and find more to love about her! THERE’S a Paris love story!! 🙂

      I do appreciate Paris a lot. I hope I can say the same as you for myself in the future. Thank you for your help in my discovering the love for Paris, too, Peter!

  11. Pingback: French Friday – A Passion For Paris: A Paris Love Story | Misadventures with Andi

  12. Rebecca

    I just found your blog and I must say, your writing speaks to me. 🙂 I am an American living in Dijon, France. While I came for love (those Frenchmen will do it to ya every time!), I gradually fell in love with the country, too. It’s been a slow process and not always an easy one, but a very rewarding one (in my opinion).

    Looking forward to “la suite!” A+
    Rebecca

    • Rebecca –

      I am so glad you found the blog and left a comment. Thank you! It is good to know that you have fallen into gradual love with Paris, and that such a thing is entirely possible.

      Thanks for visiting and hope to see you again soon. 🙂

  13. Hi I came via Debbie in Toronto… I adore Paris, I have been three times in the last year… love finding new places to go, off the tourist track.. and have lots of friends there now, who I can arrange to meet when over.

    I love Parc Buttes Chaumont, was there a few weeks ago with my friends Leesa and Barbara.. we also went to Parc de Sceaux which is in the suburbs, near where they live.

    Great to see Peter’s comment, I love his blog, so amazing the places he finds.

    • Hi Anne! Thank you for coming by to say hello. I’m glad you have found the off-the-beaten path places! I really do like those the very best.

      Isn’t Peter’s work wonderful? I appreciate all he does and also his help in helping me love the city more and more.

  14. Peter linked to your blog so I came for a visit. I enjoyed your story about Paris. It is sincere and refreshing as I have been reading so many blogs on Paris from people who have been there just a few times and seem to know everything about the city.
    I grew up in the 9th, below the Sacré-Coeur and came to America because I wanted to travel. I thought I would only stay two years in the States or so but met my husband in San Francisco. So I am the reverse of your story – I stayed in the US because of my husband even though I would have much rather return home to Paris. While my parents, then my mother alone was alive I did come at least 2 or 3 times a year to Paris staying at least 2 weeks each time (which was kind of expensive) for about 30 years. I think that if you have not been raised in a country, in the language, in the culture and come when adult it is hard to become “”integré” in a foreign country – I have been in the Deep South for many years and it is still hard for me, and of course with my French accent I am more conspicuous.
    I like your pictures. I don’t know much about the 19th. I went to school at La Sorbonne, so I know that area quite well and seem to always return there when I am in Paris.

    • Hello, Vagabonde!

      I’m glad that you arrived via Peter’s blog. It is nice to know your story, the reverse of mine. It is very hard, as you say, to become integré into a foreign place. It’s kind of crazy for me, too. My first husband was from China. I had hoped in all the years that we were together that we might have gone back to live in China for a time (I really did like it there. It was quite an adventurous place), but he wanted to settle in the US. It made some sense to do that, I know now. But I fell in love with China when I was there, and kept hoping to return. I eventually abandoned hopes to be in China, and then he and I split up, but now at the very least I have a better understanding about how hard it was for him to integrate into the US. Now it’s been 20 years for him, and I think he is doing fine, but he, too, goes back to China about once a year to see how things are going. Me? I have not been back! But at least I am living an expat life, something that has always appealed to me.

      I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. 🙂

      I hope to visit your blog as well. Thank you for stopping by!

  15. Look at you, all guest blogging and chit.

    I agree with the arranged marriage part. Hell, I feel that way about living near Charlotte. The kiddos are here to be close to their dad, but my heart is living on a beach somewhere waiting for me to come to it.

    • Hey Mamers! Yeah, it was nice to be asked and chit. 🙂 Isn’t it strange the way that places can feel so… practical and loveless? I mean, I have felt that way about other places before, like Sterling, Colorado. That was a bit of an arranged marriage place, too. I have a fondness for some of the things I saw and did there, but I am pretty glad I got divorced from Sterling. Oh and Dallas, too. I am lucky with this city that she has a lot going for her. But I know it’s going to be a while before I call it “home,” if ever… I hope you find your love match with your residence, chick. 🙂

  16. Eli

    Thanks Karin for the explanation of your back story – I find it fascinating learning out how people ended up in Paris.

    Personally I adore the city – the moment the Eurostar passes Saint-Denis I feel at home and start craning my neck to spot Sacre Couer. All my French friends say I should move there but my work isn’t really suited to Paris (and my French is truly awful!). When I win the Euromillions……………..a flat in Paris, a condo in Toronto, apartment in NY and a villa in Minorca!

    I don’t know your area well – my area is the 9eme – and I must look at home judging by the number of times I am stopped by people wanting directions (and the sad thing is I can usually point them in the right direction).

    I understand your Marie Antoinette comparisons – Antonia Fraser is a great writer who makes history understandable despite her books being serious history! (I adore her Louis XIV one – trouble is I see the gorgeous cast of ‘Le Roi Soleil’ when I am reading it). Poor Marie Antoinette – history didn’t treat her well but she seems to be being re-born in France not unlike Jean d’Arc. (I was in London once with a French friend who commented that we had so much history – possibly being in Trafalgar Square at the time wasn’t me being my most diplomatic! Or my comment that the French kept destroying things everytime they had a revolution!).

    Please keep writing about your adventures and mis-adventures as I so enjoy reading about them

    Eli
    x

    • Hi Eli! I know what you mean — I really like knowing people’s stories of how they arrived in Paris, too, so I thought it would be a good topic.

      Everyone looks for their true “home,” I think, and for everyone that place is different, isn’t it. I know that one topic of discussion here is the vast difference between living in France and frequently visiting France. Some have found that their dreamed-of place is not quite what they thought she would be when they are actually staying in her bed for a long period of time. There are others, though, who seem to know from the start that Paris makes a great partner for them, and they find a way to make their dream of living here come true. Some I know have written of its being all it’s cracked up to be for them! All of this is fodder on this blog. 🙂 I hope that you can find a way to make your dream come true and that it will be everything that you hope it could be.

      Antonia Fraser’s writing is truly remarkable. In the past week, I finished the book on MA, and echo all you have to say. I would be interested in tackling her book on Louis XIV one day, too. She does make the history come alive.

      I giggled at your story about discussing history in Trafalgar Square. 🙂

      You remind me that I need to hop on some new chapters of my story here in Paris, soon. I’ve got some things to write about and need to get cracking!

      Take care, and thanks for reading.

      • Eli

        Left ‘Almost French’ book with a French friend who lived in the US for a few years – along with most of the Stephen Clarke books along with ‘Petit Anglaise’ (have to say I was really annoyed by them!). Always take her a copy of the UK ‘Grazia’ from the Eurostar lounge – as a Carte Blanche card holder I get them for free!

        Have almost finished the latest Stephen Clarke book ‘1000 years of annoying the French’ – really enjoyed the early chapters where French and English are interwoven (and it was what I studied at college) – finding everything after Louis XIV hard work.

        Had an Australian friend staying with me last month so we could visit Paris to see Garou in concert and she bought me a great guide book, And ‘the beautiful fall’ by Alicia Drake and ‘Parisians’ by Graham Robb – both of which are supposed to be really good.

        I have read the first two books by Peter Gethers about his wonderful cat – Norton – have the 3rd book on order but not sure that I won’t to read it! But I did love where Norton flew to Paris and the staff on Air France said ‘ please leave the plane except for Norton who is welcome to stay and be adopted by the crew!’

        As someone who wasn’t born in the UK and spent many years living in many different places (to this day I see a giraffe and still think ‘twigga’) I guess that I don’t really belong anywhere. I was devasted when the elephant called ‘Eleanor’ died last year in Tanzania as she was as old as me. Many times I say things that people don’t understand in London as I only know the swahili word coupled with Yorkshire words!

        Have you seen ‘Les Mis’ at Chatelet????????????

        Bizz

        Eli
        x

      • Hi Eli — thanks for adding to the conversation. 🙂Almost French was the very first book I’d read in the Paris/France Memoir genre. I related to some stuff in it, and liked it overall, although I can understand how parts of it are annoying — I think that memoirs always have some annoying parts to them. I’ve been thinking about the book Eat, Pray, Love and how the women I know either love or hate it! It’s not a book women seem to feel lukewarm about (and I have yet to meet a man who’s read it, lol). I think this is typical of memoirs. I’m glad you mentioned the other books, too — the ones that your Aussie friend brought sound interesting!

        It sounds like you have had a fascinating life and that your experiences have really been diverse and enriching. Do you have a blog yet, Eli?? *hint hint* 🙂

        I have not seen Les Mis at Châtelet — but I am happy to say that it was the one and only musical I actually got to see on Broadway in NYC in 1999. I had the t-shirt and the soundtrack and everything. It’s funny as I had almost forgotten Les Mis was set in France — I know! That sounds stupid. But I was so captivated by the songs and the story and by seeing it on Broadway that the setting was incidental to me. I’d like to see it again now that I am conscious of its historical context and so on. We have it on DVD here, I think maybe in French, though. Yeah, I just checked. It’s actually the film and not the musical, however. Ah, would that I could afford the tickets right now! It would be a good one to see.

        Thanks again for coming to comment more. I like how more of the conversation continues in comments. It’s really nice when that happens! 🙂

  17. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your story with my readers, it was an honor to have you!

  18. Mabel

    Hey, Alien Parisienne Karin! It’s MJ’s pal Mabel here. Can’t believe I haven’t discovered your blog until now at this late date–and wouldn’t you know it, you’re my birthday twin. I knew I liked you, fellow May 19th baby (or if it is another day, fellow Tauri. I’d still like you.). *high fives*

    Anyway, love your love story. It was so candid and unexpected. And all this time I thought I was the only person here who came to Paris kicking and screaming. My friends would ask me, “Aren’t you EXCITED to be moving to Paris?!” (*squeals of glee*) and when I said, “Nope,” they thought I was kidding and/or a bit crazy. I was a bit bitter in the beginning but wouldn’t you know it, I have been wooed by her. Paris sure is a charming girl; I think she’s winning me over.

    • Well, hi there MJ’s pal Mabel! 😀 It is nice to see you here. And HEY! Birthday twins! We are in such good company with Malcolm X and Grace Jones and Pete Townshend. Oh and Ho Chi Minh, too, lol. Quite a group we are. *high fives you back*

      I am so glad to know that not everyone just jumps into Paris’ arms with abandon, ready to be her BFF. It’s not easy to feel that way when other people think that a person ought to just want to jump into bed with Paris and that things will be crazy good. I think I am finding a lot of charm in her lesser-known places and sure enough, I believe she is winning me over, too. Gradually. It’s nice to know we are not alone. 🙂

      I’m so glad that you stopped by, read, and commented, Mabel! I’ve got posts galore brewing in the brain, I just need to squeeze the time in between my social engagements, which seem to be overtaking my schedule of late. This is a good thing, but detrimental to writing. That, and the fact that I adore reading and commenting on others’ blogs so much! It’s hard to pull away from what others are writing to get to my own stuff. But I’m percolating away. So I hope to have something new to post very soon. Hope to see you back!

  19. Ya, for some reason Paris has never really appealed to me. If Jeff did ever talk me into visiting France, I’d much prefer the countryside. I’m not a fan of big cities and there’s really nothing in Paris that calls to me, besides the food, that is.

    • Hi Wendy!

      I can totally see you in Provence. Or somewhere in France’s central regions. Totally. I bet I could find a couple of cool things for you in Paris, though, so when you and Jeff are ready for a visit, let me know. 🙂

  20. I love this post Karin! It’s great to learn about your relationship with Paul & Paris. You are brave for going to a foreign place and still making a go of it two years later. Others are not so resilient. That macaron would definitely be 3rd base for me in Paris 🙂

    • Corine! It is really nice to see you back. I hope you are feeling and doing better. Thank you for your kind words about this post, too. I know when you get here, you are going to be going to third base a lot, huh. 😉 You are going to have a lot of fun with the macarons! 🙂

      Be well, and see you again soon, Corine.

  21. Pingback: The End of May, Part One « An Alien Parisienne

  22. Karin, I’m glad to finally hear the story. I’ve been so curious. And what a story! I too love the “arranged marriage” reference. And on top of all that, I now have some books I’ve got to read! Thank you for giving us the introduction…

    • Hi Delana!

      I’m glad you enjoyed knowing the story. Today I was in the Musée Carnavalet and saw some of the touching artifacts from the time when Marie Antoinette and her family were imprisoned, before the time of the executions, and I was reminded how there was a great love and respect that emerged eventually for Louis XVI and La Reine Marie Antoinette. A very sad ending for them, yes, but they came to a place where they had become very close as a family. I was really touched by that. You’re welcome for everything else, and looking forward to seeing you back again!

  23. Pingback: The End of May, Part Two « An Alien Parisienne

  24. How lovely Karen! Someone brought French pastries to the office this morning and I immediately thought of you. Glad I was able to enjoy my fruit tart with a friend and her wonderful blog.

    • Java!!! So good to see you here, chica! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed some pastries and reading. That makes me happy that I brought some happy to you. Take care, and see you ’round the Webhood.

  25. Pingback: Juillet is Full of Glee « An Alien Parisienne

  26. Hello Karin,
    I came here from Paul’s blog. I guess I might be in the cheerleader category. Guilty as charged. Paris is the only place I’ve really visited outside of the US and I fell in love with her the very first trip. Each time I return I think that perhaps I will feel like I”ve had enough, but that’s not been the case. I seem to find more and more that I want to see and explore. I savor each and every minute I’m there. I know that I will never be a Parisien but feel like I”m not quite still a tourist anymore. Does that make any sense?

    I hope that you will find more and more to love there (besides just Paul of course!)as time goes by. Meanwhile, I’ll be saving my euros to get back as quickly as I can! 🙂

    And I really like your photographs. I think I have some roses in a metal chair exactly like yours. 🙂 I”ll have to link here when I post it.

    Best,
    V

    • Hi Virginia! It’s so nice to see you here, and yes! I know you from Peter’s Paris blog as a commenter there, too.

      I just checked your blog site again, and you have taken the most lovely photos. Thank you for the compliments on mine. The chair photo up there is from a walk I took with Peter, actually, this past spring. It’s in front of the shop Au Nom du la Rose in the Marais/Temple area (I just looked it up — 87 Rue Saint-Antoine in the 4th), and I have seen others’ photos with the chair and flowers, like Paris Breakfasts’ blog, for example. (Here’s the link: http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2010/09/walk-on-rue-st-antoine.html)

      I saw on your blog, too, that you had a coupe de foudre with Paris. I totally understand that with people and places, and how being a cheerleader for Paris is what you love. Go for it!! In a lot of ways, I experienced that with China, and all things Chinese. I know what it is like to have that kind of a passion for a place. 🙂 China and I got divorced a long time ago (lol), but I will always remember China as my first country love. Now I feel like I am in one of those Harlequin Romances from the 1970s (I used to read my great aunt’s Harelquins when I was a pre-teen and teenager): I’m thrown together with a place that I have an attraction for, sure, on some level (who *couldn’t* with Paris, honestly, in some way?), and now we have an arranged marriage of sorts. I am falling in love slowly. It may never be full of totally consuming passion, but I think it will be something solid, and if there is ever a time when I don’t live here anymore, I know I will miss it a lot. I’m sure of that.

      I’m sorry I have not posted anything more recent lately! I have been doing some work that is consuming my computer time, and it’s hard to blog about some of it as it is proprietary information I’m working on. That, and I’ve had little time to do anything but the project. So, I really appreciate your coming to read and comment on this back post, Virginia. Thank you! And when you are in town again, let Paul and I know. It would be nice to say hello to you in person and have a cup of coffee together!

  27. Karin,
    Thanks for your nice reply. I”m glad to know I”m off the hook of sorts! 🙂 I’m a hopelessly in love with Paris and it doesn’t look like there’s a cure. I’d love to meet you and Paul. I may be there in February. Don’t say it. I know how cold it is. The things I do to get back there.

    Anyway, all this to say I’m linking here for the chair/roses photo tomorrow and oui, I took it in the Marais last June. Not sure if Peter was at my elbow but he could have been. I stayed very close to that sweet little shop in a teensy apt. I loved EVERY minute of it. I’m glad we share this nice memory of Paris.
    V

    • You’re so welcome, Virginia! It was just so nice to have you visit here! 🙂 Yes, you are off the hook, lol. I empathize with the hopelessly in love situation, and no, there is no easy cure. After all, I am *in* Paris for being hopelessly in love with the someone who happened to live here!

      Sure, February is cold, but it is a *great* time to hit museums and other interior places as the crowds are minimal. And the winter light is so interesting in Paris, too — it highlights different things to photograph. I don’t think there is a “bad” time to visit Paris, the weather just makes the experience different is all. I would *love* it if Paul and I could meet you! It would be fun to maybe try to have a blogger’s gathering with Peter and others who are here to say “hello.” Keep us posted, and if you want to get hooked up with Paul’s and my email addresses, drop me a line in the Contact section of this blog and I’ll reply to your email from that!

      I’m looking forward to seeing the link of the photo. 🙂

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