Je voudrais un Big-mac… Now please!

burger

Warning this blog post may massively offend French people and especially people from Paris. I decided to write a post all about food. I’ve lived in Paris for two years and the food is just wonderful. But I’m not talking about French food. I do think French food is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. It’s one of the best cuisines in the world and some dishes are beautifully complex. But there are probably over a million blogs and articles dedicated to the task of telling everyone how wonderful the food in Paris is. But if you are a bit like me, you guys probably will get a bit sick of the change and want some old fashioned American food.

 

First of all, if you feel this way, don’t feel guilty. It happens to the best of us. Just because I get a craving for stuffed potato skins or a pumpkin pie doesn’t mean I hate French food and it doesn’t mean that I’m turning my nose up at it either. It just means, there is a little part of me that misses my home and I wanna have a part of that … on a plate. After you have killed the guilt, you need to embrace the pride. If you say you are craving American food to some Europeans, they will literally expect you to either run into a movie theatre and demand popcorn or attempt to find the nearest McDonalds. We have good food and ok, it’s definitely not as respected worldwide as French or Italian food but we need to have some pride in our food. My country’s cuisine is not exclusively defined by fast food. So with this in mind, I decided to write a blog about my favorite American eatery.

 

The place I like to eat at, is called Breakfast in American (easy name, right). And it’s actually so good, that there’s two of them. I just discovered that recently when I was wandering the streets of Paris and found it. Both are pretty much the same. The one I generally go to is in 17 Rue des Écoles that’s in the 4th district of Paris. A nice area and pretty touristy and international so its possible you will be in the area anyway, either to sightsee or because you’ve rented a luxury apartment or a nice hotel room. Think of this place as a cross between a New York diner and a trendy Brooklyn brunch cafe. There are also many more great places dotted around the city, such as Ralphs in the 6th district or Joe Allen in the first district and many many more. Eat with pride my fellow tourists and never let your cravings make you feel guilty. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to have a peanut butter sandwich and an Oreo milkshake.

Summer Reading

reading

As the peak Summer season draws ever closer, we are all getting prepared for our summer vacations. For some people this will involve months and months at the gym, as they work tirelessly to get into shape and get the beach body they’ve always dreamed of. For other people, it’s about getting all the accessories, the clothes, the glasses, the bags, the right suitcases ( because you really need to separate yourself from everyone else at the baggage collection point). Other types of people, who are better than I am, might even try to learn the local language and pick up some facts or general knowledge about the area. What a great idea, but not something I will be doing. I believe in relaxing during my holiday time. For me the preparation begins and ends with one thing – a good book.

If you have a wander around your local high street now, you’ll find every window display is full of ideas and suggestions for novels and stories you should take with you on your vacation. For me, it is so important to sit back and relax and get into a good story. Every summer, I rent a apartment for a couple of days in central Paris and spend a considerable period of time, reading outside a cafe, while sipping my coffee, or reading in a beautiful local park, or my personal favorite, on the balcony of my apartment in the morning and just after sunset.

I’m a pretty slow reader. A book of about 500 pages can take me well over a week to finish. I know some people, who love reading like me, can literally finish a book in 24 hours or even less if the story is that compelling. So I decided to write this post for all the tourists out there, who spend ages choosing their summer read and then finish it in rapid time and don’t know where to get another one.

Paris actually has a lot of English language bookshops. The vast majority of them can be found in the centre. Ok, it’s true, a lot of the iconic bookshops have disappeared and this is a terrible shame. It seems like a difficult business to try and create an independent book shop exclusively selling books in English in the heart of Paris. But there are still many options available, even if they are slightly on the more commercial side of things. For me, WHS is always nearby. It’s on the same street as the Louvre, so you will definitely be in the area (number 248). It’s also great for English and American newspapers, so you can catch up on the latest news, if you don’t have a T.V in your apartment. Another great option is Shakespeare and Company ( no connection to the man himself) Just across the river in the 6th, this place has a better stock and is less commercial than WHS, so you can spend some time here and get lost in the titles. So much better than ordering online and a great way to spend an afternoon.