les enfants terribles: a hasty tour of paris with children

Last month we went to Paris for passports, armed with a thick, triple-checked dossier and many backpacks full of the endless items needed for the care and keeping of two little kids. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. I wasn’t expecting a flâneur’s thoughtful weekend or a romantic getaway. But I dared to hope we could manage a little fun in addition to our American … Continue reading les enfants terribles: a hasty tour of paris with children

from newlywed to retiree: on places, and what it means to love them

It’s interesting what we block out when we dream of or anticipate a place.

We must ignore the great unspooled ribbon of mind-numbing highway. The ugly big-box stores. The cloud cover that renders a day as colorless as a lump of pizza dough.

Sometimes I think we reserve those kinds of stringent observations for home: to criticize what we are used to and tired of. Continue reading from newlywed to retiree: on places, and what it means to love them

a room of one’s own

The house in France hid behind a tall gate in a suburb of Lyon: Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or. With a name that promised champagne and gold mountains, I hadn’t known what to expect. Fresh flowers and gilded windows? Really, the house was modest, modern French. It was small and white and square and very clean. Everything in its place, and so on. I had never before lived that … Continue reading a room of one’s own