life lately: cruel January

January is the cruelest month. In every place I’ve ever lived, even the South of France, it is bleak. It is the color gray. It is lassitude and chapped hands, seasonal depression and teeth-chattering chill. I wish we could skip it altogether. In France we are currently under a strict 6 pm curfew. This would feel utterly strange if there was anywhere to go, anything … Continue reading life lately: cruel January

röstigraben: crossing the invisible potato border

One day during our honeymoon in Switzerland, we drove to Täsch and then took a train to Zermatt, which is where you visit if you want to see the famed Matterhorn, sometimes referred to as the Mountain of Mountains, or Berg de Berge in German. As we walked Zermatt’s long main street to reach the lift that would take us to the Matterhorn “glacier paradise,” … Continue reading röstigraben: crossing the invisible potato border

winter wonderland: honeymoon in the swiss alps

Switzerland in a word: cozy. As is my tendency, I had given the country an embarrassingly little amount of thought until I visited. Roger Federer. Watches? I had once been warned away from visiting for a weekend, told there was nothing to do. But a short visit last week (our honeymoon!) was enough to pique my interest. Over hot chocolate, hot baths, and clean, cold … Continue reading winter wonderland: honeymoon in the swiss alps

group date on the DL: adventures in digital friendship, pt ii

When making a questionable decision, it is always reassuring to have an innocent friend to drag along with you. After several days of glumly searching On Va Sortir (a French website for platonic meet-ups), I decided it was time to act. Over dinner one evening, I showed the website to my friend Rémi. Like me, he was immediately skeptical. “It gets worse,” I said. I read … Continue reading group date on the DL: adventures in digital friendship, pt ii

the off-season

In Cannes, land of silver screens, someone has pressed pause. The town sleeps, stirring occasionally to prepare for things to come. Since November, the wind has carried visitors away. The air holds a bitter chill. Even on sunny days, it lurks in shadows waiting to pounce. The clink of cutlery and smell of frites at the beachside restaurants have been replaced by the violence of … Continue reading the off-season