Artsy Fartsy Francophiles

Paris street fashion. Source:

Almost finished with Orientation. Between mini seminars on safety and the science of dating in Paris, I’ve been watching people.

I found this comical and chauvinist blog online that lists the “100 Red Flags,” traits in potential girlfriends that the boys should avoid. Red flag #81? Never date a girl who studied abroad in Paris. They list their reasons, which are funny but generalized and unimaginative (even if they have an inkling of truth to them).

There is something to be said about Paris attracting a certain type of person. Coco Chanel, Carrie Bradshaw, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein: this city is drowning in cultural significance.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.”

New York draws all kinds of people because it has a variety of strong industries: art, architecture, music, dance, theatre, sports, and —of course—finance. And while Paris is strong in art, architecture, music, history, and—of course—fashion, it isn’t exactly known for its Wall Street, and stretching is a sport here. So while the business and baseball buffs round out New York’s artsy-fartsy culture, Paris has no such equivalent.

Just the artsy fartsies.

Looking around my orientation sessions, there are a lot of women. I’d say maybe 70 percent.  And of the handful of guys, I’d bet half are gay (it’s hard to tell in Europe, where being “metro” is the new black).

So not to worry, Almost Boyfriend. The numbers are in your favor.

Angela Carter, a British author, thought that cities had sexes: “London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Wardrobe Essentials: Ten “Perfect 10” Pieces for Paris

The most recent issue of Matchbook Magazine (a recent obsession) boasts a great article about riding boots. I’ve actually been on the hunt for black leather riding boots for more than a year, and just last night found a pair of Anne Klein black riding boots that I’ve been lusting after.

Having submitted my application to study in Paris, I’m already thinking about what I need to bring. Parisian style is timeless, minimalist and practical (except for heels on cobblestones), so I thought I’d write about the 10 essentials that I’ll be bringing (even though I’m only bringing one suitcase!). I also haven’t written about my “Perfect 10” in a while, so I thought I’d pay homage to that.

Thus, ladies, the Perfect 10 essentials for my Paris wardrobe:

Crasslee boots, Anne Klein

1. Leather riding boots [CHECK!]. Let’s start with a New England classic. And no, I’m not talking about a North Face jacket. Classic leather riding boots are timeless and should last for years. My mom, who’s in her late 40s just tossed a pair of leather boots she bought in college. They’ve been loved and dyed and resoled, but black leather boots will never go out of style. I’ve been looking for the perfect pair for months, and finally found one that is high quality, reasonably priced, and doesn’t have excessive frills. But if plain black seems a little too boring, I also love a dark brown, which is equally versatile. Or try another kind of boot: I know I love my cowboy boots!



Reva flats, Tory Burch

2. Not-so-boring flats. The ballet flat is not only comfortable, but it’s a chic, polished alternative to sneakers. Anything with a rubberized sole will be sturdier. Also, this might just be me, but I Febreze the crap out of my flats because my feet sweat buckets in them and I don’t wear socks or anything. Though I’m a huge fan of plain black flats (like black Tory Burch ones that are both sporty and pretty), I feel the tres Parisienne trend is colored or embellished flats. I love red or green ones because they add a punch of unexpected, fun color. Plus, red and denim go incredibly well together.


Continue reading