|by Meg Zimbeck||France, Paris, Helpful Websites||42|
Ever wondered what it would be like to live in Paris? Immersing yourself in an expat blog is one of the best ways to find out. It seems that every year a fresh crop of bloggers has arrived on the electronic scene to share the ecstasies and agonies of life abroad. Because their lives often include a lot of food and fun, expat blogs are also a great way to learn about the local happenings. I've selected my current favorites (not including my own), and invite you to add your personal picks in the comments.
The mother of all expat blogs—this is the one that got Catherine Sanderson fired when her employer discovered it online. Sanderson sued for wrongful termination, won her case and a year's salary, and snagged a two book deal from Penguin in the process. The second of these, French Kissing, was just published last week and is a saucy fictional account (or so she claims) about online dating in Paris.
From pig slaughter to hip hop opera—musician Dana Boulé has recorded some of the most absurd and hilarious expat moments that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Follow along as she discovers the city, masters the language and takes the French music scene by storm. And be sure to check out her hilarious video French Boy.
Elisabeth Fourmont has been writing this fashionable Paris blog for more than five years. "Don't hate me because I live in Paris," she pleads, while pointing out some of the city's most stylish addresses. Great writing and sharp humor give La Coquette an edge over her fashion blog rivals.
Bring your high brow over to this literary blog, which promises that "reading is sexier in Paris." Lauren Elkin keeps her fellow bookworms abreast of the literary happenings in Paris, while still finding time for the occasional rant.
Churning out a new post nearly every day, Anne is clearly not just another American in Paris. Her blog captures snippets of daily life and offers wry advice to visitors (no white athletic shoes!).
J.A. Getzlaff is an American journalist who shares the loves (à aimer) and hates (à détester) of her adopted city. Count on her for more analysis and less sugar coating than you'll find in other corners of the blogosphere.
A relative newcomer to the Paris blogosphere, this young Francophile is nothing if not prolific. She's already written 318 posts this year, and it's only August. Oldskool Paris bloggers should really be watching their backs…
Another prolific blogger (1,823 posts since January 2006!), Tara Bradford's posts are always illustrated with gorgeous photos. Her subject matter is varied—it's the Obama health care debate on one day and a new Paris shop opening on the next!
Talk about obsessed, the author of this blog no longer lives in France and she's still posting (knowledgably) about Paris almost every day. Her archives remain a great source of insight and inspiration.
Finally, something written by a man! A man who loves decorative arts, sure, but a man nonetheless. Drawing on his training in architecture, art history and gourmet cooking, newcomer Christopher promises to bring a sophisticated touch to the Paris blogosphere.
As the name implies, this blogger is a native and not an expat, but his "Dear Abby" style blog appeals to the same audience. His responses to reader inquiries never fail to crack me up.