“It is dangerous and illegal to walk on the highway.”
—Quote from the Michigan driver’s ed manual 
I grew up in Detroit, Motor City, and so my delight in carless transportation has always seemed a bit perverse. But anybody who is a writer knows the feeling. What we do might not be dangerous or illegal, but it can sometimes look a little crazy from the outside.
Currently Browsing: Paris

It’s Good To Be . . .

In Paul Auster’s latest memoir, Department of the Interior, he says, “There is nothing better than being six years old, six is far and away the best age anyone can be. You remember thinking this as clearly as you remember what you did three seconds ago. . . What had happened to cause such an overpowering feeling? Impossible to know, but you suspect it had something to do with the birth of self-consciousness,...

You say linger-ay, I say linger-ee

  I hate shopping. I hate confronting the difference between what a beautiful dress looks like on a hanger and on my body. I hate making decisions. (Another black dress? Or am I ready to show on the outside how iconoclastic I am on the inside, by wearing, say, neon orange?) And then there’s the pesky little detail about money. (Shouldn’t I just put every penny into my kids’ college funds?) But here I am...

Merguez

We’re in Paris—my husband, daughter, and I—for a few weeks. We’ve come so James can work on security-sensitive data that can only be accessed by his thumbprint. We’ve rented an apartment for all of us so Ella can reconnect with her friends from the year we lived here. At least that’s what we tell people. But if you’d been in our dining room the other night, you might have thought this transatlantic...

How Getting a Puppy Is Like Living in Paris

Mittens, my three-month-old cockapoo, nabbed a plastic bag from the dirty snow with her mouth, shook out an opened ketchup container, and licked. Not exactly the height of haute cuisine. Then she sniffed out the feathers left from a cat’s midnight snack and rolled, covering her fur with bloody fluff. Hardly haute couture, either. So what do puppies and Paris have in common? I can’t take Mittens for a walk...

A Visit from the French President

  Francois Hollande, the president of France, recently visited Charlottesville to tour Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, with U.S. President Barack Obama. Holland’s trip to the U.S., at Obama’s invitation, was a historic event, meant to symbolize and cement friendly relations between the two countries. But what the trip meant for me was this: Now my city is on the map. Maybe when I return to France,...

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