Casual Café Hopper & Peaceful Paris Explorer
Portrait of Urbansider Paris blogger Jane

Jane Smith moved from Omaha to Paris in early 2019. She works as a freelance content strategist and spends her time off running, exploring the city with her French fiancé, and cooking – though metric measurements are still hard for her. Follow her @janeesmith_ on Instagram for travel, books, musings, and of course, Paris.

What brought you to Paris?

I was 10 years old the first time I came to Paris. I remember eating exclusively croissants and croque monsieurs and just feeling so much wonder everywhere I went. I loved it here. I didn’t get to come back for many years after that, but studied French in the meanwhile.

How has your relationship with Paris evolved?

Paris and I have really been on a journey together! Though there are many places in the world to explore, I felt inexplicably pulled back to Paris. Like I said, I came here for the first time when I was 10, then 17, then 20, then 27. While I was here for a month in early 2018, I met my fiancé, who is Parisian, and pretty soon Paris became my home. The greatest evolution has been in my perception — it’s strange to move to a former vacation destination; the experience of the city as a local is very different.

Are there any of aspects of Paris that you dislike?

I don’t love the weird smells you get hit with in the metro and on the street. And I’ll admit I miss having a clothes dryer.

What do Americans think of when they think of France?

Romance, I think. The majority of reactions I get when I tell people I live in France are about beauty, love, and romance. And food.

What’s your favorite thing about Paris in general?

The small scale. I come from the Midwest where more is more: streets are wide, houses are McMansions, and you need a family of four just to finish a jug of milk before the expiration date. Paris feels so cozy with its little café tables crowded together and narrow, maze-like roads.

What’s your favorite daydreaming spot in Paris?

At Jardin de Luxembourg or Jardin des Tuileries in one of the reclined green metal chairs. Bois de Vincennes is my favorite park, but it doesn’t have those wonderful chairs you can lean back in.

What’s your favorite Parisian movie scene?

In the movie Bleu from the Blue Blanc Rouge trilogy, Juliette Binoche’s character swims laps in the Piscine Pontoise at night. I find swimming so hypnotic and relaxing, especially at night and when no one else is around, so I’ve always wished I could recreate that scene.

Who are your favorite French authors?

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If Paris were a song?

“Rocket Man” by Elton John. It kept popping up as I was dating my fiancé so it has some warm associations, but it also symbolizes the enormous personal changes I went through when I moved abroad.

Jane’s Favorites:
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