Ulrike: Quite simply, my husband was requested to move here for work. He didn’t even bother to ask me. A no-brainer. After visiting every year as a tourist, I finally got to live here, and I still thank my lucky stars every day, even after four years of calling Paris home.
Ulrike: It started from childhood, I have always known Paris. But then, through reading all the writers associated with this city, the love grew stronger. As soon as I moved here – and I have lived in a lot of places (note: seven countries on three continents) – I felt I’d come home.
Ulrike: I embrace it. The people are no ruder than in any other city and being an introvert myself, I feel that I fit right in when people grumble at me in the metro. And I find that if you start with a cheery bonjour and end with a merci, au revoir AND a bonne journée, you actually get some genuine smiles.
Ulrike: I am a water person, so give me a bench by the quayside, somewhere between the Île de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis, and I’m happy.
Ulrike: You know, I still get a thrill out of every scene where I recognize a Paris street. Every time.
Ulrike: When I moved here, I thought it’d be time to read Proust. And I did. All seven volumes of it. Alas, I read it in English, my French cannot cope with sentences an entire page long. I am still in awe and enjoyed the history lessons throughout. More recently, I loved Muriel Barbery’s Elegance of the Hedgehog, and Leïla Slimani’s Lullaby.
Ulrike: I feel that Paris is always beautiful on the outside, come rain or shine, but deeper down it’s sometimes not all that perfect, so maybe Soprano’s Clown…
Sightseeing: I regularly visit Pompom’s Polar bear and Van Gough’s Starry Night in the Musée d’Orsay.
Stroll: Walking the Petite Ceinture
Cocktail bars: I don’t go to bars a lot, I usually just choose nice terraces. But I do like Le Perchoir de l’Est.
Restaurants: Café de l’Homme, Les Bouquinistes, Ricci Bayen for its truffle pizza
Brunch: Le Pavillion du Lac, Buttes Chaumont
Chill: Parc Monceau, on a bench with a book and a coffee from the kiosk
Gigs: Call me a tourist, but I love it when people invade the metro – if they can sing.
Experience: I do love ice skating in the Grand Palais before Christmas