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
If you've ever received a miniature Eiffel tower or a cushion embroidered with Sacré-Coeur, you'll appreciate that not everything that comes from Paris is chic. But there are plenty of things you can gift from Paris that will delight your friends and family without provoking an eye roll.