• Is Paris Fuming? – Life in France during the nationwide strikes, now in their third month

    Although Sam Mendes’s 1917 debuted in Paris theaters January 15, I, like many of my friends here, have been reluctant to see it. We’re going through our own form of PTSD right now, and frankly anything involving tear gas and chaos, sirens and claustrophobia, isn’t something we need more of. When I moved to France […]

    2020-02-01
  • Monsieur Mediocre – Now out in Paperback!

    A hilarious, candid account of what life in France is actually like, from a writer for Vanity Fair and GQ. Americans love to love Paris. We buy books about how the French parent, why French women don’t get fat, and how to be Parisian wherever you are. While our work hours increase every year, we […]

    2019-05-06
  • In Gad We Trust – Gad Elmaleh, France’s biggest comedian, is about to make you laugh…in English.

    On a dreary October evening in 2015, Gad Elmaleh, France’s biggest comedian and one of its most recognized stars found himself doing stand up in English in a shopping mall outside of Pittsburgh. “I think that was my lowest point,” Gad confided to me in early September over brunch at Bubby’s, a local cafe in […]

    2019-01-28
  • French vacances: Six weeks of not so great time off

    JOHN VON SOTHEN discovered when he married a French woman that a man’s visions of those sex filled, rosé saturated lazy European summer holidays are unfortunately dependent on one thing. You have to spend them with…..the French. THE DINNER PARTY One of the selling points my wife, Anaïs, pitched me before bundling me off to […]

    2017-09-04
  • The Post-Trump American in Paris: the newly registered sex offender

    Since the Trump election, living in Paris as an American is kind of like being a registered sex offender.

    2016-11-29
  • Passport Control

    Passport control in US airports used to be a no man’s land politically. No longer so, says JOHN VON SOTHEN, who recently noticed small changes put into place, changes he wouldn’t have picked up on had Fox News not been staring him right in the face. 

    2016-09-05
  • The curious hanging Santas of Paris

    Recently, I’ve been having a hard time convincing my seven-year-old daughter Santa exists. She just saw High School Musical 2 at a sleepover “pajama party” last weekend and usually, if you’re old enough to appreciate the works of Zak Efron, chances are you’re not buying the Santa Claus myth anymore. And honestly, how could she? […]

    2015-12-23
  • The Wit of the Staircase

    I’m finding myself declining dinner invites more and more only because I’m tired of disappointing my hosts. The poor things: Here they were expecting a writer from Vanity Fair, an American who’s lived in New York and now Paris, and all they got was this lousy t-shirt. And it’s not like I’m aggressive or intentionally […]

    2015-11-10
  • Douche pour Tous!

    France invented the best word ever to describe an awful person, yet ironically, nobody in France ever uses it. How can the French learn to say douche the “right way,” reclaim their cultural heritage, and in the process, discover their own inner-douche. I used to be a lot funnier when I was younger. A lot. […]

    2015-09-11
  • Philosophical mic dropping at the Flore

    DOROTHEE PARTERRE organizes an open mic night at the Flore where modern day French minds and pens, (dead and alive) return to their literary Mecca to deliver a meta form of comedy the city hasn’t seen in years.

    2015-04-25