• In Gad We Trust

    Four years ago, Gad Elmaleh, France’s biggest comedian, arrived on US shores with the dream of becoming a stand-up comic in English. The funny part? He actually did it. 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 […]

    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
  • Top Ten explanations for why I decided to house refugees chez moi

    Since I too am an immigrant, the recent refugee crisis has hit very close to home. I feel I should do my part, not just because I’m disgusted by the horrible images and disappointed by how little France has done compared to its European neighbors, but because I understand how frightening it can be to […]

    2015-10-14
  • 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
  • Vanity Flore and the wikipedia page for Dorothée Parterre

    In 2014, I was asked by Vanity Fair to breathe life into a character they were trying to create but hadn’t yet fleshed out. They had a name – Dorothée Parterre (a Parisian Dorothy Parker) and an occupation (a VF correspondent living in Paris) but other than her having a Franco-American pedigree and a habit […]

    2015-03-25