• Gloria Vanderbilt: The last American aristocrat

    Heiress to one of the richest American dynasties, Gloria Vanderbilt has seen it all. Fame, fortune, love, and tragedy. JOHN VON SOTHEN retraces the destiny of the woman who inspired Breakfast at Tiffany’s and designer jeans, while harkening back to a lost age – when America once had royalty. There must have been a moment […]

    2017-12-05
  • Veronique Nichanian – Hermès’s Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz is never who you think he (or she) is. And inside Paris, the emerald city of fashion, behind a curtain in a fitting room, on the third floor above the famed Hermès store on rue Faubourg St. Honoré and rue Boissy d’Anglas, stands a petite brunette with dark bangs who’s been […]

    2017-05-16
  • 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
  • My moleskin and moi

    My moleskin, that leather-bound notebook I used to write in, no longer inspires me – probably because everyone, it seems now, has one. I see mothers with Moleskins writing down the number of naps their kids take. Guys at the gym tote around Moleskins to mark down their reps. I even noticed my shrink taking […]

    2014-04-11
  • Zero Dark SoPI – my jihad against the hipsters of Paris

    Until now, the hipster nation’s war on Paris has known no limits and has suffered few setbacks. JOHN VON SOTHEN takes us deep within the central command, revealing one person who’s ready to take it down from within. 

    2014-03-17
  • How AirBNB changed my neighbourhood sitcom

    I woke up yesterday just like I always do in the “JvS Truman Show-10th arrondissement edition” with my morning coffee, my morning vomit, and a trip to the boulangerie. Only, this time, something seemed a bit off. Gone were the tired disheveled dads running to drop off their kids at school; gone were their wives asking […]

    2013-08-18
  • The 40 year-old bar owner

    I’ve noticed a peculiar trend recently among many of my 40-year old friends. And it’s not that they’ve become religious or more conservative (that’ll be when they’re 50). It’s that they’ve developed a recent fascination of buying and running bars. So much so I’m starting to think it’s the new Porsche of my generation – a […]

    2013-03-12
  • Will you be my dad friend?

    When I came to France, I couldn’t bring my American friends with me unfortunately, so I had to make ones from scratch, which isn’t easy considering the language issue, the cultural barriers, and the fact that I’m over 40. Because honestly, who’s really making friends at 40 anyway? I also didn’t want to be the […]

    2013-02-18
  • SoPI, NoPI, and PiPI: How I renamed Paris like New York

    “What neighborhood do you live in?” I’d often ask, and it seemed, at the time, to be the perfect icebreaker. Hell, it’s THE most common question New Yorkers pose – well perhaps just behind “How much do you make?” But in Paris, what I got in return were often fairly lame and vague responses, as […]

    2011-09-13
  • No, I won’t go on vacation with you

    Each year I have to explain to my friends that I’m not going on vacation with them. Ever. And it’s not because I don’t like them. It’s because I do like them, and I want to keep it that way. Vacationing together would just screw it all up. Unfortunately, my friends don’t buy this logic. […]

    2011-08-12