My secret weapon was a little wooden train.
I ordered it from IKEA, along with a shoe rack for our hallway. It was cheap, colorful, and compatible with my son Julien’s Brio track, and my plan was to keep it in my purse,… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on December 11, 2016 at 4:00pm —
I met Erica Herd, who blogged on Open as "Erica K.", at the big, lovely meet-up in Manhattan in 2012. I was impressed by how kind she was - and how impeccably coiffed.
Those of you who read her at Open, and/or who followed her to her Word Press blog, Suburban Hobo, probably know about her warmth and… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on October 25, 2016 at 3:30pm —
That’s what some people here in France fondly call my son Julien.
But for a long time, I doubted he was very American at all.
Although I’m American, and although he’s visited the US a few times, he was born in a hospital in Paris, the city that’s been his home ever since. And as for me, the… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on October 15, 2016 at 7:12am —
One of the perks of having an energetic, inquisitive toddler is that it makes you get out more — not to mention head… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on August 26, 2016 at 2:30pm —
Julien is almost two and a half years old, and he’s watched his share of videos and TV shows by now.
It was never our intention to plunk our kid down in front of the TV, computer, or tablet all day. But I have nothing against TV – in fact, growing up, I think I learned a lot… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on August 17, 2016 at 1:30pm —
Most of my friends and family don’t know this, but I’ve been known to traffic with pirates.
About seventeen years ago, I was writing my second (unpublished) novel. In it, there was a minor character, a pirate in a painting, and despite all the intricacies of the book’s plot, despite the depths of the characters and the meaning of it all to me, I kept coming back to that one pirate.
My next – and best – book was about him and his son.
I don’t say “best” because it… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on August 3, 2016 at 1:59pm —
Which will I choose: A back brace, or a broom?
I’ve always had a strong sense of self. But like many women, when I became a mom, I lost a lot of it.
It’s not because I give my son unconditional love and as much of my attention as I can (and as seems… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on July 13, 2016 at 6:25am —
● Petsitter: 1. If the pets aren’t friendly or at least fun to watch, it’s hard to want to do the job again, no matter how awesome it is (like, even stay-for-free-in-a-gorgeous-old-Parisian-apartment awesome). 2. One of your friends will try to taste kibble, just because it’s there.
● Film critic: 1. It’s not as fun to go to the movies if you have to. 2. I will always, always hate myself for saying that.
● Vacation rental manager:… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on July 6, 2016 at 3:51pm —
Paris may not have earthquakes, but we also have our “big one” to worry about — the Seine overflowing its banks. The 1910 flood created enormous damage and left a legacy of picturesque postcards of people taking boats through the streets, and plaques scattered through the city indicating what the water level was. But it also remained at the back of our minds. Scientists believe that the same kind of flood will happen again, any day now.
Many things have… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on June 4, 2016 at 2:52pm —
I logged onto Our Salon just now, for the first time in days, and saw marilyn sands' delightful post and Open Call about the biggest culture shock you had in Europe. After years of traveling and living here, mine remains the one I wrote about in a post on Open back in 2013, shortly after my brother and his future wife (side note: they… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on May 16, 2016 at 6:30am —
At first, it was stars. Life in a frequently cloudy city makes it such that you don’t often see stars in the sky, and even on clear nights, certainly not many. But there was a time last fall when my son Julien saw galaxies everywhere. Stars were every… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on May 9, 2016 at 5:00am —
“The doctor told me I stand too much,” I say, though that’s not exactly true.
There I’d been, at a potentially urgent appointment, my two-year-old son watching in awe as I lay on the examining table without yelling out in protest, as he would, when the doctor prodded me.
It was the first time I’d been still all morning. And still, my heart was racing. Was the pain in my leg deep vein thrombosis? It’s a phantom that’s haunted me for years, fueled by a birth control pill… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on April 18, 2016 at 4:30pm —
Lately, there has been so much going on, and so much on my mind, that whenever I set out to write a blog post, my thoughts just get muddled. But since I need to keep my other blog updated regularly for work reasons (as opposed to here, where I have the luxury of being among friends and being able to post when it feels right), that simply won't do. So, I went through the old Open Salon posts I have saved, in the hopes that I could use one or re-work one, and post it.
Added by Alysa Salzberg on April 11, 2016 at 4:00pm —
We knew that raising Julien to be bilingual was a good idea, but the choice also came down to inevitability.
We live in France, my boyfriend is French, but not to speak to my son in English seems impossible to me. It’s my native language, the language I think and dream in. It’s as close… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on March 14, 2016 at 4:00pm —
For some people, hope is rays of sunlight. For me, it’s snow.
Here in the most beautiful city in the world, it rarely snows. And, if I’m practical, it’s probably for the best. In Paris, no one salts the sidewalks. Snow means likely sliding down a hill or slipping on your way to work or the grocery store.…
Added by Alysa Salzberg on March 7, 2016 at 7:14am —
One day, you’re looking online for another writing gig, when you come across a job description that seems like a bullet list based on you. All of it’s there, from the things you can do that most other people can, to far more obscure qualities and qualifications.
You don’t read further. You contact the job poster.
They get back to you a few hours later.
And then, re-reading the job description more carefully, you come upon a hitch:
“I’m a writer, but I’m also a… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on February 23, 2016 at 3:30pm —
A part of me has always felt out of place. The place I should be, my soul says, is Paris during the années folles (1920’s), living a poor existence as a writer among other starving writers and artists. I’m eccentric, but many of them would be far more eccentric than… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on January 18, 2016 at 6:30am —
This week, the first full week of the new year, you were twenty-one-and-a-half months old.
You seemed to be more delighted by songs than ever. You often sang… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on January 10, 2016 at 2:00pm —
Ever since we first met each other on Open (or deepened our friendships there), many of us have stayed in touch and kept up with each other's news. Even if not everyone has followed us here to Our, it's wonderful that we haven't lost contact.
A lot of things have happened this year, good and very bad. But one thing I'm grateful for as I look back is the fact that, despite everything, despite where our lives take us, I've been able to keep in contact with so many of my OS… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on December 24, 2015 at 5:00am —
For the first ten years of my childhood, a vast treasure was stored in two boxes in the unfinished part of our basement.
Though they were only made of cardboard with pretty motifs in red and white, the boxes seemed immense and imposing. Even when I was in third grade, I remember them coming all the way up to my chest. Each year, as the holidays approached, my parents carefully removed these boxes from the basement and brought them to our living room.
Before our waiting eyes,… Continue
Added by Alysa Salzberg on December 13, 2015 at 2:03pm —