Alysa Salzberg's Blog (60)

Remembering the OS dead: An update

Hi guys,

A few days ago, I posted here about what to do about those (all too many) OSers who have passed and whose work may now disappear forever from the internet, with the shutting down of Our.

I got some wonderful comments on that post, both kind messages addressed to me, and profound thoughts regarding what to do about our OS dead.

Ultimately, here is what I've decided, personally:

Since I was closest to these two dearly departed, I'm going to do sites for…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on June 10, 2019 at 5:08pm — 5 Comments

What about our dead?

Hi guys,

It's been a while since I've posted here. Life has taken me in some different directions, but I was always comforted to know that Our Salon was there, and that I could go back and lurk or even one day maybe chime in. I was shocked to get the message that this place is shutting down - but I understand. I see lots of people thanking Lorianne and I want to do that, too.

Thanks, Lorianne, for all of your hard work, and for giving us a refuge, a place to make our own, and a…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on June 1, 2019 at 1:14pm — 19 Comments

The Gingerbread Man on the Metro

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, still packaged, to pull out when things got really hard.…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on December 11, 2016 at 4:00pm — 7 Comments

Very sad news about a former OSer

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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on October 25, 2016 at 3:30pm — 7 Comments

The Little American

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 American parent, I’ve spent most of my adult life in the City…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on October 15, 2016 at 7:12am — 19 Comments

Locomotives and hipster culture collide in an old Parisian train depot — and it’s pretty awesome

One of the perks of having an energetic, inquisitive toddler is that it makes you get out more — not to mention head…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on August 26, 2016 at 2:30pm — 7 Comments

Monkeys, trains, and more: A two-year-old's video playlist

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 from watching it, along with movies and music videos (my mom likes to…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on August 17, 2016 at 1:30pm — 9 Comments

Why J.K. Rowling won't stop

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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on August 3, 2016 at 1:59pm — 4 Comments

What an injury has taught me about myself

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 reasonable – I want him to know how to have fun on his own,…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on July 13, 2016 at 6:25am — 16 Comments

Lessons learned from dream jobs I've had

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:…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on July 6, 2016 at 3:51pm — 11 Comments

Flooding in Paris

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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on June 4, 2016 at 2:52pm — 6 Comments

American in Europe: Marilyn Sands' OC

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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on May 16, 2016 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Jump to the moon

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 twinkling light in shops or on TV shows.  They were in every picture book,…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on May 9, 2016 at 5:00am — 12 Comments

On my feet

“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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on April 18, 2016 at 4:30pm — 8 Comments

An old post about why I'm not a marine biologist - with an absolutely delightful comment thread from James

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 — 7 Comments

How I talk to my son

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 as language can be to my soul. 


One of…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on March 14, 2016 at 4:00pm — 15 Comments


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 — 12 Comments

How to give up a dream job for your family

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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on February 23, 2016 at 3:30pm — 14 Comments

Goodbye, James Mark Emmerling, my friend from two lives

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…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on January 18, 2016 at 6:30am — 54 Comments

This week

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 “Happy, happy, happy!”  This week, you danced with your…


Added by Alysa Salzberg on January 10, 2016 at 2:00pm — 11 Comments


Greeting of the Day

Posted by Ron Powell on June 16, 2019 at 10:08am 0 Comments

Go Big or Go Home

Posted by Ron Powell on June 16, 2019 at 9:30am 2 Comments

Waiting And Seeing

Posted by Robert B. James on June 16, 2019 at 7:29am 1 Comment

Leaving the Purple House

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 15, 2019 at 9:30pm 2 Comments

As Luck Would Have It

Posted by Robert B. James on June 15, 2019 at 3:04pm 1 Comment

PreOP Poem

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 14, 2019 at 1:33pm 2 Comments

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