A big part of how I keep up with all the latest developments in my adopted country is, of course, living here. I organize almost a dozen monthly business and social events and am always learning how to integrate more deeply into my life here. I suspect I’ll always be learning, even as the end of my sixth year in France approaches.
But another part of how I learn about France in general and Paris in particular is through great email newsletters. Now, I am a person who hits “unsubscribe” pretty regularly, so I’m not idly sending you these recommendations. These are newsletters I read regularly and tell people about who want consistent sources of valuable information. I don’t think you’ll be unsubscribing to any of them soon, and like me, you’ll probably tell others about them.
I’ve mentioned his name numerous times on this site and he’s permanently featured in my sidebar. Jean has been a mentor and friend in my immigration journey and I would not be here without him. But before I ever met him in person I started reading his newsletter about a year after I arrived. It comes out once a month and is primarily oriented to those who are seeking to immigrate or maintain a life in France, but is also full of insights into how the French think, work, and relax and is almost always headlined by a musical song Jean uses as his muse for that particular issue. You can find many archives as well as subscribe to the newsletter by going to his website.
Heather runs the very well-known (but now ironically named) Secrets of Paris newsletter. I say ironically because it’s no secret to those in the know that Heather saves us a lot of time. She keeps up on the latest cultural news, but also the “oh this just opened” happenings. A perfect example? The newly opened “Liberation of Paris” Museum, which she visited, gave useful tips for, and documented for us here. You can subscribe to her newsletter and get these and other treasures each month.
If Jean Taquet shares some of his personal life, and Heather Stimmler a few more details, Adrian Leeds shares everything with you. Witness this recent article in which she shares what a mess her daughter left in her apartment while Adrian was away for part of the summer. It’s definitely an up-close-and-personal narrative, unlike my first two recommendations, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. Adrian’s style is not for everyone, but when it comes to property and property trends in Paris, she’s really made a name for herself and has been very helpful in helping me understand leases, rights, and the rental market here in Paris. I told her the last time we corresponded that the best piece she shared with us last year was a précis of an insightful presentation she was asked to give to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the subject of making Americans feel more welcome at the 2024 Olympics. Adrian has not one, but three newsletters, and you can find them on her home page under “publications.”
As someone who will often mention “architecture” as one of the reasons I love living here (something at least partially attributable to studying abroad in Rome as an undergrad), Parisian Fields is an absolute jewel of leisurely long form writing. It features photos and commentary from Philippa Campsie, and is a no-holds-barred deep dive into urban design, history, and life here and now in Paris. Check out this recent article which talks all about the different styles of benches we have in the city and how they evolved in relation to gardens in France. Or how about this one, which as you can tell by its title, sheds no tears about the loss of the Trocadero Palace many years ago. She’s only recently back after a hiatus from blogging, so become a (free) subscriber and encourage her to keep at it!
I saved The Local for last because I thought…doesn’t everyone know about The Local? They do an excellent job of promoting their pieces through social media, but in case you don’t know, they also have a newsletter. The Local is all about providing “on the ground” news and information by scanning the French magazines and newspapers and providing what is relevant to English speakers who cannot easily do the same, be it through time or language barriers. Subscribe to their newsletter here.
Any favorites of yours that should have made this list? Please share in the comments!
Photo courtesy of Webaroo