Why I love living in Paris

by Ami Cadugan

After 2 ½ years, Ami Cadugan and her family have truly embraced Parisian living and culture. Below are some of her insights about the City of Light.

Three reasons I love Paris?

The food, the wine and the architecture/art.

Also, the people in our neighbourhood, just like the song from “Sesame Street”!

We love that we’ve made friends and are “known” at our local boulangerie, vin cave, pharmacie, food store, dry cleaner and corner Bistrot. It’s a great feeling when you walk by and they wave at you and say “Bonjour, ça va?”

Three places I love to take kids in Paris and why?

Musée du Quai Branly – My younger daughter visited with school and became a self-proclaimed expert. She loves to play “tour guide” and show us art and artefacts from Africa, Australia, The Far East and more! Personal favourite is the Aboriginal art.

Bowling. It’s a great indoor activity, especially with the schizophrenic Parisian weather. Plus you can’t beat those super-fashionable shoes!

Restaurants: Since food makes everyone happy, one of our favourite family activities is eating our way around Paris. But no chicken nuggets or frozen pizzas for these kids! For casual meals, we love: Neo-Bento; L’As Du Fallafel, Clasico Argentino, Crêpes at either Plougastel or Petit Josselin, Eric Kayser (boulangerie), Mamma Roma for pizza and PNY Burgers. Slightly more upscale faves are Ida, Pottoka, Pomze and Le Tintilou.

The kids truly have well-developed palates and have turned into mini-foodies!

Is Paris family friendly?

Paris is definitely family friendly, once you go beyond the tourist attractions. With all of the museums, parcs, and neighbourhoods to explore, there is always something to do. It’s just a matter of knowing which activities your family enjoys and finding them here. Discovering new activities is also part of the fun. Now our kids can make macarons, thanks to the patisserie classes at L’Atelier Des Gâteaux. Impressive, non?

Parisian mums and I differ because….

They wear heels to the parc and dress up to go to the gym. I don’t! Most of my socialization has been with fellow Ex-Pat Moms, so my experience with this is limited.

Living in Paris with kids? Yes or No

It depends on the ages of your kids. Our kids were older (8 and 10) when we moved here, so the timing was perfect. City living is much easier once you’re out of the “baby phase” and don’t have to deal with strollers, nappies, etc. Now they’re 11 and 13, have learned to navigate the metros and buses and can even commute by themselves. That level of independence is hard to get in “suburbia”. And now they’re fluent in French, which is great for them but also helps us out. Never underestimate the power of a cute child speaking French when asking to use the toilet in a restaurant. Priceless!

Great insight Ami thank you. In addition to writing for MLP and The Culture Trip, Ami Cadugan is also a frequent poster on Twitter, Instagram and Yelp!

MLP will be sharing a series of interviews from expat mums over the coming months. If you want to be featured here are all the details.

Love MLP