Hard times in New York Town

oh no!!

Below, a sponsored add on my (private) Facebook account.

I wonder what I find the most depressing:

– the fact that Brad is apparently leaving Angie,

– the fact that there is apparently such a website as, or

– the fact that I immediately fall into its potential audience …

“Theyre Getting Divorced”
Ang Walks Out On Brad And Takes The Kids! You’ll Never Believe Why She Left Him!
Poster at the entrance of the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville: Children are allowed but please tell them to shut up

Suddenly last summer

We just came back from Tennessee. And Tennessee :

– is quite the hipster state (Nashville and its coffees) … or maybe not (Memphis and most of its restaurants)

– is the home state and BB King, Elvis, Johnny Cash and the others, and at this point I realize that I am not going to fool anyone with my three vinyls: I still have a lot to learn about good music

– which makes it a good occasion to take my three babies/toddler to a country concert. The audience is mostly over 75 and wearing cowboy boots. At this point, you probably wonder why. But as Nayla would say: Yiiiiiha !!

– the highlight, though, has nothing to do with music, it was simply an “overweight? here is why” moment. We are trying to reheat Yann’s bottle in our Airbnb in Nashville. The microwave does have a “kid’s meals” option. I press it. Sub-menu: ‘for chicken nuggets press 1. For French fries press 2. For frozen sandwiches press 3. For hot dogs press 4″.  After a moment of nervous laughing, I decide that after all, formula probably tastes  like french fries the most.

A very diverse crowd (source: Reuters)

My life among the 1%

And while the rest of the world is collapsing, I am having the time of my life.

1- we saw Woody Allen’s Manhattan on a rooftop (actually, the terrace of the Yotel). Champagne, earphones, recliners. That feeling of flying transatlantic with PanAm in the sixties, except everybody was posting selfies on Facebook. After the film my husband told me sweetly “never had a better time with you darling”. I purred. Then I realised that had both been wearing earphones and none of us had said a word. Not that sure he likes it when I talk after all.

2- we saw Goran Bregovic at the Lincoln Center. Didn’t expect such a good concert when I walked in. Quite a bunch of self-righteous-pearl-necklaced-50ers. My neighbour had apparently eaten rotten onions. And the security was out of control. No camera, no dancing, no standing, no walking in the aisles. However, after thirty minutes and rightfully so, Goran had turned the Lincoln Center into a stadium. Everybody was dancing and sweating, the whole audience was screaming in serbian, including the self-righteous-pearl-necklaced-50ers. As for my neighbour, he turned out to be a Goran exegete. Unfortunately, there was nothing Goran could do about the onion smell.

Genius idea 544

Feed your baby with quinoa on the very day you have finally mopped the floor (and it took you 2 hours)

"My style? hm let me think ... Marilyn-meets-the fockers?"

How I have not become a personal assistant

Last week, a fashion blogger that I love opened a job position to become her personal assistant. Oh god, that is so me! I thought with my classic perfect judgment- and I sent a CV. Strangely enough, I got an interview.

At this time, I should probably mention that:

– I wear greyish sub-Gap-TShirts paired with old black jeans. Yes, it has been the case every day since high school.

– I belong to this category of people who have to think twice (or 300 times) before opening a letter from the bank / filing taxes / buying plane tickets.

Bref, I was, as they say here, “the perfect fit” to be a P.A. in the fashion industry.

The interview was scheduled for the next day. I didn’t exactly have time to lose 10 pounds, but I did try eating only cucumbers for one day, just in case. Then I tried to hide my mama belly under a smartly oversized dress. Then I requested my husband to take care of baby Yann while I would live my life as a newly empowered fashion icon.

I left proudly, hair dancing in the wind, elegant Csection scarred-silhouette.


1/ It was my first interview with someone who could almost be my daughter. At some point I made a weird joke about it. The girl quietly smiled behind her pretty glasses.

2/ Note for later: pursuant to a secret NY rule, self-mockery is prohibited.

3/ Note for later: pursuant to a secret NY Fashion rule, self-mockery on outfits is prohibited.

3 bis / when interviewed by someone who works in fashion, you are expected to answer that you love fashion. Not a stupid “bah euh … not really?”

4/ after 10 minutes, the girl had clearly understood how poorly suited I was for the position, but unfortunately, the waiter had forgotten about my latte so we both politely had to wait for another 10 minutes of Bernard-Herrmann-Jaws-Soundtrack-waiting. I lost 17 papilla to drink my latte extra quickly so the poor girl wouldn’t have to struggle finding another subject.

5/ No one should be interviewed in a foreign language 3 weeks after giving birth. Ever. At some point, I might have slurred some indistinctive be-bop nonsense, but I am not too sure- I was too exhausted to listen to the sounds I was making anyway.

I took the subway back and immediately glued little Yann back to my breast – he had apparently been screaming non-stop since I’d left. And I came back to my non-fashion mama life, thinking that at least, this could make a new blog post.

For no gladiator could put up with my life

Sheer terror

Please vote for the most frightening moment I have endured over the last few days (my life being a kind of boring horror movie).

1/ that moment when you realize that your daughter, whom you though was on spring break for two days, is actually on spring break for A WHOLE FUCKING WEEK. Which means you will have to deal with her for two more days, while you have exhausted all your tricks ‘swimming pool / theater / please go to your room, find yourself something to do and come back in three hours’.

2/ that moment when after pretending for 9 months that you didn’t care, you finally convert your weight in kilograms. Yep, 170 pounds IS a lot, and not just in pounds.

3/ that moment when you are alone for the night and you cannot find the remote control of the apple TV. And you are too fat to look under the couch, see previous paragraph.

* swimming pool when you are 9 month-pregnant: a moment of pure glamour.

Zorro members who apparently forgot about the "empowerment" feature

My secret Facebook group

For a long time, I thought that Facebook’s sole purpose was to have me waste endless hours. But this was before my friend Flo introduced me to Facebook’s coolest feature: a secret group for women working in human rights. Let’s call it Zorro (its actual name is even cooler).

Zorro has 1,576 members. All women. All fond believers in women empowerment. Their CV sometimes includes a PHD, often fellowships at ICC in the Hague, always a few years in underground and exotic war zones. The group is a kind of salon, and you get invited to participate to seminars on domestic violences in Ukraine, or to do drinks in Lesotho, or to answer dashing job offers in Bangladesh. Very much like the fellowship of the ring, except more striking.

I ended up doing drinks with Zorro in New York.

20 girls, including me, had apparently decided to do some wild job hunting. We were threateningly circling the two girls who did have a job and just wanted to have a drink (poor them). Talk about empowerment if you wish, life is a freaking food pyramid.

We are the champions my friend

For the first time in history, my OB hasn’t told me I’m too fat. If you are looking for me, I’ll be at the coffee shop around the corner, eating chocolate chip cookies to celebrate.

Book club with a twist

Books in New York

Two months ago, I had to read a book I hated and most of my book club enjoyed (apparently the New York Times enjoyed it too so maybe it’s me (or new-yorkers)). It contained paragraphs like this one.

“I read a study once about sleep deprivation. The researchers made cat-sized islands of sand in the middle of a pool of water, then placed very tired cats on top of them. At first, the cats curled up perfectly on the sand and slept, but eventually they’d sprawl out and wake up in water. I can’t remember what they were trying to prove exactly. All I took away was that the cats went crazy.”

(Department of speculation, Jenny Offill)

Then I read another book, which I found pretty awesome (the New York Times too, but also the rest of the world). I thought the following excerpt applied pretty well to the first book…

“You can’t even read American fiction to get a sense of how actual life is lived these days. You read American fiction to learn about dysfunctional white folks doing things that are weird to normal white folks”

(Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

French woman creating a new trend: the snail beanie

French women as fashion icons

By definition, a French woman is supposed to embody “French effortless chic”, as bad magazines say. It does work in New York, but also in Shanghai and I guess everywhere. How do you live up to the myth? Simple.

Option 1 : you are a French woman, too happy to enjoy the French chic cliché: 

– even if you were born on a farm in Montélimar, you are from Paris. All French women are from Paris.

– when complimented on a clothe, look surprised “what, this? Zara!”. Or pretend it comes from a small unknown shop (make up the name if you need to). The idea is to make anybody feel small because anything looks couture on you.

– don’t be silly, no limits. The uniform “red lipstick / little black dress” is long gone. You can ressuscitate everything. Be creative: everything looks good on you. Including Birkenstocks. including the little square of plastic bag old women put on their hair when it rains. Don’t worry, it’s probably hot in Red Hook anyway. Forget you were bullied because you looked like an 80 year old in 3rd grade. Anything is possible

Option 2 : you are a French woman, decided to go against stereotypes 

First, let me tell you that this is completely stupid: there are not that many good stereotypes. Even if you try very hard, you will suffer from the bad ones anyway (and be treated as arrogant – yet romantic -).

However, I can very generously help. Become pregnant. Do not go hesitate to put on weight. Lots of weight. Dress exactly the same everyday, half Gap, half Girls. It’s a precise science, but after a while, nobody will remember your French chic-ness. Regarding hair, it’s easier. The “effortless tousled hair” is too low-key: just don’t brush your hair. The idea is to look like a dog, or like Britney Spears in Womanizer (the absolute master of the dog-hair universe).

Option 3 : you are a French male

This simply doesn’t apply to you. Regarding males, the stereotype of elegance works solely on italians (grease+ tight suits, ouh yeah) or English (tweed, ouh yeah).