Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg
Paris, France
December 31
Writer, copy editor, translator, travel planner. Head servant to my cat.
A reader, a writer, a fingernail biter, a cat person, a traveller, a cookie inhaler, an immigrant, a dreamer. …And now, self-employed! If you like my blog and if you're looking for sparkling writing, painstaking proofreading, nimble French-English translation, or personalized travel planning, feel free to check out


Alysa Salzberg's Links

JANUARY 10, 2012 5:04PM

test daily mo

JANUARY 8, 2012 12:48PM

Birth Control

Over the past week, at least three people have wished me, not only a Happy New Year, but a baby in 2012.  While I understand that they mean this in the best possible way, it’s not always easy to appreciate that wish.

I’d like to have children. I think my… Read full post »

JANUARY 5, 2012 9:51AM

How far would you go?


On December 22, the day before we had to head to my in-laws’ in the countryside, I woke up with a gasp.  “There’s something wrong with Ali!” 

At first, my boyfriend thought I was exaggerating.  But having grown up with a vet tech mom and a bevy of cats,… Read full post »

JANUARY 2, 2012 8:43AM

Is 2012 a year to fear?

As the new year approached, my father-in-law got more and more brooding, gazing into his glass of Perrier as if it were a crystal ball, and saying in a low voice, “I’m afraid of 2012.  There is a big change coming, I can feel it.”  

My father-in-law resides in… Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2011 9:57AM

The City of Holiday Lights


lights 1 

Illuminated decorations outside a McDonald's by the Voltaire Métro station. 


As its famous nickname suggests, Paris is known for its lights.  On a typical nocturnal ramble, you’ll find beautifully illuminated monuments.  When the sun goes down,… Read full post »

DECEMBER 21, 2011 7:38PM

Feel like getting Beguiled?



Then why not come by and check out the latest issue of Beguile?

Issue 5 features an excerpt from an already beloved book here at OS, a funny one-act play, a selection from another OSer's autobiographical novel, two poems, and three photographs from a very unique perspective!… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 19, 2011 10:22AM

My truth about Santa


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

                                                      &n… Read full post »

Back around Thanksgiving, OSer Beth Mann wrote a post called "7 Things I'm Surprised I Like". I thought it was a really cool idea, and contacted her to see if we could turn it into an OC.  She agreed, and many an intriguing post was the result.

I also asked Beth if we could… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2011 9:13AM

The October wind's Revenge

This year’s unusually warm autumn made us think we’d escaped the October wind.

There are different kinds of wind – wind that soothes you, wind that buffets you, wind that embarrassingly lifts up your skirt or blows your hat off your head and then across a parking lot.  But the… Read full post »

DECEMBER 12, 2011 8:28AM

There's not just one Paris

A few days ago, my friend Christine sent me an email with a link to a article on Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris, a new book by American blogger Jennifer Scott.  She wanted to know what I thought about it.

I have… Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2011 8:27PM

Three recent French movies worth seeing


The more time I spend in France, the more I have to admit I don’t really like most French movies.

Don't get me wrong -  the French have some amazing films in their repertoire.  The silent films of Georges Méliès (who’s a character in Martin Scorsese’s… Read full post »

jaws ride

(image source)


In the movie Jaws, bad news is heralded by that famous music:  Dun…nuh…Dun…nuh…Dun-nuh-Dun-nuh-Dun-nuh (at least for the audience).  Of course, in real life, there isn’t always a warning sign when something is going to go wrong/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2011 5:45PM



Sometimes Claire looked at Carlos and wondered how they’d managed to find each other.  If he hadn’t happened to become her temporary neighbor by apartment-sitting for the Dupont's, they probably would have never met. And now, a few months later, Carlos had finished his graduat… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 30, 2011 8:56AM

Two small bookstores that have a big place in my heart

Though hard economic times have led to lots of restaurant, café, and clothing store closures, it's rare that a Parisian bookstore fails.  On the other hand, I’ve read with sadness and horror about the closings of many US bookshops – be they chain stores like Borders, or smalle… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 28, 2011 5:22PM

Small Steps


There are some diseases that never completely disappear, but only lie dormant. Although a portion of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) seem to come to a point where they find a cure – be it through diet, lifestyle, or other methods, many others will never completely sh… Read full post »

A few days ago, Beth Mann wrote a list of seven things she's surprised she likes.   Not only did I think Beth’s list was a good one, I also thought her idea would make for a really cool open call – especially on Thanksgiving weekend (for those who celebrate).

I w… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 1:39PM

What's really blocking me?

Ten years ago, I was a prolific novelist. 

Not a published novelist, or even necessarily a good one – though the few people who read what I’d written did have nice things to say.  Then again, they were my best friends. 

I tried to pen a novel almost… Read full post »


When I was in fourth and fifth grade, you could say I was many things -- including the dumbest kid in the Talented and Gifted Students program.  

Despite my horrific performances in just about anything involving math, every Tuesday I’d go with the other kids in the program out… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 15, 2011 10:52AM

Fell in love with a 'Boy'



 (image source and for more information)


Ever since she joined OS back in February, Ingrid Ricks has been sharing elements of an extraordinary life story – her own.

Born to a devout Mormon mother and a father who can’t resist the call of the ope… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2011 8:33AM

A Soldier and his Family


Gabriel Brousse (back row, second from right) in Greece with his comrades in arms, 7 March 1916. 


Most native French families have at least one ancestor who fought in World War I.  Often these men didn’t come back from the front.  

Though photographs and othe… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 8, 2011 2:53PM

Living the Steampunk Dream on Halloween

Our belated Halloween party this past Saturday turned out to be pretty successful. For one thing, I was amazed that all of our guests – even one who was only 7 months old – came dressed up, like we’d asked!  In years past, this request has mostly gone unheeded, but this… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 5, 2011 8:54AM


The murderer’s rage had ended.  Cissy and another victim lay beside each other in the little space under the floorboards. 

“Do you think he’s gone?” Cissy whispered.

“I think so,” the other victim, a man, replied.

Both their bodies lay supine, still,… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 3, 2011 4:35PM

Getting Medieval in the Marais

Last Thursday, I went to an exhibit at the Bibliothèque Forney, a public library at the southern edge of Paris's Marais neighborhood.  While the exhibit, called Gaz à tous les étages, didn't allow photos (I have got to make a fake press pass and see where that… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 31, 2011 9:18AM

Scary News: Halloween has vanished from Paris


I knew this year that things wouldn’t be the same.  All Saints Day falls on a Tuesday, which means that a lot of people could have a four-day weekend by taking off  the day before  (most French people do this whenever a holiday falls in such a way – there’s… Read full post »

The ghost of the Comtesse de Marignac stares mournfully out the window, waiting for her husband, who she knows will never come back.  It's  a sight that would move anyone to pity.  Except me.  I’m rather sick of it.

It’s certainly easy to feel sorry for her.  A y… Read full post »