I had that chance to speak with with my Cinema professor, Irène Savarit-Ghebreyal, and ask her about Paris. Irène was born in NYC to French parents and moved back to Paris at a young age. She has now been living in Paris for 40 years. Living in the 9th arrondissement, she is now married to an Egyptian man, her life consisting of 3 different cultures. I asked for her opinions on Paris and France. Here are her responses to my questions, which I’ve translated from French.
EL: When you’re not at the Catholic University of Paris teaching, what do you do? Do you have favorite activities or parts of the city?
IS-G: I like to walk in the Vincennes Woods, in the Tuileries Gardens and in the Montmartre neighborhood (close to where I live). I’ll also go to the terrace of a café on l’Avenue de Trudaine, when it’s nice out. I go shopping in the boutiques and nice shops on the bigger boulevards of the city.
Regularly, I go to see art and history exhibits and to the theater. My favorite museum is the Rodin [famous French sculptor] Museum and my favorite theater is l’Atelier on the Charles Dullin plaza. It’s a marvelous little theater! When it’s finally really nice out, I go buy ice cream on the île Saint-Louis (middle of the Seine river) with my family for dessert.
EL: Is there one thing about Parisians or the French that makes you laugh?
IS-G: Sometimes what makes me laugh is how French people take themselves very seriously.
EL: What opinion do Parisians have of Americans?
IS-G: It’s paradoxical. On one hand, they look negatively upon and critique the US. On the other hand, there’s always this fascination with it. That’s not consistent but humans aren’t always consistent.
- Paris Problems: Using French in the City of Lights (isastudentblog.wordpress.com)
- Touch Montmartre Parisian romantic love wall experience (dhjd54.wordpress.com)