Paris [1980-1983]


[I have decided to write a series of picture-filled ‘sweet journey] posts that I hope will share my story, a story of a Third Culture Kid turned Adult. This is the first post. The following posts are here : Manila [1983-1987]]

My parents moved to Paris in their late 20’s/early 30’s, a few years before I was even a proverbial glimmer in their eye. They were both born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Him, Stephen, South Philly. Her, Claudia, North Philly. They rode many a trolley car to cross the streets and avenues around teh city in order to pursue their romance. Him, Lithuanian, her, Russian but both of kapusti- [cabbage] and potato-eating Eastern European heritage.

Married for close to ten years and only having ever left the country for a honeymoon in Jamaica and a budget trip to Europe [a literal $10 a day kind of thing], they threw all caution to the wind and my father, a freshly-graduated Masters degree-toting Hoya, accepted a position in Paris. My maternal grandfather [Grandpop Pete] tagged along for the journey, too. All three were well suited to the Parisian life, though not necessarily aware of being so at the time. History-loving, cheese-devouring, market-browsing oenophiles, my family took to Paris immediately. Here is a bit of our journey in The City of Love, The City of Lights.

1980 - 1983 - [Notre Dame Christening] 08

my christening . Cathédrale Notre Dame . Claudia [2nd from right], Stephen [farthest right]

1980 - 1983 - [Notre Dame Christening] 26

l : r Claudia, Granny Mary [paternal grandmother], me, Stephen

1980 - 1983 - Alexandra 14

what a stylish French kiddo, floppy hat & all

1980 - 1983 - Alexandra 19

born with my hip out of socket, I spent a few months before I was one in a large cast . you can see how wide it is around my already-chubby baby midsection in this picture .

1980 - 1983 - Alexandra 32

apparently not a fan of horses

1980 - 1983 - Alexandra 40

… or naps!

1980 - 1983 - Alexandra 52

I was the official cherry tester when in season at the market

1980 - 1983 - Claudia & Alexandra 25

30-something and still envious of my mom’s ability to rock the red lipstick like no one else

1980 - 1983 - Claudia & Alexandra 32

I was apparently an awful sleeper and would only do so when laying belly-down on my moms lap and rocked, butt-patted till I finally dozed . I also apparently always woke up the instant she stirred, so this was often the scene at our apartment most nights in my first few months . Sorry, mom!

1980 - 1983 - Claudia 01

my stylish mother sipping on a café in one of the squazillion stunning public parks in Paris

1980 - 1983 - Claudia, Pete & Alexandra 08

Claudia, me and Grandpop Pete on a spring walk

1980 - 1983 - Grandpop Pete & Alexandra 08

lecturing my favorite babysitter, Grandpop Pete, on Bottle Feeding 101

1980 - 1983 - Grandpop Pete & Alexandra 09

see, Grandpop Pete? that’s how it’s done!

1980 - 1983 - Granny Mary & Alexandra 02

me, Granny Mary

1980 - 1983 - Stephen & Alexandra 12

dad and I rocking our shades

1980 - 1983 - Stephen & Alexandra 13

let’s talk about my dad’s style, here, please? the slip-on loafers, the vest and tie, and woah, facial hair! handsome and dapper, no?

bonus photo essay :

my favorite series of photos . an only child through-and-through, I preferred to play by myself and stick to what I knew . this might explain why.

1980 - 1983 - [Sandbox Sequence] Alexandra 01

playing in the sandbox at a city park . pretty happy and content to do my thing .

1980 - 1983 - [Sandbox Sequence] Alexandra 02

along comes a sweet Parisian fille and her maman .

1980 - 1983 - [Sandbox Sequence] Alexandra 06

said fille gets plopped down next to me to play, and immediately picks up my shovel in her grubby little fingers . [notice maman’s beret!]

1980 - 1983 - [Sandbox Sequence] Alexandra 07

we “play” . next to each other, but I am quite suspicious .

1980 - 1983 - [Sandbox Sequence] Alexandra 08

… when along comes another jeune fille who, sporting Uggs before they were cool, whisks away my only attempt to have a true Parisian friend .



  1. Wow! I had no idea about your Parisian background. Thank you so much for sharing! Love the pictures and love the story!

    • Glad you’ve enjoyed the story + photos. It’s been selfishly quite fun to go through old pictures and rehash some fun stories with my parents. Hope you continue to like the rest of the journey! xo, @

  2. I LOVE this post! I read it at 1am last night between coughing and congestion meds keeping me awake so I was happy to see it. ;-) We LOVE Paris and how cool that your parents just packed up and moved there. Such terrific pics, thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Jen! Sorry to hear you’re under the weather, but happy I could entertain you! Hope Juice Cleanse 2.0 helps set you straight! xo, @

  3. Lesley Eats said:

    Love! 💓

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: