Why I love living in Paris
Uncovering a new side to Paris is at the heart of Lindsey Tramuta’s blog Lost in Cheeseland. She explains why Paris is her dream place to live
Lindsey Tramuta could be a born and bred Parisian. Sitting in an 11th arrondissement café, the Philadelphia native looks the epitome of effortless chic in a crisp white shirt and cropped navy chinos, tucking into a dessert that looks almost too good to eat.
But mastering the adored allure of French style is not the only reason why Lindsey could pass for a Parisian. As the award-winning writer behind Lost in Cheeseland, a blog about food, life and travel in Paris, Lindsey knows more about where to go and what to do in the French capital than most.
“There’s so much happening here,” she enthuses. “You’ve got access to all these amazing things; from the best food, the most amazing art and designers and yet you can still go home and live a very homebody life,” she says.
A Paris resident for over 10 years, Lindsey got her first taste of the city as a student while on a six-month study programme. “It was an eye-opening experience,” she remembers before adding, “and it’s when I met my now-husband”. Lindsey then went on to study at Boston University’s Paris campus before enrolling on with the American University of Paris. “I graduated from college and just never left,” says Lindsey who married her French husband while she was still studying.
Unsure of what to do once she had graduated, Lindsey started a blog, documenting what she did, ate and saw while living in Paris.
“I used the blog to figure out what stories I wanted to tell,” she says. “I started paying attention to what exhibits were happening and that curiosity lead me to get out and explore in a way I hadn’t been. It was really about getting out there and feeling like I could find my own place within the city,” she says. “The blog was a good window for when I wanted to take ideas to more ambitious places,” she says.
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Perhaps most ambitious of all was writing a book, and her first one, called The New Paris, was published earlier this year. Just like her blog, the book puts the spotlight on the new trends and people that are making France’s capital a more whimsical, creative, vibrant and curious place to explore than its classical reputation might suggest.
“I was getting a bit frustrated seeing the same narratives about Paris. I didn’t even want to include the Eiffel Tower in the book,” explains Lindsey. “There’s so much happening here that makes it so special. Whether it’s urban development, the food scene, it all plays into that fairy tale that people have, it’s just a different version of the fairy tale. People who come to Paris will want to see more than just that surface level. It’s a different layer; it’s a more local layer for sure.”
It’s quite possibly this small-town feel that has Lindsey so infatuated with the French capital, as she clearly loves her own little pocket of Paris in the 11th arrondissement of the city.
“I’ve lived in the 11th from day one,” she explains. “We found a place that was relatively affordable and we just haven’t left. I love the atmosphere and how much choice there is in terms of food and nightlife. I have my favourite bakery, coffee shop, cheese guy… I have trouble imagining where else I would feel this comfortable,” she smiles.
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As such a familiar face on the Paris social scene, Lindsey now has a good network of friends, but she says it wasn’t always that way. “It was difficult at the start, and it did take time,” she remembers. Striking up conversations with people in cafés and attending literary events in creative venues such as Shakespeare & Company gave her the chance to connect with like-minded people. “I sort of blossomed when I came to France,” she smiles. “I was never as social as I became and that’s because I had to.”
But while her work takes her to some of Paris’s most fashionable spots, Lindsey is just as happy spending low-key time at home with her husband.
“On the weekend my husband and I will go out to eat, we go to the market and we buy cheese for the week,” she says. “Sometimes we’ll have an apéro at a local wine bar and then come home to cook. We have two cats called Charlie and Leo who we like to spend time with.”
Admitting that Paris now feels like home more than anywhere else, Lindsey was delighted to get French citizenship just over a year ago. “It was pretty drawn-out,” she says of the process before adding, “I heard nothing for a year and then one day an envelope showed up announcing to me that I’m French. But it was very much worth it; I know I’m going to be spending my life here. I will be voting for the first time in the upcoming elections and I want to make sure my voice is heard.”
Lindsey’s blog and book go to show that there is plenty more in Paris to do and see besides the classical monuments and storied museums, and perhaps this refresh is part of the reason why the writer continues to be captivated by the city. “Paris has raised the bar super high. I find it almost impossible to find a place that matches the quality of life here; it checks all the boxes for me,” she says.
And while some are resistant to change, for Lindsey it can only be a good thing. “I’m pleased to see how much Paris has evolved. The city has finally embraced international influence and change and is looking to the future. It would be hard to leave that now. Who knows where I would’ve been had I not come to France?”
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