At apéro with friends, Le Petit Mâchon, Paris

At apéro with friends,
Le Petit Mâchon, Paris

Two cities. Two homes.
One story.

Lisa Anselmo, a writer and creative director, started traveling to Paris regularly twelve years ago—at first, to cover the fashion trade shows for a lifestyle website. But soon, she had cultivated friends—both Parisians and expats—and after over a decade of visits, had built another life across the ocean.

In 2012, after the death of her mother from breast cancer, she decided to seize the day and make her other life official, buying an apartment in Paris’s Right Bank. One bold move led to a changed life. Now, she’s learning to live like a real parisienne—at least when she can get away from her New York life.

Also follow her story, here:
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Get a sample of life in two cities with these top posts:
How It All Began
Leaving Left, Turning Right
Feathering my Nest (Fearlessly in French)

A Tale of Two Cities
(Parisian) Life Interrupted
How Paris Does Groceries
Lisa’s Hood
Door Closed, Window Open
A Nomad in Paris
Or click to follow my story from the first post

Photo: ©Marie Gayeski

Photo: ©Marie Gayeski


The memoir, My (Part-time) Paris Life, is due to be published next fall by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press
Lisa wrapped her entire life around her mother, a strong woman who was a defining force in her daughter’s life—maybe too defining. When her mother dies from breast cancer, Lisa realizes she hadn’t built a life of her own and struggles to find her purpose. Who is she without her mother—and her mother’s expectations? Spiraling into depression, she reaches for a lifeline in the form of an apartment in Paris. Maybe it’s a reckless purchase, but it doesn’t matter. When you’re desperate for a reason to live, you don’t stop to crunch numbers and get consensus. And it’s not as if a lifetime of playing it safe and pleasing others has brought her much happiness. What starts out as a lurching act of survival sets Lisa on a course that reshapes her life—and her—in ways she could have never imagined. But how can you imagine a life bigger than anything you’ve ever known? 

©2015 Lisa Anselmo. All rights reserved. This blog and all original content, including photography, are property of the author unless otherwise noted. No part of this blog may copied, repurposed, pinned, published or distributed without permission.

10 responses to “About

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I thought I would contact you as I am a casting producer looking for expats renovating their properties for a new series called House Hunters International: Renovation.

    The original show, ‘House Hunters International’ is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America and the Travel Channel in the UK. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

    Here are some examples of the show that you can watch on Youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reYI3L3lC-c – Barcelona from LA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOiump3__Mo – Vienna from California

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tblIVLw0coE – Panama from Pennsylvania

    We are working on an exciting new spin-off show called House Hunters International: Renovation and we are looking for expats who have recently bought fabulous properties and are about to embark on some imminent renovations. Ideally they should be outgoing and fun and have bought a property within the last few years. We are looking for people throughout Europe and I thought perhaps you might fit the bill!

    We are looking to film this Summer and for the renovation projects to take up to four months so perhaps a new kitchen, a small extension, an entire style makeover etc. We have some budget that would go towards finishing the project which makes it a little more interesting!

    Please do get in touch if you may be interested in the show.

    Best wishes,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter’s Street, London N1 8JD – +44 20 7704 3300

  2. Hello. I just discovered your blog and can’t wait to start from the beginning and catch up on your Paris life. I have a dear friend who is living a life parallel to yours. A media sales rep (integrated sales as they now say) for 20+ years, she too dreamed of a Paris life. She planned, saved and last April executed her dream. She sublet her Chicago apt and rented a Paris apt (St. Germaine area) for one year. She now emerges herself in French lessons, plays host to envious visiting friends and explorers her wonderful French life. I’d love to listen to that conversation if you two met. Wishing your joy, love and good health!

      • Hi Lisa: I used to live in Paris and think your website is great and very helpful. I am arriving this April to visit after being away for a few years. Would love to meet you for coffee/lunch if you are available. We can share stories about water leaks, etc. Please contact me if interested. Thank you, Elle

  3. Hello, Lisa!
    It’s Dawn B (former horn player) from Mt. Olive. I was doing some Paris-googling since one of my daughters (yes, daughters) is in England this year and plans to visit Paris over spring break…and came across your blog!
    I’m sorry to read about your mom; I remember some gatherings (post-Pax?) at your house, and always enjoyed her presence. A lovely lady who never seemed to mind – and even seemed to enjoy – a houseful of theater teens…(which, now that I have my own, I really appreciate!).
    Do you have any suggestions on places to look for a decent youth hostel for my daughter and her friends? You two should also meet some day – she, too, sings opera!
    Glad to read you’re well, and wishing you many beautiful memories of your mom!

  4. Hi Lisa I just came across your blog and love it! I live near Nice and bought an appartment in Paris a few years ago, so a part-time Parisienne also, well not strictly as its in Vincennes which is a beautiful area. I can so relate to your comments about being near a Monoprix and Picard, and Nation which we often walk to when up in Vincennes!
    I wish you many happy moments in Paris


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