About Colleen’s Paris

Current museum and photo exhibits and tips on where to find things are my favourite topics. The concept of Colleen’s Paris has evolved since the beginning. Monthly editions of the Colleen’s Paris began in 2002. I had already lived here for ten years and toyed around with web ideas about Paris. Romantic walks, for example, seemed like a good idea. This idea evolved into providing neighbourhood tips for flight crews near the layover hotel and Paris events. The tagline evolved from

Once upon a time my grandmother hoped I would learn to play the harp and speak French (she was French Canadian). I remember when my cousin visited Europe as a young teenager. She wrote she was wearing a spaghetti-strap dress in Paris. Skip the harp; the piano would have to do! I was going to Paris (someday).

One of my earliest memories was staying in a very inexpensive room with my mother and a friend with a partitioned sink and bidet; the toilet and the shower were down the hall. We overlooked a courtyard and beyond the main carriage doors was the weekly market on the street. In which arrondissement were we? No idea! Everything looked the same: enchanting and mysterious and a little run down; it was the 1970s.

Living in Europe, attending university, experiencing different jobs and life, I moved to Paris in 1993. I continued to work based in the States (flight attendant) and return home was a resident to Paris every three weeks for about ten days. Starting in 2010 I no longer had to commute and I could take in Paris full time (almost). Activities in an association have kept me busy full-time. But my eyes are always watching the changes.

I have seen my Bastille neighbourhood transform from small family shops to clothing import/export businesses. The next transformation is continuing with food, wine and ethnic shops, at least five boulangeries, restaurants galore and three grocery stores. All of this within a 5 minute maximum walk!

Paris is always changing, updating and doing its best to keep some traditions alive. I love seeing this constant reality series in action and remembering. — Colleen Shaughnessy-Larsson