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Like Elaine from Seinfeld, I’ve always been something of a man’s woman. I have a lot of dude friends and not too many girlfriends. In fact, I remember in first grade that my two best friends were boys. I still talk to both of them on occasion. One is an expat in Vienna and other brews beer. Apparently first-grade me knew how to pick ’em.

But I do crave female company a lot of the time, especially here where friends are precious and few. There’s nothing quite like girl talk. There’s that ineffable quality in women, especially in gossipy one-on-one sessions, that makes me open up a little more than I am usually wont.

Ariane is one of the first friends I met after moving to Paris. She’s an artist. I have never seen her without some kind of sketchbook in her bag or in her hand.

Chez Jeanette
47 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, 75010 (Strasbourg – Saint-Denis or Château d’Eau)
01 47 70 30 89

In fact, she’s the one who drew the beautiful cityscape that’s currently serving as my blog header. Ariane’s got this perfect jewelry-box apartment set in a rambling building in Saint-Denis that filled with paintings and drawings and blank pieces of wood and canvas — potential art about to happen.

Ariane and I are not at all similar in personality, and I think that’s what I like about hanging out with her. She’s so extremely open about her life and feelings and experiences while I tend to clam up (I’m working on it). We get on quite well.

I met Edna through her blog. She’s a fantastic writer and photographer and she’s living the kind of brave, globe-trotting life that people dream about.

We met for lunch for the first time this week at Merci. As she said in a tweet later that afternoon, it was one of those first meetings where we found ourselves saying, “Me too!” a lot. We have a lot in common, it seems, including an all-encompassing love for office supplies and disinterest in the big touristy museums.

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 (Saint-Sébastien-Froissart)
01 42 77 00 33

Madeli is a scientist. She’s married to one of the gentleman’s friends from work and has the most adorable boy child who, having recently learned to walk, likes to stumble around whatever café or restaurant or train car we happen to be in and make new friends out of all the strangers with his big brown eyes and dimpled cheeks.

Madeli and her husband Philo are forever telling me about new places to get a good coffee or breakfast or delicious pastries in the city. (They were the first to invite us out to La Caféothèque when I first got here.) This week, I met up with Madeli for an early breakfast at posh Claus in the first, the first time in weeks that I’ve had a good French-style breakfast with all the accoutrements.

14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 (Louvre – Rivoli)
01 42 33 55 10

A good week, all in all.

Music to live by: Voyage sans retour [Bertrand Burgalat // Toutes Directions]