Author and Founder of Prissy Mag, Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen has been living and writing in Paris since 1999.
1. What initially inspired you to move here or visit?
It was a love story. I was living in NYC, he in Paris. We decided to live here rather than him move there.
2. Earliest Paris memory?
Standing in front of Notre Dame Cathedral on a cold grey Sunday in January of 1999, freezing my butt off and thinking “Wow. So this is what I’ve been missing.”
3. Best neighbourhood you’ve ever lived in?
My neighbourhood near Parc Monceau. It’s got everything you could want and more. I love being near that park, the market street rue de Levis, and I like the calmn of the neighbourhood.
4. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Paris?
Once my husband made me some pasta with truffles. So delicious! And as he is so knowledgeable in the art of cuisine he chooses some awesome restaurants for us to try out as well. I had a nice meal at Bigarrade. We’ll be going to Senderens and Yam Chi soon and I expect those to be pretty good too.
5. Sexiest moment you’ve had in Paris?
The first time I took my husband (then boyfriend) to see the Eiffel Tower. He was living in another part of France so it was completely new for him. We walked all day around the city and he found it magnificent. He is normally very shy when it comes to PDA but he was so overwhelmed by the city’s magic that he stopped in mid-stride and gave me a very passionate kiss near Les Invalides in front a bus of Japanese tourists. Unforgettable day…
6. What do you hate most about living in Paris?
Most of the things you get in almost any big city: expensive apartments, crowds, noise, pollution. Other than that and particular to Paris, I’d say the strikes and the complete lack of customer service. And finally, that it’s so far from my family back in America.
7. Who’s your favourite Parisian — be they living or dead, real or fictional?
Edmund Dantès, along with his creator Alexandre Dumas.
8. Favourite cinema?
The screens on Les Champs Elysées are great but the crowds aren’t so I tend to go to the Opéra cinemas.
9. Right bank or left bank? And why?
Right. I started right and have kept to it. It feels like home for me and it’s near some of my favorite places. My neighborhood especially is so residential. We hardly see any tourists. It’s what I call living the “real” French life rather than a dreamy postcard version of it. I don’t really care for the left bank actually.
10. Favourite Caviste?
If I need a huge selection, Lavinia. For a bit more intimacy, the one down the block from my apartment of which I can’t recall the name.
11. Where do you go to escape the city?
To another city, most of the time. Rome or London. Barcelona. But my favorite thing is to go back home to America, be it Alabama or NYC.
12. Where are the best looking girls or boys in Paris and why?
For men, Le Marais, because they have that innate Parisian style about them. Otherwise, go into any trendy bar / restaurant such as Kong or Cantine du Faubourg and les voilà. Sometimes it’s the guy or girl sitting next to you on the metro!
13. Where do you get your news?
BFM, LCI, CNN and the internet.
14. Favourite museum?
The Louvre. I know, but I can’t get enough of it.
15. Favourite shop?
This should in theory be the easiest question but I find it the hardest. I’ve many, but these days I spend a lot of time in Du Pareil Au Meme.
16. Who’s the most stylish Paris personality?
17. What is your favourite film set in Paris?
Montmartre, from Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.
18. What about Paris most inspires you?
The Architecture. The Food. The Attitudes. The Modesty. The Understanding. The Openness. The History. Zola. Stendal. Dumas. Hugo. Celine. Guy du Maupassant. The Seine. Pont Alexandre. Other expats. Prissy Mag. And My Franco-American kid.
19. What makes someone a Parisian?
Being able to have a perfect love/hate relationship with the city sometimes! Real (French-born) Parisians seem to master that. One minute they’re talking about a great expo or a restaurant they ate in and loved over the weekend. The next minute, they’re complaining about the strikes, the weather or les impots. For me, that’s typically Parisian.
20. What’s your favourite French word? (Swear words allowed!)
OK, then merde alors!