Today I'm happy to introduce you to Marissa from Rue Rodier. As a fellow Brit, Marissa and I always have plenty to chat about and share a mutual love for Boots. She likes her social media and her lovely images of Paris can be found on Instagram and Pinterest. I was really interested to dig a little deeper to discover more about the lady behind the blog - I hope you all enjoy.
Marissa, how did you end up in Paris?
I’m afraid I am another cliché… I moved to Paris for love. My boyfriend was already living here so we did long distance for a year (between London and Paris) before I took the leap and moved to be with him. Whilst at university, I did a year abroad in Spain and knew that I would relish the opportunity to live in another city and experience a new culture. I’m so glad I did - it’ll be two years in January.
What was your motivation for starting Rue Rodier and what does it mean to you now compared to back then?
I’ve been working in communications and journalism for the last eight years (first as a PR in publishing, then as an editor for an arts, culture and fashion website) so having my own site has always been on my wish list: the move to Paris seemed like a good time to start. Rue Rodier was a way for me to document my new life in Paris and have something that was mine on a more personal level. The blog has become this space that has enabled me to meet and talk to like-minded people. I’ve made some really wonderful friends from it!
Could you tell us a little bit about what you do here in Paris?
I’m a freelance writer and copywriter (I’ve written for the Eurostar Metropolitan mag, Apartment Therapy, Stylist, Trottermag, Cereal magazine), although the writing has had to take a back seat since I’ve also started doing a lot of social media work – managing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts for a few brands. One of my personal goals is to continue developing my photography skills and spend more energy promoting my blog.
The reality of living in any big city, even one as pretty as Paris, is that there will be things which are not so agreeable about it. Could you describe some positive (and negative) aspects of daily Paris life, based on your personal experience of the city?
I love the French culture. London is a great city, but it’s a sprawling melting pot of nationalities and as such doesn’t have much of an identity for me. Paris feels sooooooooo French and I love that, grumpiness and all :) The French seem to enjoy their free time more and make the most of their time with friends. They also don’t seem as driven by money or careers as Londoners. I feel less pressured here than I did back in the Big Smoke.
Negative things would be the metro – it’s very dirty, and the city can also be incredibly dirty in certain areas - people don’t really take care of it as they expect the state to. There are also a lot of homeless people on the streets, which I find particularly hard to see - whole families sleeping rough on the streets with young children. France is renowned for its complicated paperwork procedures and the rumours are all true. Trying to get anything done that involves administration is a nightmare! Oh and last but not least, the customer service is pretty terrible. Waiters are famous for their rudeness. Luckily I’ve only experienced it a couple of times, but it is pretty shocking when I have!
You have 24 hours left in Paris before you move away. What would you choose to do?
That’s a tough one…but here goes: I would get up really early (not something I’m very good at), grab a takeaway coffee from Fondation or have breakfast at Claus or Hollybelly, then head to the Sacre Coeur for a view of the city. I’d get a crepe for my mid morning snack, before making my way to the river (via Palais Royal and the Louvre for one last look) board a boat that takes me up the Seine so I can see some of the beautiful landmarks (Notre Dame, Grand Palais, Petit Palais). For lunch I’d go to either Frenchie to Go, Carette or Rose Bakery. In the afternoon I would wander around le Marais, get another coffee from somewhere like Boot Café or Fragments, pop into Merci if I had time or catch an exhibition at the Pompidou and admire the view from the top floor OR visit the newly-opened Picasso museum. I’d probably then go up the Eiffel tower in late afternoon/early evening (not something I’ve done since I was 23!) I’d have apero at Le Mary Celeste or Candelaria with friends, then dinner at Bones, Septime or Cheri Bibi with my boy, followed by a walk through the city to the river, if my legs were still standing! For me, Paris is prettiest at night.
One thing on your Paris bucket list?
To go inside the Notre Dame – sad to say I’ve never been as there is always a big queue. I’d especially like to walk up to the top and see the view.
If you could move anywhere in the world for a career opportunity, where would you choose to go and why?
Probably America. I’m half American (mother) so have always felt like I would live there at some point in my life. I would go to either NYC or California, probably LA.
As a fellow Brit I know we’re not quite so far away from home, but what's the one thing you really miss from the UK that Paris cannot replace?
There are a few things – my family and friends of course, but also a traditional cooked English breakfast. You can’t beat it and I haven’t managed to find one here…I try to have one when I go back. Oh and Boots. Every time I go to London I almost buy the shop out!
I’ve been listening to the BBC4 Desert Island Disc podcasts recently. So, in the very unlikely scenario of you being sent to a desert island, please tell us:
- one book (or magazine) you’d choose to take with you Milk magazine
- one luxury item can I have two? My iphone and camera.
- one piece of music I think it would have to be Son of a Preacher Man by Aretha Franklin or Feeling Good/Sinnerman by Nina Simone.
- one social media application you’d like to keep Instagram
Quick Fire questions
Favourite patisserie? My current favourite is Liberté in the 10th
Favourite metro line? Probably 1 or 3.
Rive Gauche ou Rive Droite? Rive Droite.
Red, white or rosé? Red from Gigondas (current favourite French wine, we visited the village on holiday this year), the exception being alvarinho (Portuguese green white wine) – just give me the bottle!
Favourite Parisian café? Tricky, but probably the Broken Arm.
Favourite French film? Amelie or L’Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker)
Favourite Paris museum? The Pompidou.
Many thanks to Marissa for taking time out of her busy schedule to be a part of the LouLou meets series and sharing some of her photos with me. Why don't you go and say hello to her?