Rebecca Plotnick is the creative behind the Francophile favorite blog Everyday Parisian. Capturing the vignettes of Paris travelers dream about until they can travel to the City of Light again or for the first time, her photography skills have earned her the reputation for a talent behind the lens.
Rebecca’s enthusiasm for savoring life’s simple pleasures dances in step with what we celebrate here on TSLL, and I am tickled to be able to introduce you to her, although I have a feeling MANY of you already know her and visit her blog regularly. Be sure to visit every Sunday morning as her Links I Love post is her weekly reader favorite (check the latest out here).
Rebecca graciously accepted my invitation to join TSLL during our annual French Week and answer questions about her work, her love of Paris and much more. AND she is offering this week’s 4th Giveaway (click here to learn more about what a lucky winner will receive). As well, everyone has the opportunity to save 15% this week only (August 9-15) on her prints when using the promo code FRENCHWEEK (shop here), so be sure to view her work. Thank you Rebecca! ☺️🇫🇷❤️
Now, let’s step right into the Q & A with blogger and photographer Rebecca Plotnick.
Q1: Everyday Parisian, your blog began in 2016, is a Francophile’s home sweet home so to speak because you not only write about incorporating Parisian approaches to life, but your photography exquisitely takes the reader to Paris. How does your photography communicate your love for the Parisian culture?
A: My photography focuses on the small details of Parisian life vs the larger grand highlights. From the detail of a door, a flower shop on a hidden street, or the baguettes in a boulangerie. I walk the city from morning until sunset seeing what catches my eye. I can walk down the same street a different time of the day and it looks completely different. I love hearing from people that I captured their favorite café filled with memories or transported them virtually through a series of photographs of a park where they picnicked.
Q2: Let’s slip away to Paris for a while. What arrondisement do you most enjoy visiting? Could you share a few reasons why?
A:I will always have a special spot in my heart for the 18th because that is where I had my first apartment in Paris. I arrived from Chicago without knowing anyone. This is one of my favorite times in Paris because I didn’t know the city. I would get lost walking from the top of Paris in the 18th all the way down to the Bastille market or Palais Royal. I often look back at the photos from those first three months to see Paris through my eyes at that time. Everything was so new to me and it ignited my creativity to capture every little detail of Paris. I always save an afternoon for Montmartre every trip back to see my old neighborhood.
Q3: Many readers are longing to return to France, specifically Paris (including myself), if you would, take us through your ideal day in the city.
A:This is easy. My favorite day in Paris is Sunday. It used to be a day I dreaded but Paris changed that. I wake up early and head to the Bastille Market no matter where I am staying in Paris (hotel or apartment). If I am staying in an apartment, I will buy flowers from my favorite vendor and olives and cheese just a few stalls after. If I am staying in a hotel, I will still browse the market. It is great people watching. The French take their markets very seriously and will line up for their favorite vendors. It’s always a good sign if you are deciding which stall to purchase your meats and cheeses from.
Once I have collected my purchases, I will head to my boulangerie on Beaumarchais just close to the market. I prefer a torsadee because it is less crunchy than the traditional baguette. I have been known to score a warm one fresh out of the oven. I always bring friends here and the first minute they bite down into that baguette it is over in the best way. I walk just across the street to Place des Vosges. I will people watch here with a croissant or little piece of my baguette.
I have to favorite spots for coffee depending on the time. If you are looking for a traditional coffee it’s Au Petit Fer à Cheval or Boot café if you are looking for an upgraded coffee experiences. Both are small in size on the inside.
I love to see the Marais on a Sunday filled with energy. I will stroll around, do a little shopping and meet up with friends.
If I am spending the afternoon in the Marais, I love Miznon for lunch with is an Israeli/Middle Eastern spot.
I would eventually make my way across to the Left Bank for sunset and meet friends for a glass of wine on the banks of the Seine.
Q4: You also enjoy visiting Italy and recently returned from visiting Positano and Capri. What do both the French and the Italian culture have in common which draws you to them and how are they uniquely different?
A:Positano and Capri were amazing. I studied abroad in Florence so there is always something special about returning to Italy. I think the French and Italians take so much pride in their culture and food. The coffee is 100% better in Italy and the pastries are way better in France. It all depends on the city vs small town because I think the cultures can be similar. In Paris/Milan there is a fast pace of life and in the small towns it is more relaxed and slow.
Q 5:When you return to Paris this fall, the first time since the pandemic, what are you most looking forward to experiencing/seeing/doing?
A:I am so excited to see friends who I have missed since the pandemic. I also love seeing the people of Paris that make the city my special place. From the people that work at the café on the corner to the shop owners. I want to check on the small businesses and support them through making a purchase or having a meal. Surprisingly there are a lot of things that have opened in the last 2 years in Paris from hotels, shops, and museums. I kept a running list on the blog and I want to see them in person. La Samaritaine has been closed for years. I have never had a look inside so that is high on my list. I plan to eat lots of warm baguettes with salted butter, croissants, and ice cream from Berthillon. I also want to shoot the city with a fresh set of eyes. I had 4 visits to Paris in 2019 and now it will be two years since I have been back. I want to soak it all up through every sense.
Q6: Having traveled on your own often to Europe, what tips can you share with readers who may be interested in traveling solo but have never done it before?
A:I have so many readers that are interested in solo female travel. It can be scary and intimidating at first but also an amazing experience. You will never argue with someone else on what to have for dinner or visit a museum you would rather skip. You have the opportunity to create your own agenda on your timeline. Bring a book for reading in a cafe or restaurant over a meal and be open to making conversation with other strangers at the next table. It is always important to make smart decisions and put safety first. Don’t drink past your limit, lock up your belongings in your hotel safe, and if a situation doesn’t feel right find a way out.
Q7: Your photo shop sells your prints of Paris and Italy, and your work has even been commissioned for the cover of a recent novel The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay. You offer a variety of different sizes for each photo. Do your customers ever share with you where they display your work and if so, what are some unique and inspiring ideas they’ve revealed?
A: Yes! I nearly fell on the floor when I was contacted to be on the cover of a Tatiana de Rosnay book. My first Paris apartment photo in the rain is the cover for “The Rain Watcher”. Tatiana de Rosnay’s book, “Sarah’s Key” was the first story I read about France during WWII. It is one of my favorite books.
I have been shooting and selling my work for 12 years now and I still feel the same joy and excitement when I get a sale from a customer. I am so grateful that I get to do what I love every day and that people have chosen my work to hang in their home. It is an honor! I love seeing the way people display my artwork in their homes. I have a variety of work that allows me to end up everywhere from the kitchen, bedroom and even the bathroom. I recently had a sale from a customer who let me have creative freedom when it came to choosing a selection of black and white prints of Paris. A group had an architectural theme and another group was all about Parisian cafés. I loved the way it turned out.
Q8: Upon reflection, what invaluable life lessons has traveling and spending time in Paris given you as you live your life today?
A:Travel has given me the gift to experience other cultures and to see other parts of the world. I was born and raised in Cincinnati Ohio and didn’t leave the country until I was a junior in college. I feel the whole world opened up to me at that moment. I love the way the French value their food. I was the pickiest eater growing up but after spending time in France I have been able to try different foods I never thought I would eat. Even the most simple foods can taste amazing because they are fresh and eaten seasonally. Spending time in Paris has changed my relationship with food. I am more willing to indulge in full fat items in moderation, savor a glass of wine with a meal to highlight the flavors and lets be honest, there isn’t anything better than French butter.
Q9: You demonstrate on Everyday Parisian how to welcome the culture we love into our lives wherever we call home, as the final question, what is a simple pleasure or Petit Plaisir you enjoy to elevate your everydays?
A: A warm Madeleine out of the oven, a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon, and fresh flowers in the house no matter the season.
Explore the 4th TSLL French Week Giveaway from Everyday Parisian for one lucky TSLL reader (enter by August 14, 2021)
~All photos are courtesy of Rebecca Plotnick of Everyday Parisian, shop them here.
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