Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg
Paris, France
December 31
Writer, copy editor, translator, travel planner. Head servant to my cat.
A reader, a writer, a fingernail biter, a cat person, a traveller, a cookie inhaler, an immigrant, a dreamer. …And now, self-employed! If you like my blog and if you're looking for sparkling writing, painstaking proofreading, nimble French-English translation, or personalized travel planning, feel free to check out


Alysa Salzberg's Links


Inspired by a question that I couldn't stop asking, I started working on this article a few years ago.  When I finished, I had my answer (mostly), but I couldn't find a home for it.  In honor of the July 14th (Bastille Day) weekend, I'm posting it here.
Read full post »


One of my favorite photos of Julien, taken when he was about a week and a half old.  The heart behind him wasn’t planned – it’s on a cover we use for his changing mattress – and when I saw him there with it above his head, I started takingRead full post »

Well, life is still busy - and Julien's just woken up from an unexpected nap - so off I go, but I'll be back soon - hopefully.  I can't wait to read you guys' answers - and thanks so much, Marilyn , for a great OC!

 Here they are, 10 things I wish… Read full post »

JUNE 1, 2014 6:15PM

How to....

My labor was easy, and not as long as I’d thought it would be, from the horror stories other people had told me.  But after nine hours, I guess my head was a little light; as we got to the end, I couldn’t understand the two midwives who were telling me… Read full post »


Not everyone knows or cares about The Eurovision Song Contest, an annual competition to which each European country sends a musical act, and viewers give points to their favorites (with the exception of the act from their own country) via text message.  While it sounds like it could… Read full post »

MAY 2, 2014 10:31AM

The moon has come to earth


When I was young, I thought the moon was following me.  From the back seat of my parents’ car, I’d watch as it seemed to glide along a parallel road in the sky.  Or maybe I thought it bobbed beside us like a ghost? I only have the recollections of… Read full post »

APRIL 14, 2014 8:49AM

Creature Feature



I’m not sure exactly when it was that my dad started referring to babies as “creatures”.  He likes to say things that stir up trouble sometimes, so I chalked it up to that and nothing more.  Then, I had a baby of my own. 

Since giving birth, it&r… Read full post »

MARCH 27, 2014 12:46PM

He's here!


Last Saturday, a week before my due date, I felt a little strange – and not just because I had a pressing urge to vacuum, my least favorite household task. By 11 pm, we’d decided to head to the hospital, suspecting that my water had broken.  It turns out it… Read full post »

MARCH 20, 2014 10:06AM

Nothing's gonna change my world?

If all goes according to plan (not that it always does), in nine days I’ll be having a baby.  

As my due date approaches, I find myself getting increasingly terrified.

I’ve heard this is normal for first-time moms, and when you think about it, that makes perfect sense:… Read full post »

There are lots of articles out there called or dealing with “What not to say to pregnant women”.  Sadly, like many of the commenters on this recent XOJane post about just that, I have to say that despite the subject’s ubiquity, there are still some people who just don… Read full post »

MARCH 5, 2014 3:09PM

Parisian ghosts


 Rue de Constantine, Paris, ca. 1865 by Charles Marville 

(image source)

That man – do you see him there, on the lower right? – is still standing in his doorway today, looking out at the comings and goings of the street where his shop is found.  

It’s nRead full post »

A few weeks ago, my friend A. died unexpectedly in her sleep.  A heart condition she’d had all her life had finally caught up to her.  

I wrote about it here – about how A. was my closest friend in Paris, and in many ways, more than that, a sort of… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 19, 2014 1:14PM

The (uterine) walls have ears

“The walls have ears.” That’s what my mother used to say when other adults were around who were about to say something that she didn’t want me or my siblings to hear.  But I wonder if she knew that, apparently, we were already listening in the womb? 

Today, it&rsquo… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2014 10:11AM



A week ago today, I read an email that made me scream.

My friend A., my best friend here in Paris, my friend of nine years, had died in her sleep.

Despite my scream, despite the disbelief that made me ask my boyfriend to read the email toRead full post »

JANUARY 28, 2014 8:12AM

What the hell, guys?


I'm not a big news person.  I feel like watching or reading about current events  is a way to shave years off your life from stress…usually over things you have little or no control over.

But lately I’ve been hearing about this whole end of net neutrality in… Read full post »





I get it – some people just don’t like cats.  Or animals in general, for that matter.

But when you’re pregnant, it seems like even folks who’d simply tell you they’re not “cat people” under normal circumstaRead full post »

JANUARY 13, 2014 3:36PM

Is a dog translator a good idea?

So, I have this cool gig blogging for a company called aiaTranslations.  Last week, Molly Naughton, the company president (who, like the gig, is also very cool), laughingly told me about a device that's in development that will supposedly translate dogs' thoughts into human words.

I'm allowed toRead full post »

JANUARY 8, 2014 5:31PM

Last Christmas lights of the season


The holidays have come and gone, and it’s hard for me to let them go.  I didn’t have a particularly good or bad holiday season, but I always feel a sense of warmth at this time of year, I guess. I know the world isn’t perfect, and I know… Read full post »

JANUARY 2, 2014 7:17AM

Enraged? Delighted? Craving a coffee?

Over the past few days, a story has been making the rounds in various online news sources:  Beautiful Existence (that’s really her legal name, this Buzzfeed article helpfully tells us) is a blogger and communications expert who decided to eat all of her meals at Starbucks for an… Read full post »

DECEMBER 27, 2013 8:44AM

Holidays in the Danger Zone




The beef smelled delicious, its perfectly seasoned perfume making my mouth water as I gratefully took my plate and set it down in front of me.  My portion was red inside, and swimming in traces of blood – just like I like it.

Normally.  But this… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2013 10:55AM

A mini-meet-up in New Jersey

When we were planning our trip to the US, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to do a big meet-up like the one I went to in New York last year.  My increasingly reduced mobility, due to the baby’s love of dancing on one of my nerves, pretty… Read full post »

DECEMBER 12, 2013 4:26PM

Baby's first in utero spanking

Around three o’clock this morning, I woke up yelping and writhing in pain.  I wrote the other day about how the baby is leaning on (at least) one of my nerves; this is now the second time that I’ve felt the consequences when lying in bed.

The pain was incredible.… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 2:14PM

This baby is on my nerves!

Well, I’m back from our trip to the States, and one thing I can say is, this baby I’m growing is on my nerves…literally!

A few days before we left for the US, I started to get a pain in my side if I walked for a while.  As with… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 15, 2013 8:33AM

Announcement: Pregnancy and a Pause

The past year or so, I haven’t been blogging here as much as I used to.  The main reason has just been…life.  I’ve written about the massive remodeling we did on our apartment (involving a temporary move), as well as changing careers, and planning a trip through Italy and… Read full post »


Although I’m not really into weddings, when it comes to thinking about nuptials, there is one way that I totally resemble Robert DeNiro’s character in “Meet the Parents”: my cat would play a pivotal role in the ceremony.

It’s not unusual, of course, for people toRead full post »