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

OCTOBER 30, 2013 12:29PM

A Venetian ghost story?

We expected magical things to happen to us when we arrived in Venice late last March. 

The unexpected snow falling on water and stone boded well. But in spite of that beautiful sight, it was a rather un-magical visit. What should have been peaceful strolls through the strange, byzantine stRead full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2013 2:14PM

Comment angst

 In the days before the internet, I was even more of a chatterbox than I am now.  The reason for the change has nothing to do with maturity (mature, me?), but rather the fact that most online articles come with a comments section.  It’s wonderful how, after reading something youRead full post »

Many of us who write here also post or write on other sites, as well. I know from time to time we link to those if we think what we've done might be of interest to our pals and readers  here.

I've been debating about this for the past few days,Read full post »

I’ve admired Ingrid Ricks since I first read her here on OS a few years ago.  Having escaped a troubled childhood, she had a few relatively serene decades until discovering she was suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease that slowly takes its victims&Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 6:18PM

Bye-bye waffle fries...and now pasta

I was born to be contentious.  My mom was a passionate supporter of Greenpeace, and never hesitated to talk about animal rights and the evils of, among other things, wearing fur.  And so, she probably shouldn’t have been surprised when, at age four or so, I confronted a woman we were… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 8:58AM

Is it okay to forget?

I hardly noticed the approach of September 11 this year.  It’s not that I wait for the day, but I was a New Yorker at the time, living just a few blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood.  

Ever since, when September 11 comes, I brace myself.  I… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 8:19PM

Three times I could have been kidnapped


I’m maybe 8 or 9 years old at most, and with a group of neighborhood friends, selling lemonade and candies from my long driveway.  I remember we didn’t get much business in our quiet residential development.  But suddenly, a car pulled up, and out walked a man dressed like… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2013 8:32AM

An American drive-in...Paris-style



In the days of yore -- or, I guess, today, if you live by a still-operating one – you might have spent a summer evening taking in a flick at your local drive-in.  But while many countries had or still have drive-ins, the concept never really caught on in… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 7, 2013 3:43PM

I played with Barbie and I'm okay


A recent article on Buzzfeed talks about how Barbie’s sales have been steadily declining over the past year or so.  Many people seem to be celebrating this news, and seeing it as a sign of hope: Mattel’s bestsellers are now the child-shaped American Girls dolls and the Mo… Read full post »

Early on, I learned that my illegible handwriting would set me apart.  I first found this out when I was sent to a remedial penmanship class a few times a week in elementary school.  My poor print might have been acceptable for someone who’d only learned to make letters a few… Read full post »


Fireworks the colors of the French flag over the Pont de l'Alma (Alma Bridge), Paris. 

Every year since coming to live permanently in Paris, I’ve seen the Bastille Day fireworks from different places -- staring up from the crowded Champ de Mars, gazing at them from the Pont B… Read full post »

I’ve got a confession to make: Although I wish the boyfriend didn’t have to get a wisdom tooth removed in a couple of weeks, I sighed in momentary relief when I realized it meant we wouldn’t have to house one of his friends who’ll be passing through Paris that day.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 25, 2013 9:25AM

Fun in the pet food aisle


I collect a lot of things.  But my newest collection is kind of odd.  And it delights me every day.

It all started a few months ago.  In our local grocery store, a bag of cat food caught my eye.  It wasn’t a flashy design or shiny wrapping, but… Read full post »

JUNE 21, 2013 6:12AM

Quick - post something!

Okay, so this morning I had some free time and got onto OS to catch up on some reading.  Usually, this is a fun thing to do.  But today, it was terrifying.  Jmac and anna1liese have posted about a strange and scary phenomenon going on here: Apparently, people's OS accoun… Read full post »

JUNE 17, 2013 10:05AM

Useful pain


Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.

- Ovid 


“It’s not fair,” my brother complained half-jokingly one night on our trip to Italy.  “You’ll always spend less money than us!”  He wasn’t talking about my bud… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2013 9:49AM

Whale Watching in Paris



One of the reasons I love living in Paris is that I can find just about anything I want here. But one thing I, a whale fanatic and would-be marine biologist, thought I couldn’t find was a way to see whales.

There are whale skeletons in the Muséum de… Read full post »

MAY 30, 2013 1:59AM

France's first gay marriage

Yesterday in Montpellier at 6pm (12pm EST), something amazing happened.

Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau became the first gay couple in France to marry.

It hasn't been easy.  Even now, a large percentage of France's population is still against gay marriage and adoption, which were officiallyRead full post »

MAY 21, 2013 11:29AM

An Update on OSer Ingrid Ricks

The last time OSer Ingrid Ricks posted something here, it was about Sharon Rosen, a woman going through a health struggle.  Ingrid herself is going through one: retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease she’s been battling for about a decade.  Last fall, she publRead full post »

MAY 15, 2013 3:29PM

Museum Musings


The statue was magical.  Staring at it, I forgot how ancient it was – it transcended time, it was a spirit, an elf, a monster.  


This striking ancient sculpture was just about the only memorable thing in what was supposed to be one of the greatest museums in… Read full post »

MAY 4, 2013 12:10PM

Open Call: Pet Talk

For most of us, our domestic animal pals are among the living beings we interact with on a daily basis.  Maybe it's the fact that it's been a quiet afternoon, with unusually little traffic outside. Maybe it's the fact that nobody's here but me and Ali - the boyfriend went to… Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2013 12:00PM

Becoming a ".com"

The internet started to be widely used when I was a teenager. I have fond memories of chat rooms and talking to friends on AOL instant messenger, and being so excited to find websites about things I was interested in just by typing something into the computer.  

One ofRead full post »

APRIL 21, 2013 2:04PM

Artful Covers

About a week ago, OSer and all-around-great-guy Cranky Cuss posted his answers to the New York Times Sunday Book Review’s By the Book author question-and-answer section.  I really enjoyed reading his views on reading and writing.   Two things in particular stood out forRead full post »

APRIL 15, 2013 11:19AM

American in Europe


I’ll admit it -- in addition to safe and wonderful travels, there was something else I was hoping for during my brother and his fiancée’s trip to Europe: that they’d fall in love with one of the cities we were visiting, and decide to stay.

One of the hardestRead full post »

For the past three weeks, I’ve been traveling with my brother and his fiancée in Italy, Amsterdam, and Brussels.  Late last week, we returned to Paris, where we did local sightseeing and a lot of bonding.  They left yesterday, and it’s been so strange to not have them herRead full post »

MARCH 18, 2013 8:04PM

My March Madness

I’m not a basketball fan, and this post isn’t about basketball.  Instead, it’s about the strange connection I have with a particular term in the basketball world: March Madness.

A few years ago, I told my friend Caddie I was sorry I hadn’t been in touch much lately. &nbsRead full post »