Le Weekend, 2/25/22: Ukraine, Soutine & Modigliani in Paris 🇫🇷

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February 25, 2022

Dear Frenchly Readers,

It’s snowing and my kids are on break.

And I have some fun news: Up next week, we are starting a new bi-monthly column called, “Rue du Soleil,” about moving to and living in France, by author Karen Karbo. And some more good news: Frank Wynne, the adept and lyrical translator of The Art of Losing, has agreed to join our first Zoom book club event on March 23rd. Time TBD. Mark your calendars and finish that book!

I am going to keep this short today, because I’ve already published three pieces and I want some time in the snow with my kids before it gets dark.

But first, I want to tell you that, like many of you, my mind is on Ukraine. Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I put myself into the photographs I had seen earlier in the day of those long lines trying to get buses out of Kyiv. As I looked out my window into what Dylan Thomas described, in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, as the  “close and holy darkness,” I stood next to a grandmother with a scarf tied over her hair; two boys who look like my sons holding their backpacks; a young woman with neatly cuffed jeans, black boots and a khaki trench coat.

This morning, I read the news and then looked for ways to help–to be, in the words of Mr. Rogers, “a helper,” myself. I found this list on NPR, and this one from the L.A. Times. I found that there are many organizations on the ground in Ukraine trying to help people flee or provide wartime medical care on top of the existing emergency of a huge Covid surge. As I scanned through the list, I stopped at a post on Twitter from Save the Children: “Children in #Ukraine are terrified. They hear explosions and are being asked to flee with the just the clothes on their backs.”

Motivated by the evolving situation, Frenchly asked our contributor Camille Bourron to write a “Letter from Paris.”  Please take a minute to read her impressions.

Cook, watch & read ce weekend  (Cuisinier, Regarder et Lire): 

If there is one piece you read this weekend, please take the time to sit down with a glass of wine or coffee and enjoy this wonderful essay we published today about Soutine’s atelier (studio) in Paris that has been adapted into an artist’s residency by a woman from Siberia. Now, of all times, as the familiar themes of nationalism, aggression, militarism and hubris rock the world, it’s inspiring to read about an organization devoted to the exchange of art and artistic ideas from people of all nations and across centuries.

Also, we have two wonderful pieces about the ancient caves of Lascaux and Chauvet in France—both articles have some tips for how to go, and what you will see once you get there. We’ve got an Unofficial Guide to French Grown Up Woman Style here, 5 French Pastry Making Videos and an updated list of what you can bring back through U.S. Customs if you are able to make it to France this summer. If you’re hoping to have a laid-back Sunday en famille, here’s a guide to making your Sunday a true day off, something the French do every week.

Dan and I watched this wonderful, funny and moving movie, Together, about a couple during lockdown—James McAvoy is truly spectacular. And last night, after ice skating into the twilight, I made a lasagna for my kids tonight (why not plan ahead?) Lately I’ve been experimenting with different vegetables and I’ve come up with a crowd pleaser that uses beets, celery, yogurt and cheddar!  If you’d like my recipe, drop me a line. We plan on eating ours as the snow comes down this evening.

Ok, stay in touch, do good work, wage peace in any way you can—every moment, every day matters.

À bientôt,



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