TL;DR: I’m an American writer, married to a French winemaker, living in California.
Perhaps it’s the large French population in San Francisco and my apartment’s proximity to the city’s first boulangerie that drove me to fall in love with all things français. All I know is in 2004, I found myself in the company of French people fairly often, and not on purpose – my favorite bar, Tunnel Top, was French-owned, as was a tiny restaurant that I loved (Moussy’s, which closed, rebranded, and moved to a different location, but was never quite as charming as its original basement space). I also hung out with a handful of French DJ’s when I used to work in the nightclub industry. You honestly can’t throw a macaron without hitting a French person in San Francisco – we have two French schools in the city alone, one in Marin County, one in Berkeley, and a French charter school further north in Santa Rosa.
Yet despite all of SF’s French-ness, France was never really on my radar, until I began working for a mother-daughter duo at their boutique filled with antiques hauled back from France, and coffee table books extolling “tips from a French grandmère” or “finding your inner French girl”. French films like L’Auberge Espagnole and Amelie were part of my Netflix queue, my home soundtrack was the music from the Hotel Costes bar (CDs acquired from the boutique), and I even dared to make a gigot d’agneau to surprise my friend (who, as it turns out, wasn’t into lamb).
In 2009, I met my husband, and turned into the full-on Francophile that I am today. It started with me making boeuf bourguignon to impress him, and it never stopped. We root for Les Bleus together, we listen to Jacques Brel and Jamiroquai, and enjoy clafoutis as much as we enjoy a great carrot cake. I’ve fully embraced his country, just like he’s embraced mine, and it makes for a wonderfully Franco-American household.