Peggy Tournigand and Jeff Ruiz
Photography by Alain Elorza
Peggy and Jeff are two provincials who love Paris and love to blog about it. I had the opportunity to talk with them recently to learn about their passion for the city.
Peggy hails from Valance, capital of an administrative département in the south of France called the Drôme. Jeff comes from the Auvergne region in the central part of the country. Although each has an American-sounding name, they are both French! Peggy’s father once worked in England and gave his daughter an English name; and “Jeff” is short for the initials “JF” from his formal name, Jean-François.
Peggy and Jeff met 10 years ago on the Internet, through a Web chat site called CaraMail (no longer in existence). Their coming together over the Internet is yet another example of how the Web is changing people’s lives. Since 2008, Peggy has been working as a safety manager for a large energy company, and Jeff has been self-employed as a Web-site business promoter @ PowerOn.fr.
Having moved to Paris about five years ago, Peggy and Jeff decided that the city had an undeserved, negative reputation among French provincials. Unlike many Americans who view the city as a glamorous, beautiful, adventurous place to visit, Peggy and Jeff’s friends in the provinces thought of the city as being grey, cold, rainy, polluted, traffic-choked, and full of rude people. Not a positive image! Because they now call the city home and have firsthand knowledge of its attributes, Peggy and Jeff decided to start a blog to promote its positive aspects and to counteract its negative ones. Hence, their blog ParisParis.in was born.
The blog is updated almost daily and gives a lot of great information about Paris and its environs. For example, one recent article treated the King’s Vegetable Garden in Versailles, and another featured a video of the organizer of the Festival des Passages that will be held this Thursday and Friday in Paris. Although the blog is in French, non-Francophones will be able to find photographs, Google maps, and Web site addresses that should inspire them to do additional research for interesting things to do in Paris.
Peggy writes 95% of the articles that appear on the blog. The remaining 5% are contributed by friends and persons who love the city. Both Peggy and Jeff view the blog as a “life-changing” event that has brought both of them into contact with persons that they would not otherwise have ever met. More specifically, it recently brought together 112 persons at a Parisian restaurant to celebrate the blog’s second anniversary. (I blogged about this event last Friday.)
When I asked them what plans they have for the future, Peggy and Jeff told me that they will soon open one of the rooms in their apartment in the 19th arrondissement to travelers who seek an accommodation at a bread and breakfast establishment. This will give them additional opportunities to meet new people and provide the guests who stay there the chance to meet two transplanted provincials who are passionate about Paris!