Le Confinement – Paris Boulevard – Chapter 12


Join Gloria Swanson Jr. as she shares her glass-half-full moments while living in Paris, from discovering the best people and places in the coolest arrondissements to pairing the right wine with her very current divorce.

This week Gloria is stuck at home.


French people have been jogging, drinking, eating, buying all the farine (flour) and pois chiches (chickpeas), and engaging in mandatory apéro (evening gathering) on Houseparty. Okay, me too, except I have not seen flour for three weeks and I am giving up jogging during this time.

Paris has been on lockdown since March 17 and for some inexplicable reason it has not rained in five weeks. Just to know.

I made out of a list at the very beginning of all the projects I was going to do each day. I have completed not one thing on my list.

Maybe, I will start tomorrow… Or the day after.


I wanted to go jogging but my neighborhood looked like it was holding a mini-marathon every day.

Then restrictions were made and we could only exercise outdoors before ten and after seven pm.

And all of a sudden every person in mon quartier was a jogger – and my neighborhood looked like it was holding a full marathon every day.

As for my neighbors, they just look so smug when they’re jogging. They just look smug, like they are so important. Like, “Look at me! I eat foie gras but I still do sports.”

Know what I mean? Sort of like holier than thou attitude.

They also over exaggerate when they are doing their Jane Fonda stretches. Just to know.


I take my dog out for an hour’s walk when my neighbors go home – and can’t avoid seeing what they’ve been drinking.


paris drinking - photo by gloria swanson jr


Maybe my neighbors are not smug and jogging, but drunk and disoriented?

I’m not making any judgments. It’s France, right?


In all seriousness, I feel blessed to be healthy and lucky to be able to be home during this time.

I have always loved cooking but I must say it’s been a luxury to spend lots of time in my kitchen lately. I am also lucky to have my local wine store that was able to stay open. It is a very small store with the coolest caviste (wine merchant) in Paris. I love telling her what I am thinking of making for dinner and getting the best bottle to pair it with the meal.

Then I usually call my best friend, Beth, in Brooklyn.

Beth is also in the wine business and also has taught me everything I know about wine, which is good for everyone.

I think the first time I ever tasted wine was at Sizzler’s and for a minute I thought it was to go over the salad.

I wasn’t impressed by wine.

C’était dégoûtant! (It was disgusting). I never understood why people drank it.


Years later, I had a glass of wine that forever changed me.

It was at the Morrell Wine Bar next to Rockefeller Center. I ordered a Shiraz but that’s all I knew what to ask for at the time.

I took one sip and said, “Oh, my god, what the hell was that!”

With that one sip, I had the same feeling as when you kiss someone for the first time.

Some may say it’s my healthiest relationship, as wine and I have been together since that day, and not one single fight.


I hear that we will be out of confinement on May 11th, but I am not really sure.

We know that restaurants will not be open till the end of July and things will definitely not be going back to normal any time soon.

Again, I’m just feeling fortunate to be healthy and feeling lucky that I like to cook and have access to some pretty amazing food and wine.

I look forward to sharing some recipes and suggestions with you down the road, but until then, let me raise my glass to all the medical staff, grocery store workers, and delivery people during this dark period and say a simple thank you.




Gloria Swanson Jr. is a writer, actress and stand-up comedian living in Paris.

She’s also available for tours of the famed and fabulous city.

To learn more about Gloria or Paris, please e-mail gloriaswansonjr@gmail.com.



france lockdown - photo by UlyssePixel - shutterstock - embed

  • Lead-In Image Courtesy of UlyssePixel / Shutterstock.com
  • All Other Images Courtesy of Gloria Swanson Jr.