I, Beth Marlin, have been writing about Paris for the past 16 months. I have paused to meet a girlfriend for lunch occasionally, but it does appear that the place I'm supposed to be occupying at the moment, is right here, at my desk.

I have been writing about street markets and cooking classes, Josephine Bonaparte and Gustave Eiffel. Diving into the historical significance of a cafe or former royal palace, has made Paris come alive for me, with a depth that encompasses centuries. Just like the geological strata of a cliff face, Paris reveals its secrets by allowing one to peel away the layers of time. Would you rather be seated in the present, or at the table of Voltaire (1694-1778) at the restaurant, Le Grand Vefour?

Here is a picture of me, lying on stone, soaking up the centuries.

If you are fortunate enough in the near future, to be standing somewhere in close proximity to the Musee du Louvre, contemplate this: "King Philippe-Auguste began the construction of a fortress on this site in 1190, to protect the city against Viking raids." That is a quote of mine from my Paris-Insider article on the Louvre (can be found in the Museums category). During a recent renovation of the Louvre, part of the old fortress was uncovered and became incorporated into the exhibit. On this spot, you can plant your feet upon the ground and inherit nearly 1,000 years of industry, artistry and intrigue.

Today, as I celebrate the launch of Paris-Insider.com, I lift a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape towards the Heavens, and pray for a successful mission! I hope you enjoy reading and learning about Paris, and its environs. I will continually be writing new articles about stuff I love, so check back frequently. Also, please note, there is a "Contact Us" box on the website. Let me know if there is something in particular you have read and appreciated. Also let me know if there is something missing, an article about a place or subject, you would like to explore.

May all your travels be joyous.

My Daughter, Rachael
The Vineyards of Medici Ermete, Italy, 2008

Bon voyage!

When I was a teenager, I was a hippie.

Here I am standing barefoot on stone,looking out towards my future.
Vineyard Haven, Massachsetts / Photo Credit: Mike Ansell

I was also a model. Photo Credit: Mike Ansell

And I was a songwriter. Photo Credit: Mike Ansell

My guitar came with me everywhere. In High School I used to take the train into Manhattan, from New Rochelle, New York, to attend concerts at promoter Bill Graham's newly opened Fillmore East. I wanted to be there so badly, that I briefly held a job at the theatre as usher. Late at night, riding the train, going back home, I can remember the feeling of being emotionally impacted by the music.

This is a partial list of the artists, whose sound checks I attended if I could, and whose concerts blew me away:
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
The Byrds
Joan Baez
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
The Doors
Joni Mitchell

I began to perform my own songs. I left modeling, a career I knew would be short-lived, and one I never felt very comfortable about. Traveling West, I stayed a while with my best friend, Mary Dee, on her farm outside of Columbia, Missouri. There I met a community of generous musicians, who welcomed me into their fold...and that was it, the beginning of a career in music that is still going strong. One of my prized possessions, and still my favorite instrument to record with, is the 1968 Martin D-35 guitar, that I played at the coffeehouse in Missouri.

So music is my first passion, and Paris is my second. This year I have released my fifth album, called "Let Me In", on Bambaker Records. To learn more about my music career, go to www.bethmarlin.com. Soon I will be making downloads of my songs about Paris, available on Paris-Insider.com.

2008 Photo Session with John Russo