John Arndt’s Full InterviewReading Time: 7 minutes
Paris Expats: Why Move to Paris?
John Arndt’s Full Interview
John’s a music producer/composer, originally from Marshfield Wisconsin, he grew up in this small town with dreams of going out into the larger world. He first visited Paris in the fall of 2019, on an invitation to play music at the American Church in Paris. On his 2nd day he decided to move to Paris after being without a permanent address for three years prior.
He was impressed that the layout of Paris is meant to maximize the beauty of Paris. And he’s interested in plugging into the beauty, the culture and the inspiration of Paris.
Photo Credit: John Arndt
Why did you move to Paris?
To have more days to day experiences with beauty. To wake up everyday and be able to say, ‘I can’t believe I get to live here.’
It’s the first time in my life I’ve felt lucky to live somewhere.
So when I was living in Minneapolis, I never woke up in Minneapolis and said, ‘I am so lucky to be here’. No! But here, all the time I look out and I go, ‘oh my god, this is my life, I can do this. This is the thing that is actually possible.
So to be able to live in that frame of mind and to make things in that frame of mind, that is really important to me and I feel like Paris is a good zone for that.
In Paris, I’m always a little afraid and just trying to soak things up because it’s a new situation. I like that, just by living here, I will be expanded over time. Every time I go out it’s sort of a learning experience.
When I got to Paris– it’s so cheesy– but when the Eiffel Tower Sparkles every night, I have this feeling of beauty. It starts with a feeling.
My hope about moving to Paris was that I would make more time to make beautiful things just for the sake of making beautiful things.
What was your first impression of Paris?
It’s an amazing city, it’s a historic city. But the people that live in Paris, it’s really important to them that they always leave room for life and do what they value and enjoy any given day.
Whether it’s going to see something beautiful or spending time in cafes or parks…but the part that I’m really interested in is experiencing Paris for plugging into the beauty and the inspiration and the culture of it.
What do you love about Paris?
Like the smallness of it, I like the fact that the buildings are not built super high. Like you can see the sky.
That feeling like I’m in the center of a great city and can see the sky is readily available to me. I like that there are beautiful sculptures. There is room for all these beautiful things.
Did you know French? If yes, where did you learn the language? If not, how did you learn?
I didn’t know any French in October and I literally got DuoLingo after I got home from France. Ok, I’m going to move to France so I need to start learning. I’m not like most people where it’s like “Oh yeah, I studied French since sixth grade and I’ve always wanted to go”.
For me it’s like I’m interested in it and I’ve always liked it in movies and stuff and music, but I’ve never studied it. It’s a new thing.
What kind of visa/resident permit do you have?
When I got asked to do a show at the American Church in Paris (ACP), it came with an apartment, like an artist residency for two weeks. So I blocked that out and was like cool, ok I’m gonna do it.
The second day I was here in October, I fell in love and decided to move here. And that’s how I met Daniel, he was wrapping cables at the concert at ACP. I said ‘dude, I’m moving to Paris’. And he said, ‘I’m an immigration attorney’. I was like, ‘you’re hired.’
I’m applying for the artist visa that will be good for 4 years. I want the artist visa, it will be such a cool thing to have.
What are your plans now?
I’m going to go back to the States, give up my passport to get my visa. I have to apply from the US for my visa. And come back in September with the artist visa.
I have a few recording projects, and do a summer on the open road.
Photo Credit: John Arndt
How did you find housing in Paris?
I knew another artist who did a residency for a month and kinda got the ball rolling a little bit, and then someone else referred me to an apartment owner and then had some hesitations.
She just kept messaging me but I kept wanting to look at other places. But when it came down to it she was excited when I sent her what I am working on. And with these other anonymous places it would be a big problem for me to ask to get a piano moved in.
You turned out to be a godsend as well. Everything worked out so magically well.
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What was your biggest challenge with moving to Paris?
It has been two months since my iPad was mailed to me from Indiana.. so receiving packages from the States has been a challenge in that instance.
Outside that the only challenge has been confinement which comes naturally to me.
Biggest frustration with Paris?
No, spicy food! Where are the jalapenos?
Speaking about food, what is your favorite French meal?
Crêpes and nutella.
For more insider secrets check out:
6 Mistakes Expats in Paris Want You to Avoid for the best advice on how to live in Paris
Coronavirus Quarantine: 10 Things to Help you Deal and ideas for productivity
Coronavirus: Is Travel to Europe Possible in 2020, your guide on how to stay proactive with your travel plans this year
The Best Things to do in Paris this Summer (that are off the grid) /
for a One-of-a-Kind Experience
Discover and embrace these 10 Secret French Lifestyle Rules Revealed
Where to stay in Paris: Insider Secrets to book Luxury Apartments to discover alternatives to booking luxury hotels.
Find out what the key is to your next Parisian adventure in this blog post The Secret to Your Ideal Luxury Holiday Today
Enjoy 10 Remarkable Ways to Experience Paris Like a Local
How has Céline Concierge helped you in the past?
I couldn’t believe that getting a piano was possible, I thought it was going to be the deal breaker for the apartment. I thought the owner was going to say there’s no way you’re going to get a piano in there.
Turns out there’s Celine Concierge who is able to take care of all details for the piano. Looked up all the different piano options, interfaced with the stores, got me all the pricing, and made sure the piano got moved in and was intact. And so I arrived with the piano that I needed that was beautiful, ready to go. It felt like a miracle.
Would you recommend Céline Concierge in the future?
Yes, unequivocally. You made everything so much easier for me, especially the first week or so moving in. In what can be a very lonely and confusing and isolated experience, just knowing that I had someone who could help me figure out any detail that confused me at any point…you made such a huge difference.
Anyone that does anything in the realm of what I’m doing now, I couldn’t recommend working with you more.
Check out the other parts of the series:
We explore the idea of an expat and what motivates people to move to Paris.
There’s an introduction to the 6 friends I interview throughout this series.
We’ll dive into first impressions and why they moved to Paris along with what they love about the place.
Full interviews with Jim Le, a seasoned expat turned French national & John Arndt, a musician and France newcomer.
We’ll cover how people move to Paris and what lessons they learn from living here. We examine learning the French language and what their biggest frustrations are.
Full interviews with Claire A*., an entrepreneurial drama therapist & Eric Davis, a design professional in the construction industry
We’ll continue to explore the challenges and struggles of living in France. I also ask what they would tell their younger selves if they had the chance.
Full interviews with Hannah Smith, a seasonal visitor, and digital nomad & Hope Curran, an art student attaining her master’s degree.
Finally, you won’t want to miss this detailed interview with my friend and immigration attorney Daniel Tostado.
He gives us an insider’s scoop on the different Visas to be able to move to France and ways to apply.
Full Interview with Daniel Tostado, an immigration attorney in Paris.
Other posts you might enjoy:
Have a coffee break in Paris with The Top 4 Best Coffee Shops in Paris
Explore the highlights of the city in this Paris 101: Landmarks & Monuments blog post
To find out more about me, your Paris concierge, you can read my blog post Why I moved to Paris
Where to Stay in Paris: A Brief Breakdown of all 20 arrondissements to discover each area in a nutshell
Céline Concierge suggests Parisian-Inspired Luxury Christmas Gift Ideas
Fall in love with Paris in December, Extraordinary Things to Do
Romance and love, My Perfect Valentine’s Day in Paris