Cherry Bombe founder and restaurateur
Kerry Diamond on discovering the City of Light.

Kerry Diamond in front of the Eiffel Tower, ca. 1980s

I don’t know if it was all the fashion magazines I read as a kid,

but somehow Paris got into my brain early in life.

I finally got there in 1989, as a student at the Franco-American Center studying international organizations.

I’d love to pretend I picked that program because I was a person of substance, but I picked it because it was the easiest to get into and most of the classes were in English.

Le Marais district

I lived with other students in an apartment in the 17th arrondissement. It was not luxury living; our landlady was crazy — she had boarded up our bathtub with plywood, a chain, and a padlock.

I came from grocery shopping at the A&P, so the neighborhood was ENCHANTING; you had your grocer, cheese-maker, bakery.

My cousin worked as a freelance journalist in Paris at the time, so she had cool friends like HOLLY BRUBACH, the [then] style editor for The New York Times Magazine, who took me under their wing.

A bakery in the 4th arrondissement

My friends and I would go to a club called LA LOCOMOTIVE religiously.

Every Friday and Saturday night we’d get there at midnight, and by four o’clock in the morning I’d be so tired I’d just sleep on the couches because the Métro was closed until five.

I had a really good GPA throughout college, EXCEPT for that one semester.

I came back and my father was like: How the heck did you get a C in French living in PARIS?

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen enters the house of Yves Saint Laurent, editor and street style star Garance Doré takes The Thick Questionnaire.

Rue Lamarck in the 18th arrondissement