Friday, February 29, 2008

Nouvel appartement!

We did it.  We finaly moved into our new Parisian apartment.  Six long months have passed living out of suitcases and confined spaces, temporary places.  I don't like to dwell on a fondness for material possesions.  In fact, living with less and in a reality where one doesn't own more than what can be shipped out within an hour is liberating.  So what I experienced when I opened all those boxes we lugged with us from San Francisco was akin to an emotional reunion with dear old friends.  I was so irrationally happy to see everything.  I danced around with my yoga mat, dusted off my art supplies , and chatted up the books. 

As you might recall we had quite a large apartment in San Francisco.  We have half that in Paris, but it's airy and light.  Our new digs are in the 7th arrondisement close to La Seine and La Tour d'Eiffel.  Bernard had to warm up to the idea of living in this part of town, something to do with communist and proletariat relatives rolling in their graves.  I won't deny it, the neighbourhood is definitely more chic than where we were (Monmartre by métro Barbés).  Perhaps one can make the comparison to living in Pac Heights, or the neighbourhoods by Wellington Crescent in Winnipeg.  At any rate, the 7th is full of embassies and government institutions.  It's also full of  fromagers, boulangeries, primeurs, volaillers and charcutiers!  (And cavistes, we can't forget them.)  So, it can't be all that bad...

We will be glad to leave all the stress of starting up in Paris and ready to dive into turning our new place into a cosy nest, for at least the next 3 years, according to the terms of our lease...

One big project will be turning the odd little space that is the kitchen into a real cooking environment.  Currently we have a bar fridge, a laughably tiny sink, and 2 heat elements from hell.  I would NEVER dream of preparing anything more than boiled water as we are kitted out now.  Once I get a job we can at least install an oven.  oooohh, oven...

I suspect we will be able to put out the welcome mat by May.  Croises les doigts! 

(Yes, the Tour d'Eiffel really is only 5 minutes away, and in fact you can see the top from the apartment itself.  So strange)

We'll keep a bottle of champagne chilled in the bar sized fridge for when you plan to drop by.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hidden Forest

Parc de Bercy

Forêt à la Bibliothéque Nationale (c'est vraiment comme un petit morceau de la compagne dedans!)

Not many tourists get a chance to venture out into the east ends of the 12th and 13th arrondisement. If they were curious enough to venture out so far they would discover a place where Parisians flock to when the sun is out. This portion I speak of is by the Bibliothéque Nationale (François Mitterand) and a portion of the 12th carved out by the rail lines leading to Gare de Lyon close to métro Bercy. Here, one can see spring gearing up for a grand entry...