⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

January 26, 2010


Xavier and I have a thing for Harlem.

For me, it started the first time I moved to New York in 2005 and got a job teaching composition and literature at the College of New Rochelle Rosa Parks Campus on 125th Street. My students in Harlem always talked way more than I did - splicing each of my phrases with their ideas - my favorite kind of classroom. They were forthright, blunt, demanding and animated, and their personalities matched the place.

Then, we decided to get married in Harlem. It seemed like the most consonant place for a Mormon and a French Catholic to merge their lives and families. The run-down church, the gospel choir, it was comme il faut.

He was the drummer at our wedding.

This was the choir.

He was the reverend.

These were his shoes (photographed by Andrew, my brother who was 10 years-old at the time).

It was the kind of ceremony where I could laugh hysterically in the right places (where the reverend called me all possible variations of my name, "Emil" "Email" "Emile").

So, now that we are back in New York, Xavier is convinced that we need to buy a townhouse in Harlem. Today, I went and looked at a few (shells we might say) and now I am really warming to the possibility. I love the multi-colored rows of townhouses and their stoops and the fact that one can actually buy more than 4,000 sqaure feet in Manhattan for less than a million dollars. Unthinkable anywhere else in this town/on this island.

You see, the idea is rather exciting when you meet someone who has taken this...

...and turned it into this:

So...staking out every available empty townhouse in Harlem is on the list of current projects.

(This is not one, but I love it.)


Jill said...

Oh yes please! I would love to see you guys transform something like that. It would be a dream.

Xavier Joly said...

Things have started to settle a bit recently ;-) So we are on our way to something bigger hopefully...maybe not a "shell" but we will certainly happily renovate extensively!

Julie said...

Merhsa and Jared are leaving their Harlem townhouse - moving to Utah - should I find a way for you to contact them?

Emilie said...

We're going to go see them the Sunday we get back from Paris. Thanks Jude.

Rosie said...

Maybe you should find a duplex in Harlem since we will be coming to stay with you 6 months of the year!
Just teasing!

Amber said...

That little guy on the drums was pretty awesome.

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