June 20, 2008

New Apartment

So, Xavier has decided that owning something big is a vital part of his being above 30. To this aim, we've chosen an apartment in the 10th arrondissement - very close to Canal St. Martin (featured above) and a lovely park in Paris with green grass that you can actually sit on (which pleases me immensely). We won't move for a while...between closing on the apartment and the work that needs to be done, we are looking at moving in sometime in early autumn.

The apartment itself is extremely charming, in a similar way the apartment I lived in with Stephen and Meredith in Hell's Kitchen was: it has an Alice in Wonderland sort-of appeal. The floors slope - the walls don't align exactly and you get the feeling of being in another (disproportionate) world. (To be fair, there wasn't really that much charm in the apartment in Hell's Kitchen, except that the black-and-white checked floor in that kitchen was so slanted that a yellow pages had to be positioned under the stove to make it level. Maybe that doesn't even count as charm).

This apartment is a duplex with a wooden ladder staircase leading up to the second level - which will include a small bedroom and the master bedroom, complete with a wooden square window cut out of the ceiling ("a skylight," I suppose) directly above the bed. Rain, rain, drops of rain. How romantic to hear the sound of rain from directly above.

The main level will be one, big, open space (after demolition) - of the loft tradition. On one wall, there are four full-length windows that open out onto a balcony (almost big enough for a miniature chair). But they open out onto a view that is really phenomenal, according to me. According to Xavier, the cathedral in view is in total disrepair. I think the difference in opinion may be due to the fact that all things centuries old are pretty much astounding in my book. Here is the view from two angles:

And there are even Hens and Chicks planted in the little balcony urns! (Perhaps my favorite plant).

A further enticing aspect of living in this area of Paris is the opportunity to see weirdos all the time. Xavier calls them "les bobos" (bourgeois bohemians) disparagingly. In actuality, some people enjoy being categorized in this way. It indicates that one is open and free and hippyish - and rich enough to be all of these things. I like them. They always wear big, baggy, whimsical, free-trade clothing and often look really put-out for no reason. And they do whimsical things with their free time, which seems to be abundant.

Take these bubble blowers along the Canal St. Martin, for instance. They created these contraptions to blow the biggest bubbles I've ever seen. Fanciful.


Mary Elizabeth Liberty said...

so cool! very exciting for you both. I love the bubble blowers. I leave for Nice this afternoon and Ram and I will galivant around Provence for a couple weeks. Can not wait to be there!


Julie said...

My first thought when I saw those bubbles was "I didn't know the French blew bubbles" but then when I realized it was "les bobos" it all began to make sense. The apartment looks like it's going to be the bomb.

Anonymous said...

oh, I love it! lovely views! lovely tiles! lovely bobos! what good times we shall have!

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