Crazy comes closest to describing the whirlwind of the past three days. Horrified also works, as it took me all of that time to get my wi-fi (which I now pronounce wee-fee) up and running. I really missed ending each of my days posting here – hopefully the melencholy I felt when blog-deprived indicates that this is taking habit form.
Most importantly, I finished my move. With much help from several very good friends I was able to move all the pieces of my life across town using only two suitcases, the metro and multiple iterations. Moreover, I even got to hit up Ikea for all my last minute missing items. With the exception of one botched container purchase, it went very well and I got everything I needed (anyone need one of these?).
In celebration, let’s go on a walking tour of my new place together!
Above you see the stairwell. Unlike other cities in which I have lived, Paris residential buildings rely on multiple digicodes to get into each building. One through the first front door, which usually leads to the mailboxes and then another to enter the residential foyer. And, as a city filled with buildings that often look extremely similar to each other, it is hard to know from the outside what each building is like within. The golden wallpaper and red carpet of my building’s front entrance was a bit garish at first, but is growing on me. It is warm and seemingly stuck somewhere in a more gilded past. A step in the right direction from the dusty, chipped hallway of my last place.
As one walks through the front door there is a new sofa that doubles as a guest bed. Also included in the living room is the Billy bookcase that I put together using a Leatherman tool, which made me feel excessively handy, and a very large (and heavy) dining room table.
Continuing, we pass through the kitchen on the way towards the bedroom. Again, I must reiteratre how thrilled I am to have a full size stove that includes an oven. This is a rarity, from what I have seen, in most smaller rentals. The place comes with a number of place settings and basic cookware. My eyes are on a cocotte – maybe a housewarming gift to myself (?) – for cooking stews, braises, even baking bread when the temperature starts to drop.
Looking back towards the living room, you can see the small television and the frame of one of three large windows that allow early morning sunlight to filter into my rooms through the leaves of neighboring trees. Here is that greenery outside of my bedroom window. Although I am still centrally located amdist standard Parisian tourist fare, I am one street off of the well beaten path and my new unit faces the back of the building, not the crowds out front. So vastly different from my prior accomodations, I am enamored with the dappled sunlight trickling through my window each morning waking me slowly , as well as the deafening silence that envelops me each night and provides for the deepest sleep I have had since arriving in Paris.
At the same time, I had friends from Boston in town. Much can (and will) be said about being able to share this amazing city with friends and loved ones. This visit, albeit short, was extremely sweet. Much laughter, good wine, amazing photo opportunities and plans for future adventures were had in the past three days. To top it all off, there was an excessive amount of cheese, as I have discovered that my new neighborhood is also a haven for fondue lovers. For the sake of science, I obviously need to try them all. No wonder there are over 100 steps to climb out of my metro station each night. I’ll need all the help I can get. I am out of breath just thinking about it.