So it was in the summer of 2002 that my days as a full time mother turned to college mom and my dream to live in Paris began. By June I was living in Paris. I left on a night flight with my suitcases and little black poodle, Pondicherry and arrived on the rue St. Denis the following morning. The apartment on the rue St. Denis was up a long winding staircase with two apartments on each landing and large wooden carved doors which required an almost medieval key to open. Those first weeks were daily classrooms on all of the things that would become so familiar so quickly. Grocery shopping was one of the first lessons that I learned in one session…instead of driving up to the store and loading your car trunk with as much as it or your pocketbook could stand, you instead had to choose carefully for the walk home with bags digging into your palms got longer with each step…but prior to this, I learned you were not to just stand at the check out counter waiting for your bags to be neatly packed and for you to be sent off with a ‘have a nice day’, au contraire, the clerk sat perched on a little stool ringing your purchases and sending them down to the bagging area where you stood, alone…as soon as your transaction was completed the next person’s groceries began to pile up against yours, still sitting unbagged…yep, you had to bag your own and if you didn’t come complete with this bag you were expected to purchase one…and there was no ‘have a nice day’….just an icy glare…so with Pondicherry in one hand and my purse in the other, I purchased the necessary bags and began to load as quickly as possible and retreat with petite shreds of dignity in tact. We went back to our apartment, climbed the 7 flights of stairs, put our groceries in our teeny dorm sized refrigerator and sat feeling quite satisfied that it had gone as well as it had considering in those days I spoke not one word of French. It was after 10p when the sun set that evening as it does in the summer in Paris when I climbed in my little bagnoire tub with Pondicherry sitting sentry and we fell asleep as the Parisian sun set over the Seine just two blocks from our apartment….
a life filled with simple pleasures and the peace that comes from them is for me an authentic life … i am blessed to be spending this part of my own life here in paris and i know this … but it is the simple pleasure of living here that speaks the most to me … here are a few photos of things that you see most every day here in paris and that convey some of my happiest moments …
we are moving next week to a larger apartment in our building here in the 17th arrondissement … what will those changes bring?
It has been 6 months since I started this blog and 6 months since the first and only entry. Ones life here Paris does not have a set pace so when I decided to start a blog I knew that it may be some time before I began in earnest to share this wonderful experience … it is late summer here and the days have turned cool and breezy. My husband and I have left the Marais and moved to the north of the city, still on the right bank but higher in elevation with a view of the tip of the Eiffel Tower from our little street. Most Parisians are away on holiday so we have much of the neighborhood to ourselves and fall asleep and wake up each morning under the shadow and shade of a lovely and leafy tree filled with birds just outside our bedroom window. Paris’ magic is never to underestimated and actually appears best in the smallest and most unexpected of ways.
This is my favorite spot in Paris and where I can feel the history of this amazing city in my footsteps as I pass through the arcades. Some of the shops bear witness to the past as they have been in business almost as long as their has been the Palais. Antique treasures of all sorts beckon to you from the windows, waiters whisk by in long white aprons to serve guests sitting just outside the iron fence in the garden, the splashing of the water in the fountain and the scent of the flowers tucked into neat little gardens … pull up one of the old metal lounge chairs, close your eyes and know that you are in a little piece of history … the childhood home of Louis XIV and the apartments of Collette.