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Apartments

The Husband and I are slowly getting settled back in the States.  We both officially have jobs and are starting the apartment hunt today after work (I’m writing this from a desk in a high rise in a city — who would have guessed just a few weeks ago!).  Of course its my lunch break, but as I have this down time its hard to believe that just a short while ago we were living our dream in a tiny minuscule studio in Paris.  Oh Paris, la ville de mes rêves.

We knew it was going to be like this but it’s still hard.  It seems like Paris was just a dream — an extremely long dream with lots of ups and downs, but a dream none the less.  I think thats why we basically our whole last month out of doors in the city — I don’t think we’ve ever walked so much before in our lives.  I can’t say I regret it.  These are some of our most magical memories.

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Our Paris home was located in a kind of random area — but we loved the location!  Within 20 minutes we could walk to Sacré Coeur or the Arc de Triomphe (walking is always better than metro-ing in Paris) and we definitely took advantage of that short route to take lots and lots of walks in Montmartre.

Every Sunday we walked from our place to Sacré Coeur and back, stopping along the way to look at street art and appreciate the con artists working the streets.  We had some good friends move back to the States about a month and a half before we did, so we took advantage of their last week in town to meet up for a picnic at the foot of Sacré Coeur followed by a leisurely walk around the bobo section of Paris.  The best part was definitely stumbling across the stairs featured in the second part of this video, causing me to sing For Emma for the rest of the evening.

We miss Paris.  We love America, but we miss the place that became our home over the past two years.  Good thing we’ll be having another adventure next!

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The Husband and I have been insanely busy this past week, although I can’t really complain since most of our business entailed hanging out with awesome people and getting or giving free food.  So, on to unwind on Friday night we took a late night walk with our friends, James Bond and Knitty, just to satiate our desire to show Bond some of his home town.  Can you believe hes Parisian, has lived in Ile-de-France his whole life, and just saw Sacré Coeur for the first time last year?  Even though it isn’t our favorite, we knew a Friday night walk through Montmartre to celebrate the Spring weather and good friends was in order.

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I think The Husband and I always forget how close Montmartre is until we decide to walk there — we were all the way to Sacré Coeur in 25 minutes!  The Husband absolutely loves Montmartre — he always says that if we end up staying here past our two years, we’ll buy a place in Montmartre and settle down.  And boy did I find the right apartment for us!  Two stories, huge library, walls of windows overlooking all of Paris, right next to Sacré Coeur.  Now, who wants to give us a million or three so we can buy it?

 

You can tell winter has suddenly hit Paris when the view outside your window looks like this:

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And your Hunters and this hat seem to go with everything you own, even your pajamas as your run out to take a photo in the snow because you’re so excited.

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Have a happy weekend!  Hopefully mine will be full of beautiful snow filled photos of Paris — stay tuned!

Have you ever wondered what living in Paris is like?  What kind of apartment your money will get you?

Well, I’m here to answer those questions.
Europe is very different from the U.S.  in the regards that it’s much more squishy.  I’m not talking about feeling-wise, but space wise.  Part of this is due to the size of the city — Paris is much much smaller than a normal American city is.  (I can only put this in Chicago terms, but it’s basically the size of the Loop up the Lincoln Park.  So pretty tiny…)  Also, there are restrictions throughout all of Paris that make it so there are no sky scrapers — the Eiffel Tower is literally the tallest building in the city.
Anyways, all these size restrictions make real-estate not only much more expensive, but much smaller for what you get.
Take our apartment for example.  We pay about US $1000 for this place.  Here’s the grand tour.

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Now, you should know that we’re kind of living the high life.  Most people who pay in our price range have a toilet in our apartment, but their shower is sur le palier (out in the hall — aka one that they share with everyone else on the floor).  Plus we have two burners rather than one.

Also, since all of our stuff is in storage in America (if we’re staying here past the 2 year mark, then we get to ship our stuff!  YAY!), we had to find a furnished apartment, making the whole ordeal a little bit harder.
A little bit about the logistics of getting an apartment in France as an American.  Warning — no one here wants to rent you an apartment unless you are a. already in France and b. have a French bank account!  We went through so many great apartments because we didn’t meet the first requirement!  We originally thought we were going to have to spend our first week or so in a hotel while we apartment hunted, but stumbled across this one on an agency website and they were more than willing to rent to us (maybe because they know only desperate Americans would take it with the hot pink wall and lime green bed spread…).  Whatever the reason, we’re grateful to have it.
So there you have it.  Any questions?