Go get a cup of coffee and join me for a conversation with my readers and my sponsors and a coffee while I share with you some thoughts about my new home in Paris. I know, I know, the world is a mess. I voted and got confirmation of receipt. Every young boy CANNOT grow and be President of the U.S. It takes more than just being male or female or opportunity. Meanwhile…… I want to crystallize my thoughts as to why I like this area for you – the 16th Arrondissement in Paris, near the Bois de Boulogne. It is called the Auteuil Area and has quite a history (for you History Buffs). I don’t like it for its history. I would have loved the 6th Arrondissement (where I lived for 7 months and moved). It was FULL of history. And my reasons are not based on my physical problem. Sorta. But, not a lot. They are based as to who I am – a Southern girl whose mother lived in the same house most of her life. I always had a “home” to go to — until now. Now, I want one that “feels” like home.
I really like this space a lot. I feel “at home” here. Why? Short answer is, “I don’t know, but I do.” But, let’s take a closer look. I loved Los Angeles. I loved living there. 48 years. I was young and old there and had a successful acting career in film and television and a successful career as an attorney. I went to law school in the area. My family still lives in that area. I lived in several areas in LA, but my favorites were in Pacific Palisades and at 2399 Mandeville Canyon in Brentwood.
I always dreamed of “one day” living in France. Now, I am living in France. I lived in Nice, France, for 4 years, and now I am in Paris. I did not like living in Nice. I did not like living in Paris in a small studio in the 6th Arrondissement. I knew it was temporary, anyway. I do not have a favorite area of Paris.
By luck or by fluke, I came across an ad for an apartment in the 16th that sounded great. To me. I was surrounded by the city in the 6th, and people, and buildings, and history, and museums, and gorgeous gardens and shops and The Seine and restaurants and cafes. And the VIRUS. Lots of activity. BUT, I missed the Sea. I needed more calm. I needed more air. Less activity. Was I making a mistake? What was going on?
By luck or by fluke, I got this apartment (long story), and it had a lot of problems. For me. I have been here since August, and I feel “at home” here. This is why (I think).
The people are residents. French. Nice French and rude, arrogant French. A lot of people really don’t speak English. Nor want to. All ages. Young, old, and in-between. Most of the shops are small and owner occupied. “Mom and Pop” stores. I cannot find a lot of products here because it is like a small town in the city. They don’t care that they don’t have what I want. If I want something else, I can go get it. The big stores are up the street in the Passy area. Or closer to the center of town. Where all of tourists are at Museums and gorgeous structures and people who need to “shop”. I don’t go there because I don’t need big stores and shopping. I usually adjust and “use what they carry”. It’s easier. And, With the virus, I avoid congested areas and open-air markets with a lot of people. I like that people just “live here”. If they want upscale and livelier, it is a taxi drive away, or metro, or bus ride.
There is an open-air market on Saturdays and Wednesdays down the street. I don’t go. In the future, I may go after the virus. I buy what I eat at a market that delivers and puts my groceries in my kitchen for me. And ALL of the restaurants have delicious food. I may eat lunch out, but I most of the time eat what is here in the apartment. Nothing fancy, something healthy, usually.
The people are nice. Not overly friendly. But, nice. I feel safe. Some areas are livelier than others. I don’t need livelier. I like nice and easy and Paris. Just people. Living here. Some young, some old, some single, some families, small children, lots of dogs. Lots of canes. People helping people. Polite to me. Usually.
The restaurants in the neighborhood seem to know a lot of their clientele. It has a “neighborhood” feeling. I am still becoming part of the neighborhood. Sorta. I have bought a real down jacket for the weather; a down comforter for the cold nights. Some Ugg boots for around the house. And some great Tech guys in a small shop to fix my iPhone. I am trying to get things I want and need slowly online and/or in a local shop, somewhere. The concierge here accepts packages for me if I order something. I am still figuring all of that out.
I have three doctors and a new vet for Missy within walking distance. And they are good doctors that I really like. Everything is local for me. I have been to a lot of expensive doctors in the 6,7, 14 and 15 that I DON’T like. I don’t need to go anywhere. At least – not yet. I don’t want to risk public transportation and Uber is expensive from here. That time will come. After the virus. I see bus stops and metro stations and taxi stations. Not on my street but down the hill and on bigger streets.
I don’t know if it is lively at night. I am not out at night. With a 9:00 pm. Curfew, I doubt it. But I don’t know. It is lively during the day, with people exercising, walking dogs, chatting with neighbors and going to work with drivers. G7 a lot. I see a lot of businesspeople getting into G7 taxis. Lots of cafes for coffee and croissants. Good bakeries. Fresh orange juice. My biggest complaint is that the toilets are always down steep spirally stairs without good bannisters. I have to plan and time my stops and lunches. I have seen some restaurants where I want to try lunch at some point.
Hey, it is probably not for everyone. It is not the high life of the 6th. Or the Marais. Or the 8th. But, I am very happy here. For more active people, there are Roland Garros, the Soccer Stadium, and lots of activity up the street at the Trocadero. And, museums up the hill and across the river, but I am happy I live in a lovely residential neighborhood. Quiet and safe. Virus-free. Especially after living seven months in the center of everything where I had bars on the windows and had lots of bolts on the door. I now have plants in my apartment and on my balcony. I have a full kitchen and my piano in the living room. And, a huge television. In all, I have 5 rooms (enough room for me and Missy). I can accommodate visitors with privacy (sorta). I know how to get to the woods and to more activities and to the heart of the city. I have friends for lunch out, but no room for a table here (the piano takes up the room). And a full kitchen for cooking. And, I have a Paris address. Here are some photos that are so-so.
These pictures are not great. But, who cares. None of you will be doing this anyway, and I feel good. Sorta. I miss my family. I miss comforts. There is a list of things I miss. Most of all, I miss my youth and driving my car. But, I am here and will stay here for now. As Blake would say, “keeping on keeping on.
Stay tuned, Jay
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