Well, this has been a week, for sure. Actually, a week plus a few days, but whatever.
What a beautiful city. What a beautiful world. Lately we’ve been stopping to look in the windows at realty offices, scanning the posted listings for apartments, etc. And dreaming.
For about $1,500 Euro a month, we — OK, I — could have a tiny garret somewhere in Paris, your basic wee-living-space-with-a-sleeping-loft deal, in a halfway decent neighborhood. For 1.3 million Euro, hell, we could own it. I say I could have this space, not we, because this would require the sort of tight living space that’s hard for more than one person to inhabit. Ah, Alan, I would miss you, but you could visit your wife here whenever you wanted, and outside this box stall-size space? Would be Paris. But if we wanted to stay together all the time? Well, that would require a lottery jackpot. So we’ll keep dreaming.
The first week, we bagged peaks, as the mountaineers say. Louvre, Pompidou Center, Pere Lachaise cemetery, Eiffel Tower, all the stuff you have to see. The second week, we’ve decided, will be more casual, and today we moseyed to the Ile St. Louis for a stroll, lunch and more strolling. Lunch was a splurge, and we’re footsore at day’s end, so we’ll stay in, drink another bottle of wine, read and listen to the ooh-wah sirens rising up from the pavement outside. It works for me. I’m sleeping better than I have in a while. The espresso after lunch helps keep the afternoons active, as does the wine.
Overall, it’s been lovely, watching the people on the street, finding amusements where we can. We saw a string quartet in a gothic church, the wrapped Arc de Triomphe, the Global Citizen set at the Eiffel Tower. Global Citizen was some sort of round-the-world concert thing, this and that artist performing on stages here, in Los Angeles, other places. It was free to attend, but no way was I waiting in line to see Ed Sheeran and Elton John, and I’ve been served pieces of the performances on Twitter since everyone played over the weekend. That was the night we saw the quartet, and as we ate a late dinner afterward, watched the satellite trucks roll down the quay road.
Lunch today (the splurge) was fine. We read the reviews first and found a few one-stars, people complaining that the waiter refused to fetch a croque monsieur for their 4-year-old, “because we only serve French food,” or sneered at a wine order and said, “I’ll bring the wine that goes with what you ordered.” Our kind of place! For what it’s worth, they brought the wine we asked for. And the cassoulet was approved, probably because it was chilly and rainy outside. It was very good. I had the roast beef and the ubiquitous frites. Which were better than McDonald’s, my personal high standard.
I just realized that if you want to see some photos, I’m posting a few to Instagram, at nderringer. Easier than doing it here.
Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so I’m thinking another museum. More food, more wine. Update at some point in the future. Au revoir.
Deborah said on September 27, 2021 at 11:33 am
I’m so jealous. Wondering what the actual square footage of that $1,500 a month garret is?
JMG said on September 27, 2021 at 11:41 am
So glad you are enjoying Paris! Alice and I will, we hope, be there in November before going to Bordeaux to see our daughter.
PS: Where did you eat when on Ile de St. Louis?
We looked for the equivalent of Inspector Maigret’s Brasserie Dauphine but found none. We did see police headquarters before they moved it, though.
Mark P said on September 27, 2021 at 11:51 am
Look for the Hollandaise Bar. I have a photo of my father in 1945, in uniform, leaning with outstretched arm in the door as a couple of Parisian girls stroll past. I googled it but found nothing. I’m afraid it disappeared sometime in the past 76 years. Too bad.
Julie Robinson said on September 27, 2021 at 12:15 pm
Looks like €1500 is about $1755, so it doesn’t sound too different from Orlando costs. Why not indulge in such a pleasant fantasy?
Covid boosters later today!
JMG said on September 27, 2021 at 12:55 pm
New York City faints at Paris real estate prices and San Francisco throws up in terror. Oddly enough, in Bordeaux and Lyon, the other French cities I know, prices are lower, often significantly lower, than for the equivalent homes in Boston, which is not a cheap city by any means.
nancy said on September 27, 2021 at 1:49 pm
The $1,500 Euro spots look like micro hotel spaces. It was once commonplace for low-end rentals here to share bathrooms; when I visited a friend here in the early’80s, he noted that his was one of the better ones in the building because it had a private bath. The shower head was in the middle of the ceiling. You closed the toilet and lowered a cover over the t.p. before you turned on the water.
diane said on September 27, 2021 at 2:51 pm
Housing is insane all over. In the mountain resort where I live seasonal workers come for the winter and this season they are having an impossible time finding housing. A bedroom in a shared condo (shared living space, kitchen and bathroom) goes for $1200-$1300 a month. I do not exaggerate. Don’t plan on a U.S. skiing vacation this winter, there will be no one there to run the lifts.
Suzanne said on September 27, 2021 at 3:36 pm
I just discovered today that actor Jared Harris is Richard Harris’s son. Find out something new every day. I had also forgotten that Richard Harris was the original (and superior) Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies.
Last night, I watched the Bob Ross documentary on Netflix. Very very interesting and sad.
Of course, I would much rather be in Paris, sipping wine, but sigh.
Dorothy said on September 27, 2021 at 3:42 pm
Suzanne I watched that Bob Ross doc last week and I agree with your review.
I was able to snag an appointment this afternoon to get my Covid booster and I just got home from it. It didn’t hurt in the least, just like the first two shots. I’m just four weeks past my 64th birthday, but since I work at a university I figured I was a candidate to be eligible. Already one student worker in my office caught the virus, and three faculty members were exposed (but tested negative). I also got my flu shot. I called my doctor first to be sure it’s okay to get both at the same time and she said Yep!
Keep the pictures coming, Nancy. They’re delightful.
MARIE SCIRICA said on September 27, 2021 at 3:46 pm
The best meal we ate in Paris was at this cute little restaurant near the Eiffel tower, good value and classic french food including floating island for dessert, which I always wanted to try! Le Casse Noix which means the Nutcracker. Prob best to make reservation. unpretentious.
Deborah said on September 27, 2021 at 6:13 pm
I had a scintillating scatoma today with an accompanying migraine, haven’t had that for a long time. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my dermatologist getting a full body look see, since my summer face issues hoping everything will be ok.
I have no idea who Jared Harris is, will have to look him up.
Edit: looked him up and of course I know who he is because of MadMen but he seems too old to be Richard Harris’s son.
I can’t wait to get my booster, Saturday it had been 6 months since my second Pfizer.
Julie Robinson said on September 27, 2021 at 6:52 pm
No one mentioned that I wasn’t quite 65 yet and we picked up Pub Subs (it’s a Publix thing, y’all) along with some groceries and then stopped at the Presto machine for cash on the way out. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment coming up and I decided to wait for my flu shot until then. Mother got hers last week so she’s all set.
Dorothy, did you watch the Tony’s last night? It was a very frustrating experience. We subscribed to Paramount+ because the first two hours were only being shown there, but it was only showing as a little postage stamp on the screen. We got that fixed, then when they were supposed to switch over to CBS at 9 they were running a stupid reality show so they didn’t really start until almost 10. The sound mixing was so horrible that vocalists couldn’t be heard, and the In Memoriam segment was a complete cluster. The one night a year I look forward to TV, almost ruined. And now we have to go unsubscribe.
Dorothy said on September 27, 2021 at 8:17 pm
I wasn’t aware that the first two hours of the Tonys was going from 7-9 on Paramount, which we do not subscribe to. And I had been busy all weekend with other stuff and honestly did not even remember the ceremony was Sunday. BUT I found it around 9:02 so I set it up to record. And added a half hour for it going overtime. Now I know why it was mostly singers and dancers, with only a handful of awards. I was astonished when Chita Rivera mentioned it was 64 years ago that night when she debuted in the role of Anita in West Side Story. I was 27 days old when she did that! Chita is 88, or will be later this year. Amazing how fabulous she looks!
LAMary said on September 27, 2021 at 8:31 pm
And yes, Jared Richard Harris would be 91 if he still walked the earth. This Sporting Life is a terrific movie and he was nominated for an Oscar for best actor for his role in that movie. I saw it in a film class and got a whole new respect for Richard Harris.
basset said on September 27, 2021 at 8:49 pm
Don’t know if we even have Paramount on our cable plan, but I briefly produced a hot-rod car show on that channel when it was still Spike TV, back in the aughts.
Boosters for both Mrs. B and myself today, at a Kroger quick clinic. Couldn’t get appointments together, but they worked me in on hers and said the vaccine probably would have gone to waste if they hadn’t used it on me.
LAMary said on September 27, 2021 at 8:49 pm
My attempt at editing ended up at the beginning of my comment. I’m not drunk typing or having a stroke.
Dorothy said on September 27, 2021 at 8:59 pm
If any of you signed up for the NYTimes’ digital subscription for $1/week, don’t forget that after a year it jumps to $17/month for a digital subscription. I found out when i got an email yesterday saying my PayPal account was dinged for $17. So I called them this morning on my way to work and said i intended to cancel the subscription because I’m retiring and $17 a month is waaaay too much. Of course the guy said they’d re-up my $1/week subscription for another year. This time I put a reminder on my calendar to call them in mid-September to cancel the $1/subscription in anticipation of it jumping. I wonder how many years in a row I can keep this deal going??
LAMary said on September 27, 2021 at 9:49 pm
Mine went to 17 today too. I’ll call in the AM. Your strategy works for The New Yorker too, btw.
Julie Robinson said on September 27, 2021 at 10:30 pm
Dorothy, that’s on my list for tomorrow. Last year they rolled over easily, hoping for a repeat. If not I’ll skip it until the next good offer. Same with the WaPo, which I’ve got another month on.
Wish that would work with the Orlando paper. We pay a ridiculous amount for a crap paper with fewer pages than Fort Wayne’s had. Considering the relative size of the towns, it should be quadruple the pages. Still, we like having a print paper in our hands and it’s been good for learning our new community.
Peter said on September 28, 2021 at 1:59 am
Oh, that brings back memories – my lovely bride and I spent our honeymoon on Isle St. Louis. Is the horse butcher still on the main street? He was a few doors away from Berthillon, the famous ice cream parlor. The best part of the island was after 8:00 the island got so quiet you thought you were in some small village in the middle of nowhere.
MarcG said on September 28, 2021 at 2:11 am
“The espresso after lunch helps keep the afternoons active, as does the wine.” Welcome to Europe! Don’t forget to visit Shakespeare and Co.!
nancy said on September 28, 2021 at 3:25 am
Ha ha, already been. On the second day.
alex said on September 28, 2021 at 7:14 am
A gatecrasher writes in today’s (paywalled) Fort Wayne paper that Madison Cawthorn no-showed at the local Republican fundraiser where he was slated to appear, but the event still featured incendiary rhetoric aplenty from our own Jim Banks, who spoke candidly about the big new gerrymander our state just undertook and how he’ll be re-elected for the rest of his life if he wants.
Suzanne said on September 28, 2021 at 9:07 am
I read that article this morning, Alex. I am so disheartened because I know what Banks says is true. He will keep getting re-elected. People vote without thinking, especially in this part of the state. Banks says he is a Republican, a Christian, and pro-life and that’s all people need to hear to vote for him, never mind that he does nothing for the area, spews lies, and his only skill is reciting overused far far right talking points. He hates the right people so he’s a shoo in.
Heather said on September 28, 2021 at 10:59 am
I follow an American woman who moved into a literal garret in a building on the Ile de la Cité, that island in the Seine in the middle of Paris, so I say go for it, Nancy. I think she was in her early 60s at the time. She is an artist and I believe makes most of her income with her “Paris postcards,” which are really cute. Here’s her blog: http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/
I love Jared Harris–he’s really great in The Expanse, a sci-fi show, but I haven’t been able to watch Chernobyl, although I hear he’s also excellent in that. Marc Maron has a terrific interview with him on his WTF podcast that is worth listening to.
Jeff Borden said on September 28, 2021 at 11:45 am
International Living is a site dedicated to travelers over 50-years-old who want to deeply immerse themselves in another country, whether it’s a tiny coastal community in Portugal, the Tuscany region of Italy or the urbanity of Barcelona. They are upfront, however, in noting reasonable living arrangements are simply not possible at a decent price in the major urban centers of Europe or Asia. The site is free for awhile, then starts asking you to subscribe. It’s still a blast to riffle through the offerings.
Personally, I’d rather have a decent apartment in Barcelona, which would make it easy for me to visit Paris, Madrid, Rome, etc. by train or plane. If you can’t make yourself happy in Barcelona, there’s something wrong with you. One of my friends here is from Weisbaden, Germany and she says the thing she misses most about living there is how close she was to the rest of the world. Her family visited Northern Africa and the Middle East often when she was young. Now, it’s a seven or eight hour flight just to get to her home.
carolyn said on September 28, 2021 at 9:38 pm
Are you and Alan still in Paris? Fat Tire Bike Tour. If I could do it, you can do it.