I received a lovely e-mail from a reader this week telling me how much she is learning about Paris and France from reading my blog. She urged me to do more posts. Thank You lovely reader.
After waiting almost two months, I have finally moved into my new apartment in the 16th arrondissement. The view from my window is extremely soothing but not very interesting to a Paris tourist. I overlook a Courtyard and garden. The amazing thing about this apartment is that it has a terrace. Everyone in Paris would like a terrace, it is a premium commodity. I don’t have just any terrace. I have the equivalent of another room! With a table and chairs for eating, a chaise longue for reading and room to start a small Parisian terrace garden if I so choose.
When one walks around the 16th and looks up, it’s impossible to miss all the terrace gardens with so much lush color and different shades of green. If you are standing up high in an apartment building, you can see that almost every roof top has a terrace that is home to a garden–with trees, bushes, sometimes benches. I don’t know if this is unique to Paris but it’s a wonderful aspect.
My street is very quiet. Even the church bells across the street are quiet unlike the bells of the Catherale de Notre Dame which announce themselves throughout at least 4 arrondissements. My street dead ends into Boulevard Beausejour. After passing through a path for pedestrians only, I am two blocks from the Bois de Boulogne. The Bois de Boulogne is the smaller of the two parks that sandwich Paris from the West and the East. There are lakes and bicycle paths, boathouses, the Jardin d’acclimatization which has a wonderful playground for children. I once saw a small camel there giving rides! The extraordinary Fondation Louis Vuitton is next door.
The other end of the block crosses Ave. Mozart, a wide street with small, very Parisian little stores: a bakery, vegetable and fruit market, fish market, etc. The metro 9 is one block from my street. The closest grocery store is Monoprix which is quite a walk down Ave Mozart. I was very spoiled in the 6th where I lived. Everything I needed and more was at most 6 blocks away.
The 16th arrondissement is laid out differently than many of the others. It goes from north to south and is long, bending with the Seine as it turns south from more central Paris. The streets are wider, everything is greener. Along the Seine are some important organizations such as Radio France. I’ve only gotten to know a small part of this area from Michelange-Auteuil up to La Muette and Rue Passy which has the beautiful clothing stores.
Please stay with me as I explore my quartier (neighborhood) of Paris that most tourists don’t come to.