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Postcards from the 11th.

No one is calling me back. I want what I can't have. I'm an undesirable candidate. I have cellulite. Sounds like a bad chick flick, right? Or (except for the cellulite bit) apartment hunting in Paris! Anyone who has been through this can commiserate with me on just how awful it can be. This city does not make it easy.

Since Séb and I are PACsing and I'm currently homeless, the next logical step is to find a home together. This is what we have been up to these past few weeks, and I have to tell you, we're not having fun. We had one landlord tell us that we can live in the apartment for two months and then she will decide if she wants to continue renting. So basically she was proposing that we move in, and after two months we may or may not be able to stay. How does that even make any sense? Séb flat out told her that was the dumbest thing he has ever heard, which was then followed by an awkward silence amongst the three of us in an empty apartment in the 14th.

Deciding on a neighborhood wasn't too difficult. We choose our hood based on where we don't want to live. The Marais is out. I'm done with that chapter of my life. Indeed it's a fabulous neighborhood but it's too expensive, on the weekends the tiny streets are packed with shoppers, and I have way too many memories associated with it; bad ones as well as good ones that I have to let go of. The 19th and 20th are out because I don't want to get raped and/or robbed. Reasonable request. As is the 7th and 8th because we don't live large like Oprah and Karl. We are open to the 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th but we truly have our hearts set on the 11th. Yes, MF and I did live there together but he is always in the Marais and he lives on the other end of where we're looking. The 11th reminds me of the mildly gentrified Southside Williamsburg where there is some nightlife, great cafés, funky shops, diversity, and reasonable rent.

On a Sunday stroll through the 11th, here are some things that made us feel right at home....

Bon week-end!



Enough Street Art to feast our eyes on!

Séb, who is an urban planner was all up on this project.
Seriously.
We have about fifty photos that he snapped of this construction site.
We still don't know what's going up.

Remember when I saw a bath tub reincarnated as planter in New York and thought it would be a cool idea for Paris?
No? That's okay. Click on the link for a refresher.
Well my wish was granted!




Wish us luck! We're going to need it!

What was happening a year ago today? La merde!

18 comments:

  1. Wishing you lots and lots of luck!!

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  2. You didn't get the flat in the 14th because it was not meant to be. You're going to find something way better because that is how the universe works.

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    1. Exactly! We really did like that flat but you right, it wasn't meant to be. We'll find something that suits us...hopefully sooner than later!

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  3. Best of Luck you too...had to admit I did a spit take to "not the 19th or 20th because I dont want to get raped or robbed"...LOL...

    happy hunting..and bon weekend....

    hi to the Duchesse!!

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    1. Sorry! I can be a bit direct sometimes! I just want to feel safe in our new neighborhood...

      Bon week-end à vous aussi!

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    2. Hi Debs! Hi Ella!:)

      Our common friend Mindy thinks that Belleville is hip and cool, but quite frankly, I'm with you on the creep factor, Ella!

      What do you think Debs? Have you been to Belleville? My husband absolutely hates it. He doesn't mind that part of the 19th near métro Jourdain and the Buttes Chaumont (I love both!), but for the rest: yikes.

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  4. Bonne chance!

    My only advice is don't rule out the 19th and 20th completely. If they are right on the border of the 11th there will be less competition from other renters and they will be less rapey and more eleventhy.

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    1. You're totally right. Perhaps I should have said the northern parts of those areas like the Portes. Porte de Clignancourt, Saint-Ouen, and Aubervilliers. Those areas. Seb lived at Porte de Clignancourt when we first started dating and I didn't feel comfortable walking to his flat alone. He always had to meet me at the metro. I want to avoid living in an area where I need to escorted home. : )

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    2. I had a friend who lived on rue Myrha in the 18th... he didn't feel safe leaving the apartment at night. He used to find used seringes or some passed out junky in his lobby and once, he found a gun in one of the mailboxes! After a year of that hell, he moved to the 13th-borderline 5th and absolutely loved it! (No kidding!)

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  5. AnonymousJune 23, 2012

    Best of luck girlie, all good things come to those who wait. But let's be real, waiting sucks.

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    1. Waiting does suck. And so does dealing with Parisian real estate!

      I have some awesome experiences ahead of me...oooh I can feel it.

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  6. Good luck! I don't envy you apartment hunting, but it will be fab starting the next stage of your life together. I want to see photos when you do, I bet it will be super chic!

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    1. Thanks Gwan! I don't blame you for not envying me. It's not going to be fun. I just realized that this is the first time that I am not looking for a flat all by myself. I've done it in LA, Brooklyn and Paris several times so I think I can manage one more round but now with someone to lean on a bit. Power in numbers.

      I'll post photos of the new place for sure...I may do even better than photos. You'll see.... ; )

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  7. AnonymousJune 23, 2012

    I do wish you luck! And you know, the harder you fight for something the more rewarding it is. This reminder doesn't help while you're fighting for it, but hopefully you'll find a lovely light-filled aerie for a STEAL!

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    1. Thanks Daisy!! Yes, we have our hearts set on this area, so we're hoping it will work out. Per usual, I will keep you all posted! : )

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  8. AnonymousJune 24, 2012

    Good luck Ella! Good thing you have someone to share apt. hunting with this time <3

    The 11th sounds really nice. If I visit Paris soon I want to walk down that blvd you were talking about!

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    1. Thanks D!!! Yes, I have unloaded more of the responsibility on him while I manage other things. He's been such a help!

      When you come to Paris you are coming to see me!!!! We'll have wine together. : ) xo.

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