This year seems to be all about transitions. The biggest one coming up is leaving our nest of 3 years for a new one. A new opportunity to re arrange the bookshelf, an opportunity to put new holes in new walls (my favorite part) and for things like finding an excuse to buy wallpaper. Our little nest in southwest Paris has served us well, but as we grow and become big kids, a step up only seemed natural.
As a sidenote, can I just say that apartment hunting in Paris is FAR from easy… and it’s basically a full time job. Landlords look only at the paper – the salary – and not where you work, what you do or who you are as a person or if they just get a good feeling when they meet you (Ok, *ideals*, but it would be cool if they didn’t JUST look at the 7 digits in your contract, right?). Certain statuses in France are not favored, cough, like the one my boyfriend works under in the cinema industry, add being a foreigner into the mix and it makes for one complicated application in the eyes of the everyday real estate agent, and no matter what your situation they still want guarantors that live and work on French soil that are not retired and that are clearly prosperous bread winners that own property (which will forever blow my mind in a city so rich in culture and with quite a population of immigrants).
Bref, we now see the light at the end of the tunnel could not be more anxious to discover the larger Paris just beyond the 75’s limits and still so spoiled by public transport. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Paris has become seemingly smaller, while becoming literally bigger. The borders are stretching and people are venturing even farther out from Ile de la Cité for various reasons. To top it off, I feel like within the city limits is becoming more and more unbearable to live comfortably. Times have certainly changed, and even good jobs aren’t enough for my generation for the price of living in some cities, even à deux. But alas, I’m not complaining.
I often ask myself how people do it. Having a certain idea of what people earn in the industry that I work in, I am still trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Where do these people get the funding and guarantors needed to rent these humongous apartments in the city? I guess these people are winning at the big game of Monopoly.
To say the least, I’m just proud to be making ends meet on my very own in this big bad city that is my home.
Anne and I went for Sunday brunch at the new hoppin’ Pavillon des Canaux yesterday, and I must say the exterior and interior really caught my eye. We also had the pleasure of surprising the beautiful Lauren, rocking her barista skills.
The canalkeeper’s house was taken over recently by Sinny & Ooko, the mastermind’s behind La REcyclerie, and made into a local hangout with drinks + simple grub. Situated on the quai de Loire, just on the Bassin de la Villette, le Pavillon des Canaux is a fully decorated and magical house with tables inside and out, perfect for events or just your brunch, lunch or coffee in the afternoon with dear ones.
Each of the rooms is decorated with colorful patterns, wallpapers and light fixtures, artwork on the walls, flowers in contrasting vases and perfect wooden tables… each with its own flare. The door to the hustly bustly kitchen upstairs is wide open – with checkered tiling on the floor might I add – with formica tables covered with the daily specials on mix and match plates. Every one of the living rooms caught my fancy, with the pops of color and flea market-like trinkets on shelves and tables left and right. It’s a cozy DIY haven and you’ll feel like you’re in a country home far far away from Paris when you pay a visit.
The 24 euro brunch includes : bottomless warm bevvies, juice and tartines, with a big plate filled with salad, homefries and an english muffin topped with a fried egg & bacon. Oh, and bottomless cake!
If you’re going for brunch on the weekend, I suggest arriving before 1pm, as they can be quite busy and even potentially run out of brunch grub. A stroll down the canal afterwards is a must, especially if the sun is shining.
Le Pavillon des Canaux
39 quai de Loire, 75019
Métro: Laumière (5)
This weekend was a very special one. For my birthday, along with Valerie and her man who is in town, we headed to the in-laws fantastically adorable home for a weekend full of delicious grub and surprises. It was cold and foggy most of the weekend, which was the perfect context for making hearty gratins and staying cozy by the fire with a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and some whisky.
We picked vegetables from the garden and enjoyed the calm of the countryside, even having the chance to visit a neighbor’s farm to see his tractor collection. The fact that he makes his own moonshine and gave me some of his homemade eau-de-vie for my birthday was pretty much a cherry on top.
However, I am clearly the most spoiled person alive, as this birthday weekend didn’t end here…. little did I know that coming back to Paris on Sunday night, there were some snazzy people that I really care about waiting for me at Troll Café to drink a beer together.
It all ended with samosas galore, as the best birthday in the world should. I am still in shock about how fantastic and culturally mixed this day was: a delicious French lunch with the family and surprise local brews, homemade eau-de-vie and tractors with a true campagnard who seemed like he had never met foreigners before, surprise beer extravaganza at Troll Café where they have one of my favorite random beers (Mongozo Banana) and then a bag full of samosas on the house from my favorite Indian restaurant. Does this not sound like a dream? I am the most spoiled person alive.
A special thank you to my dearest honey for planning this, and to all of my dear friends who made this day so magical.