My life in Paris has never been boring. In a way, it has not slowed down since I relocated to France in March 2019. The fall has been no exception: I moved and settled into a new home, just before the Paris lockdown 2.0 got enforced.
My life in Paris: Au revoir, “the 7th Heaven“
The 265 square foot studio I called home for 18 months has served me well. We’ve been through a lot together, including a two-month, strict lockdown. In this diminutive space under Parisian rooftops, I lived; worked as an itinerant tour guide; launched a business; taught French online; live-streamed; and shared moments of my Parisian life with France with Véro followers. The studio, its glorious views, its elevator, elevator repairman all became recognizable to my readers in their own right. I will miss the light, the glorious sunsets, and the unbeatable location a few hundred yards from le Bois de Vincennes, my favorite green space in Paris. Merci, “7th Heaven.” I will never forget you.
A new home
As of this fall, I have become a proud resident of the 17th arrondissement, thanks to a furnished, one-bedroom 485-square foot apartment. I have a real kitchen, with a full-size fridge and an oven. I have a walk-in closet. Don’t smile. We, Parisians, never take these luxuries for granted.
I live in one of these non-touristy, residential yet lively neighborhoods, that can be found in the French capital if you are willing (and able) to pay the price. Down the street from me, there are bistros, cafés, and all the food specialty stores French life is known for, with a few small supermarkets – and an excellent market street, la rue de Lévis – thrown in for good measure.
My life in Paris: Parks and gardens
I have traded the expansive Bois de Vincennes for two très Parisian parks, remodeled (le Parc Monceau) or created (le square des Batignolles) during the 2nd Empire, in the second half of the 19th century. It’s become clear over the last week, they are both going to play an important part in my life until the end of the year (and keep me sane.)
C’est le (re) confinement. Locked down. Again.
Back to square 1. The news fell last week: In the face of mounting COVID cases, the country needs to enter another lockdown. Cue in twitching and complaining. Deep down, everyone knew this was coming (Why do you think I did my best to move out of my studio before fall returned?) Still, it wouldn’t be France if everyone didn’t argue (publicly) with the authorities. French social media channels are abuzz with confinement-related comments. Will the second lockdown work? Will we get a grip on the virus? Not to mention Holiday celebrations are on the line. Fingers crossed.
By now, we are all too familiar with what’s ahead…
We are restricted to an hour of daily exercise, within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of our main residence. A mental game feels strangely familiar: Can we reach some of the Parisian landmarks we spot in the distance (beyond the perimeter of our new life,) without getting in trouble? Many among us will never figure out the answer.
One thing’s for sure, boulangeries and pâtisseries will come in handy, and no matter what we do, we *must* hang on to these “attestations” (permission slips,) whenever we step outside. Or we must be ready to face the consequences. How’s a 135 Euro (160 USD) fine to start?
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