On Tuesday, we had to move out of our Airbnb apartment and into another one. The apartments in Paris generally have narrow stairways, and very few had elevators. Ours had an elevator, but it was tiny, you could only fit a few people in it–possibly two Americans…or five French people.
So I always wondered how people brought huge furniture into their high-rise apartments. This is how:
All week I had been watching people in neighboring buildings do this. People would hire moving companies, which come with their own mini-lifts and then load it right through their huge windows, which are all– you guessed it–French doors. I had always wondered why glass double-doors were called “French doors.”
We moved to Marcadet – Poissonniers (I’m calling all these neighborhoods by their closest metro station), which was very different from our previous République. République had a mostly white, 20-30-something, mostly professional, well-dressed crowd. Everyone there looked like they were on break from working at an art gallery.
By comparison, Marcadet – Poissonniers has a very colorful and vibrant neighborhood. It is made up of a lot of African, Haitian, Indian and Middle Eastern immigrants. I wish I had my camera during one of the days of their street farmers’ market-type things, but here is what the neighborhood looks like on a regular day:
The barbed wire above because there was a train pathway below it. If you climbed over, you’d probably fall to your death:
Every 40 feet or so was a guy selling corn on the cob grilled on a makeshift grill in a shopping cart:
I guess it’s pretty popular here, but we bought some and it was too unseasoned and dry for our taste. We Americans are used to corn being slathered in butter and salt, and then used as a side to our barbecue, amiright?
Our former place at République was…meh (or “bof” as the French say). That’s why I didn’t take any pictures of it. We lived on the fifth floor of an apartment/condo building that had four bedrooms with a family in each one and together we had to share one small kitchen and bathroom. It was old and smelly and the doorknobs were coming off. The only redeeming qualities about it were that it had a nice balcony, an elevator, and it was conveniently located near all the major metro stops in Paris. And we didn’t get robbed or murdered, which is always a plus.
When we moved to Marcadet – Poissonniers, we were not expecting much of the new place. It was located near the end of the metro lines and it had no elevator. That means we had to lug our luggage up to the third floor, and in Paris, the ground floor is always “0” instead of “1” so we had one extra floor. It looked old and there were cracks in the building.
And our door:
But then we flung the door open and it was like Heaven. I didn’t know such an amazing place existed in Paris unless you were a millionaire or a drug mule. And it was not expensive at all. Thank you, Airbnb! (For some reason I keep pronouncing it as “Airbender”)
We even had our own washer-dryer in the bathroom (located in the cupboard near our sink)
Screw the metro and the rest of Paris. I could spend the rest of our week in all day in our apartment.
Sidenote: I love that most websites now have a “click for U.S. version” button. When I lived in Denmark in 2008, I had to always try to see if a site had a UK flag (for English) or I would end every URL with .us instead of .com.