Saturday, October 15, 2016
Paris, Across the Street
It is so French to me. We had an apartment in Paris where we stayed each year and it didn't look as "French" as this view, in Buenos Aires .
At night they would turn on their lights, massive chandeliers , summer nights they would throw open the French doors. I felt like I lived in Argentina but Paris was across the street.
If you think about it... or when I think about it .. after our first couple of trips to Paris, we started renting apartments for our stays. This is, in my opinion, the very best way to really visit a place. Being plunked down right in the middle of it all, with neighbors and shopping and managing with or without knowing the language that well.
The first time we ever did this, was in London.
After years of going to London every Autumn and staying in a hotel, we decided to try renting a holiday apartment.
My husband had lived in London and we had visited enough times to know just which neighborhoods we wanted to stay in ... We rented a little one bedroom in Knightsbridge and with the shops, restaurants and museums, not to mention a certain Palace and Changing of the Guard ... we were always happy with our visits.
One year we had 2 weeks .. we arrived in London, moved into our flat and for a brief time, pretended it was our home. We packed an overnight bag and took the train to Paris for a 3 day weekend.
Leaving all our belongings in the London flat, we went to Paris.
We stayed at the Hotel Lutece on the Ille St Louis. It was perfect in every way.
After that visit, when the following year rolled around, my husband said what did I want to do this year on our vacation time... Paris I said .. I want to go back to Paris.
So once again, we rented an apartment, this one just blocks from the Eiffel Tower and we went to the markets and shopped, ate in local cafes and generally spent 2 weeks pretending.
Years later ... Imagine my delight when we visited Buenos Aires for the first time.
The architecture is very French.
There is a heavy French influence in many things but to look at it, you can see why my dreams of living in a flat in Paris, came true in Buenos Aires.
Molding, high high ceilings, doorways, French doors, the only door in the house that was solid was to the loo. The rest were all French .. I spent a fortune on sheer curtain panels to put on the doors. To at least give an impression of privacy.
It was a dream to decorate. We shopped for so much .. happily we brought it all back with us.
The desk that a man made by hand .. a lamp bought in San Telmo in an antique shop, our sofa that is the favorite spot for anyone who wants to be able to stretch full out for a nap ..
Which was what my husband and our dog Tate often did ..
Visiting a country, city, state, is fun. No matter where you go, even if it is just the next town .. you can experience the little changes that make you appreciate your own view and place you live or make you consider changing that view and where you live.
But be careful, you might walk into a room one day, and across the room are these windows, and there is this view and you will be planning to live there before you know it.