When I moved to Paris in the mid 1990s, I was supposed to be working on my PhD in French literature. I had no contacts there, no place to live (I stayed at a women’s foyer for the first month) and no job. The things we do when we are young and carefree, huh?
After about a month, I started looking for a studio apartment and the big question in Paris is WHERE? There are so many great areas to choose from. In the end, after two weeks of traipsing around the city looking at apartments, meeting possible room mates and feeling utterly confused, I ended up phoning my Belgian “mum”, Francine (I was an exchange student in the late 80s in Brussels and am still in touch with this one family to this day), who knows Paris very well to ask her opinion about Left vs Right Bank and I believe it was after this that I chose to rent a tiny studio apartment on the rue Tiquetonne in the 2nd arrondissement.
This particular rental was fraught with issues (imagine a crazy old landlord who would come into the apartment while you were out to “do some maintenance”… Uh huh…) but I fell in love with the area. Just around the corner was the magical rue Montorgueil which I had failed to really notice on my pre-rental visits to the area since they fell on Sunday afternoons when most everything is shut. Throughout the week, however, the place is alive and just screams “Paris” to me.
(Image courtesy of Le Quartier Montorgueil website)
Fortunately for me, my building had a kindly concierge who took pity on me and my stories of the crazy landlord and she pointed me in the direction of another (larger) studio in the same building (different staircase) that was for rent also. I ended up staying MUCH longer than I anticipated in that (still) tiny studio and when I eventually decided that it was time to have the toilet IN the apartment as opposed to down the hall, I stayed in the quartier Montorgueil. When I was in Paris a few summers in a row for my MA classes, I also rented apartments in the area and this recent visit was no exception.
On Christmas eve, on my way to the Palais de Tokyo for my magical ArtHome experience, I took a stroll down memory lane on the rue Montorgueil. Enjoy!
Au Rocher de Cancale as featured in this post.
Sigh! There you have it – just a little taster of what my life was like when I lived there, what I was surrounded by and what I got to take a a “normal” shopping experience. I highly recommend this area and if you are heading to Paris, I have the names of a number of places for rent around here that I can vouch for. There’s nothing like immersing yourself in one of the daily markets/ market streets to really get a feel for the area.
Last but not least today, the winner of the Le Creuset giveaway was comment number 12:
Please email me (link in my profile on this page) with your address and I will send it on to the good people at Cookware.com. Enjoy!