dimanche, juin 18, 2006

And Now Inside

The apartment is compact but not cramped, well-furnished, comfortable, and filled with light. It's on the third French floor (fourth for us) so I get a good bit of exercise just going back and forth. Here are some photos of the living room, bedroom, and kitchen.

And here is what what makes this "home," pictures of my wife
Leslie and our family (me, Leslie, Anna, and Jim), plus the little
ceramic house given to us many years ago by our friend Doris
from Offenbach, Germany. Oh, and housekeys and the remote for the iPod sound system.

samedi, juin 17, 2006

Take a Look Around

My apartment is in the 6th Arrondissement, known for its earlier bohemian character and now, while still pulsing with literary, intellectual, and artistic energy, an area of chic shops and cafes much frequented by tourists and students. Here is the front of my building at 48 rue Dauphine. Look three floors above the red flowers and you will see the windows of my place.

Now look up the street toward the Seine... and down the street to the bustling intersection of rue St. Andre des Arts, rue de Buci, and rue Mazarine.

Here's a look along the rue de Buci...and then at the place I buy wine (one of the ubiquitous Nicolas shops) and the Champion market (with the green awning), where I compete with sharp-elbowed matrons for fresh produce and other provisions.

lundi, juin 05, 2006

Early Days in Paris

Since my last post, I have made the flight to Paris, settled into my apartment, gotten processed in my volunteer activities at OECD, more or less completed the adjustment to the new time, and begun to explore the city.

All has gone remarkably smoothly. The luggage that went astray, the time I locked myself out of the apartment, and a conversation with the upstairs neighbor about a leak in my bedroom ceiling have merely provided a greater range of opportunity to build French vocabulary--along with a certain Parisian sang froid.

I am finding it hard to set aside time for blogging right now. This matter of work is intruding, and I have to ask how I ever managed to work and have a life too.

Other things too intrude. I decided not to pay a king's ransom to join a health club for three months, reasoning that instead I could walk, walk, walk the streets of Paris. And monter and descendre the three flights of stairs to my apartment. And marcher the Paris Metro's labyrinthine corridors and many stairs. So I try to get in a walk each day, in addition to the commute by Metro (which at 35 minutes minumum takes more time than I had expected).

Part of the purpose of being here is to improve my French, and I am trying to be disciplined about reading, vocabulary review, and watching TV. Of course, there is my obligation while I am here in a football-mad continent to watch as much of the Coupe Mondiale as I can; with three matches per day on French TV, that too eats up a fair share of time.

But by now I should have established a rhythm to the days and weeks that allows me to experience Paris and then to reflect upon my experiences and to chronicle them here. With that in mind, I start my third week on Paris.