9 Reasons Why I Love Our Parisian Apartment

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Moving To France

We have moved into our new apartment in Paris! We are very excited to be in the same location for the next 12 months. Why are we excited? Read on, dear readers:

1. It is not our temporary apartment. Our apartment for the first few weeks here was born out of necessity, as we were due to arrive in Paris and had nothing lined up. We got there and my heart sank. Literally. The apartment was subterranean. It was dark and dank and you couldn’t open the windows out of fear that someone in the street above would jump down into the apartment and chastise you for trying to look up their skirt. (Hypothetically speaking.) The furnishings were old and dusty and, unless you were an 80 year old woman, it just gave you the creeps. Anne Frank would have tried to move out. Our new home is everything that this old apartment wasn’t.

2. The closets and cabinets here smell awesome. Admittedly, this was not a key criteria when we were looking for flats here, although it would have been pretty interesting to see our relocation guide’s reaction to such a request: “We’d like two bedrooms, an office, two bathrooms and it would be preferable if the cabinets smell like chestnuts roasting on cedar. ” I am not sure how they got the woodwork here to have such a nice aroma, nor do I really care. I keep opening cabinets in the hallway to see if there are brownies baking inside. Yum!

3.The kitchen is outfitted with an induction burner. I don’t know what that means yet. I think it’s good. The concept is pretty cool, the stove heats the pans through an electric current that connects through an oscillating magnetic field, resulting in crazy efficiency. I was a little skeptical when I read the manual and it said the stove could defrost spinach in 15-25 minutes, thinking that you could just breathe on it for 10 minutes and get the job done. Perhaps the manual is just a bit high on humility. I had pasta water boiling in less than 7 minutes, though, so I am impressed so far. The real test will come when I try to put a hard sear on a steak. Still, it sounds impressive doesn’t it? It’s the kind of thing I would say to a fancy-pants at a country club when they name drop about their family lineage:

Old Stuffy Bastard: “Well, there were Worthingtons on the Mayflower, you see.”

Me: “Ya, but did they have an induction stove?”

Drop mic and head off playing “The Final Countdown” in my head.

4. 41 steps. Our apartment is on the four-and-a-halfth floor. How so? The elevator is a half of a flight off from the apartments themselves, so it stops at the fourth floor and you walk up a half of a flight of stairs to get to our door. If I don’t use the elevator, though, I have to take 41 steps to get up to or down from the apartment. That is good for me. I plan on eating the shit out of this town, and the most like result of this scenario is that my body style (currently a “Jon Hamm if he were 5 months pregnant”) will start to trend toward “a Jon Hamm who is past his due date with triplets.” I take great solace in the fact that every time I leave the apartment my leaving and returning means that I will have worked off enough calories for a delicious French pastry or perhaps some pudding. I’ll be fine if I use opportunities like this to exercise, and by fine, I mean anything in the second trimester.

Bring on the soiree!

Bring on the soiree!

5. It has charm up the wazoo. This apartment is French, and not in the “Les Mis/Old French Whore” kind of way. It’s really fucking nice. The ceilings are intricately detailed and bright white. There are artistic photographs strategically placed throughout. (How artistic? We have black and white pictures of silhouettes in train stations and ladies in old-timey bathing suits. Yes, that artistic.) The floors are distressed oak in herringbone. It is impossible to enter the apartment and not conjure up the image of talented writers swilling Kir Royales while listening to jazz. (I wish I were a good writer, liked champagne and could stand jazz. We are more likely to have friends over for lasagne and Weird Al.) With a gigantic solid wood dining room table, I am sure we will all have a good time. I love the way our apartment feels.

6. It has a walk in closet. Having seen 20 or so Parisian apartments during our short time here, I can relate the closet scene thusly: 50% of apartments have a true master bedroom. Of these, the majority would require you to use dressers to store your clothes. A handful actually have closets to store your dead bodies clothes and shoes in. Under no circumstances, however, will these solutions allow you to have more than a one weeks’ supply of clothing on hand. Our apartment has a walk in closet. You can’t walk in do the tango, mind you, but let me reiterate that OUR APARTMENT IN PARIS HAS A FUCKING WALK IN CLOSET. It has four racks for hang up clothes and 28 cubbies for cryogenically frozen heads sweaters. Plus, it smells like chestnuts and brownies in there. Bananas, truly.

Street view.

Street view.

7. Location. I am tempted to say that the apartment has location up the wazoo, but somehow that just doesn’t relay the image that I intended. Our apartment in near the intersection of the 16th and 8th arrondissements, which means that we are within a 15 minute walk of the Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Pont Alexandre III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris. We are in between two larger train stations that will quickly connect you to anywhere you want to go here, beit Versailles, Notre Dame, Jardin du Luxembourg or the lesser-visited, Jardin du Oakland, which is really just a place where you can bring your television and just have someone take it from you. Our neighborhood will not excite those who live in Paris as it is not very quaint and “real,” but our out of town visitors will be thrilled. (hint, hint.)

Cool old church! Doesn't hurt that it looks like R2-D2.

Cool old church! Doesn’t hurt that it looks like R2-D2.

8. Light. Our place has a plethora of windows. The front of the house faces the street and the building across from us is two floors shorter, meaning we don’t have any precious sky blocked out. The rear of the house faces a courtyard and four-and-a-half floors is evidently high enough to ensure quality light for as long as their is indeed light. (You may take light for granted, but we don’t have that luxury. It doesn’t get light here until after 8:00 AM and starts getting dark 15 minutes later.) For evenings, the house is equipped with a shit-ton of wall sconces, floor lamps, chandeliers, table lamps, hanging birdcage lamps and a few high powered search lights thrown in for good measure. You don’t appreciate the value of a well lit apartment until you spend some time living in grandma’s basement. All in all, things are pretty bright here.

Says it all (on our bathroom tile.)

Says it all (on our bathroom tile.)

9. There is no scale. Nobody wants to see the effects of Jon Hamm’s kids gestating. With all the lasagna and Weird Al, charm up the wazoo, brownies in the closet, induction steaks, artistic bathing suit pictures and high powered search lights, our apartment will be the source of great pleasure during our time here. I don’t want to see the evidence of the toll Paris takes on me, even with 41 steps up and 41 steps down. I’d rather just enjoy the ride.

And now for larger pics of our house for friends and the architecturally inquisitive:


Malkie’s room.

Guest bed

Guest bed (hint, hint) Will use as an office.





Our bedroom

Our bedroom

Our bathroom

Our bathroom

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18 responses to “9 Reasons Why I Love Our Parisian Apartment”

  1. Brian Donovan says:

    So beautiful!

    • Thanks! Although I should say that we left for the weekend and I left a chicken carcass out and stunk the entire place up. I will try to keep it in good working order in the future though.

  2. Marjean & Earl says:

    Thanks so much for the description and pictures of your apartment. It looks lovely. Enjoy your time there. BTW a pregnant John Hamm is still OK to us.

    Maybe you can finally have time to write your book since it is such an inspiring place.

    Our love to all

  3. Vince Wetzel says:

    Nice! You have taken my living vicariously through you to a whole new level!

  4. Jon M says:

    Nice place. I’m in!

  5. James Hua says:

    Paul, the apt sounds and looks very nice… but does it have a bidet?????

  6. Marj says:

    We’ll be right there, by way of the Paris of the Midwest.

  7. Matzel says:


  8. Suzi says:

    Looks oh la la! Seriously very nice – good to see you guys are settling in!!

  9. Scott says:

    Looks great – but who the hell is Jon Hamm?

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