mercredi 30 novembre 2005

Our apartment is located in the 4eme arrondisment, which is like a district of the city. Major cities are broken up into arrondisements, with the 1st being the center of town, and radiating out from there. It is a pretty good area, with parks and museums, and close to the center. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to my school which is in the center, which I have done several times due to the Metro strike. But that is another post for another time.

The apartment is located on a main street, one block from a metro station, with several bakeries/patisseries, general food and vegetable stores, a video club next door, the post office across the street, on the bus line, etc. Parking is a problem, as most of the buildings do not have underground parking, and there aren't a lot of empty parking lots. So mostly it consists of driving around and trying to find some empty sidewalk to park on. But that is also another post for another time, which will probably be entitled "Imaginative Parking" accompanied by pictures.

The building is over 150 years old. No big deal. The walls are thick and the ceilings are 3m high. We have wooden shutters on the windows to be closed and opened every day. You have to be careful to fasten the shutters so that the wind doesn't rip them off. Since the buildings were built before electricity and plumbing, when the lines were put in they just drilled holes from floor to floor and room to room, so everything is visible. The floor is a mixture of brick red 6 sided tiles, (as in picture) and newer white square tiles. We have an electric radiator in every room, which is starting to become necessary now.

On the ground floor there is a florist shop and a CousCous restaurant. The main entryway has all the mailboxes- for incoming mail only. All outgoing mail has to be put in a mailbox. In the back is kind of a common area for storage, hanging clothes, etc. There is a spiral staircase winding up the center, with all of the stairs tilted in towards the middle of the staircase. I heard that they are tilted because over the years housewives would throw out their mop water and it would cascade down the stairs, eventually wearing away one side, but I don't know if that is true or not. There are two apartments per floor. We live on the third floor, on the right. Sometimes this is noted on our address. "Troisieme etage, a droit". Correction, we live on the third floor, in french. In english, it would be considered the fourth floor. So all together, there is the ground floor, four floors with people living on them, and one top floor with more storage space.

Our kitchen is quite narrow. It came with no stove, and no refrigerator. Alain bought a refrigerator before I arrived and moved it in. So glad I wasn't here for that! The bathroom is quite large, with a sink and bathtub. The toilet is in another seperate room, as in many french households. Quite useful actually, as most places only have one bathroom. We have ten shelves. Alain's stuff takes up one shelf. We have towels on one shelf. The other eight shelves are mine.

Hmm, what else can I say about it? No laundry machines. Have to go down the block for that, to the little laverie that has all of two washers working and one dryer working, the change machine that doesn't work, and might be going out of business. A lot of people don't use the dryers as they just hang everything out the window. It is pretty soundproofed. Or perhaps the people above and next to us are quiter than normal. The house across the back from us is quite irritating as their terrace is slightly lower than our apartment. In summer it was worse because we had to have the windows open, no air conditioning Bien sur, and they were having late parties.

If anyone has any questions about it, please feel free to ask them in the comment section.

1 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Hi Megan & Alain,

Your apartment looks adorable! For 150 years old - it's in pretty good shape. Your blog is great, we love your descriptions and the pictures bring your world closer to us. We can't wait to see it in person!

Uncle Bob & Aunt Shari

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