Tuesday, May 6, 2008
We've been coming to Paris often enough for long enough to feel relatively comfortable here, and we have friends here whom we like very much. These are people we've met and made connections with over the years, either through mutual friends or through circumstance. We feel very lucky to have them and we really enjoy making new ones.
On Saturday we had dinner at the home of one of these friends and met another guest, in town for the weekend, who lives in a small town in Burgundy. We very much enjoyed the conversation, and as we left after dinner we found that we were going home to the same metro station, as she was staying at her daughter's place, coincidentally around the corner from our apartment. Before we parted, she suddenly invited us to tea at her daughter's on Monday evening.
Around the corner from us, in this quickly gentrifying neighborhood, is the lingering remnant of a red light district. There are still a few peep shows and porn dealers but the buildings are being rehabed and property values are rising. After we entered the street door of the building, between a small grocery and a porn shop, we walked down an unprepossessing hallway, and began to climb four flights of very narrow spiraling stairs, wondering what we'd find. When we got to the top we entered a lovely apartment.
This talented young woman had turned the top floor of a tenement into a small but charming duplex with a living room/kitchen/bath/guestroom on the main level and a comfortable bedroom above, but it was up yet another small stair that the biggest surprise lay: a perfect and private little terrace, no bigger than 8 ft. square with flowering and climbing plants, a small wall fountain, a miniature terra cotta barbecue grill and several low seats around a small table. It was a warm evening and we sat on the terrace drinking a good red wine, talking about everything under the sun and looking over the rooftops; it was great!
By the time we left we had exchanged email addresses and phone numbers all around, had been invited to stay with the woman from Burgundy and invited the daughter to visit us when she's in SF this summer on her way to Burning Man! Who says the French aren't friendly!