jeudi 15 mai 2008

Welcome to the kennel club

Flat hunting in Paris. I don't know why I thought it'd be easy.

All I want is a nice 2 bedroom apartment, walls painted white, wooden floors, view of a street (not the grotty inside courtyard) and to make it absolute perfection, a balcony.

All I am getting is dog kennels.

Truly, most of the apartments I have seen are places where you wouldn't keep a dog (although most people do, it seems).

Last nights viewing, in the 13th (my second choice arrondissement) was just nasty. A really run down apartment that admittedly had white walls - although I fear they were last painted sometime during my childhood - and wooden floors - complete with very curious stains.

What stunned me was that I had to join a queue of people who wanted to view the apartment and, as we went round in a big group, people were oo-ing and aah-ing and saying 'mais, c'est formidable' and so on. Were they being polite or had I missed a trick? The only way to make this apartment habitable would have been to burn it down and rebuild it. It was just horrible.

I spent the whole day yesterday going from viewing to real estate office and on to more viewings. Schlepping around Paris in 29 degrees and humidity was no fun. At lunchtime, I sought solace in a nice corner cafe, and tried to imagine how my life will be when I finally move here.

Despite the heat and apartments making me feel miserable, I was actually pleased to be in Paris doing this. The prospect of a couple of years here makes me very happy. The afternoon went much better - in terms of my mood anyway - as I walked the streets thinking 'this will be my home' and 'I am so lucky'. Really, I can;t wait to move.

So, I have a couple more viewings on Monday - and I have high hopes for one that I have seen from the outside on the Avenue Daumesnil (in the 12th arrondissement, my third choice of location...).

Let's just hope it doesn't go between now and then.

15 commentaires:

tornwordo a dit…

A student of mine just moved there and found a great place in the 17th burrough. Our hotel is in the 18th. I have no idea if it's good or bad, but it is right next to a metro station. And it's already hot there?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

oh yeah, already hot! too hot yesterday - with a big storm at the end which has cleared the air a little.

the 18th is good - close to Montmartre, Sacre Coeur etc...and if you are near the metro then nowhere is far.

I have some good restaurant recommendations if you're interested.... ;-)

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

This sounds a lot like our hunt for an apartment in Leiden (the Netherlands). It's a small historic city with a university, and all the alumni like to stick around so apartments are really expensive. My boyfriend and I visited a few apartments, but either they had cracked walls and ceilings, or to access it you had to cross someone elses roof or they were located right above a DJing shop. In the end we moved to Rotterdam.

I hope you manage to find something nice soon!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey there wlldm (is that ok, what else can I call you?)...

Leiden is a nice city, but Rotterdam is soooo much better! I love Rotterdam - I've had many a moment in the Hotel New York!

I'd choose Rotterdam as one of my favourite cities in the world...

Good to see you here - keep on coming back!

red a dit…

I had the same experience hunting for a flat in Paris but I did eventually get the white walls, parquet floors, fireplaces in every room and balcony. It seems like a dream now though I'm sure at the time I realised how lucky I was too. So you see it could happen!
I heard of it from a guy I worked with- which isn't much help to you but I'd suggest talking to as many people as possible and telling them you're looking. You never know someone might know something. Best of luck.

Daryl a dit…

Finding a new place or an old place to live anywhere is not easy .. rents here in NYC are as high as the skyscrappers for teeny tiny rooms.

Loved that you didnt use the word pussy.

;-Daryl

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

Hotel NY is a really nice place, but it's being dwarfed by skyscrapers now, they're building right next to it - it's such a shame!

I still like Leiden better than Rotterdam. I like how close by all the theaters and shops are now, but Leiden is cosier, and I have the feeling it's safer too. I'd happily walk around Leiden alone at night, I wouldn't do that here.

By the way, you can call me Marjolein (or Marjolaine seeing you're French)

aims a dit…

I've got my fingers crossed that you don't have to settle for something you don't really like.

Good luck!

alan a dit…

I've always wanted to go look a house that was so in demand there was a queue into see it!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hi Red, I think it is absolutley about being in the right spot at the right moment. We'll see....I'm sure this story will run and run....

Daryl, I'm surprised at Paris rents - especially compared to London. They're expensive, but not that bad.

Luckily I'm not paying ;-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein - I'll stick with the dutch version, what with me being English and all a french version may be a tad pretentious, even for me ;-) !!

I really love the Rotterdam skyscrapers - I know they dwarf the HNY but one of things I love so much about Holland in general is their great attitude to modern architecture. So cool.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims - me too sweetheart! I really don't want to settle for something that is below what I want....nor will I!

Hi Alan, nice to see you here...I've enjoyed your musings over at Conortje's for a while now. But you have to believe me - this apartment was nothing special.

Unless you count filthy carpet and smell of eau-de-cat as special. I guess some people do.

conortje a dit…

Oh I am ridiculously excited for you :-) I have my fingers crossed!

Medbh a dit…

That sounds grim.
Would bribing a real estate agent help?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Conortje, I'm seeing an apartment today at 15h30 that I'm really excited about too....lord let it be the one!

Medbh, it is very grim. But I know there is a jewel of an apartment waiting for me out there. I just need to work through the shite ones first!