It’s Sunday morning, barely 10:00am. The streets are quiet and the sky threatening as I look out the window of my temporary apartment in Cité Pilleux. The only people I can see are an elderly couple lovingly tending to a grave in the Cimetière Montmartre. She is placing new flowers in urns placed against the headstone, while he removes debris and dusts off the marble.
Church bells sound in the distance, and I wonder how many people have actually gone to worship on this morning following the Fête du Travail. Yesterday, most of Paris came to a standstill as the country celebrated workers’ rights, and many of the city’s neighborhoods were as quiet as a Sunday morning.
But today is a Sunday. The grands magasins (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV) are closed. So are many of the boutiques around the city. Those who want to do any shopping will head to the Marais, which never seems to close. There was a time when I considered making the Marais my home, but it seems too bustling to me these days. A good place to visit, but not to live.
No, I have come to the realization that I am, in fact, a Rive Gauche girl. What can I say? I have expensive tastes. But I simply adore the rues and avenues on this side of the Seine. But now, as I search for a more permanent address, I must choose a neighborhood. I’m more naturally drawn to the area around the rue Cler, but lately I’ve found the quiet streets leading off Boulevard Raspail in the 14th quite appealing, too. Friends have asked that I consider their neighborhoods in the 13th and 15th arrondissements.
But today is Sunday, so I’ll put aside all confusion and look forward to the day that awaits me. A savory brunch in Montmartre, followed by an afternoon wandering through the Marché aux Puces in St Ouen with a dear friend. Drinks with a new friend early in the evening, followed by a delicious, lingering dinner to celebrate the end of a brief, but wonderful stay in the city that will soon be my permanent home.