Wednesday, June 18, 2014

an ode to mon quartier

The first time I crossed neighborhood lines into the Batignolles, I was meeting a classmate for brunch. And though the meal itself was disappointing (the food, not the company), the quartier got under my skin. There were boutiques like Superflu, blou, and EnApARThé--places that seemed cool and inviting without even trying. There were hipsters and elderly couples and young families. It was a quieter Paris; "authentic", without the tourists. I wanted to live there. As luck would have it, as of last year's July, I did.
To some, living 20-30 minutes from most Parisian attractions would be a deal breaker. But I appreciated the distance and the refuge. It meant my favorite farmers market was right around the corner, as was even better good pizza. My preferred café to caffeinate, read, and write was a brisk 10-minute stroll; a block closer than the beloved Artisan. There was even a great Portuguese bakery, handmade jewelry shop, and happy hour spot. It didn't take long for me to find a good brunch resto (with live Sunday night jazz).
There were other highlights, too, such as my Mary Poppins-esque landlady, neighborhood blend (who happened to live above the best wine bar), and the boulanger and caviste who always remembered my face. I felt at home, and I loved it; the Square especially. Amy and I commemorated my last night as a resident with dinner at this favorite resto and a walk through Martin Luther King Park. I can hardly believe it's been two weeks since. New York has been awfully kind to me again, but how I miss this Paris so.

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