Sunday, September 23, 2012

Window Watching & Barbecues

Window Watching and Barbecues

I am sitting in the office in our new apartment. Our desk faces a petite cast-iron balcony that hovers ever so precariously over our narrow and calm residential street in the 16th. The balcony is so sweet and romantic and one might imagine two star-crossed lovers stealing a kiss.

Bah, cliché.

The balcony is charming but I would have preferred a practical (read: large) one since we have nowhere to place our exorbitantly-puff-daddy-esque barbecue. When Andy bought this monstrous machine that boasts 6 burners and a pig roasting functionality, I was pleased that his hiccup of a mid-life crisis demanded a barbecue rather than a young blond. Now I wonder whether I would not have preferred the blond since housing would not be obligatory whereas with the barbecue, housing is obligatory and it now rests in the guest room.

But I digress.

My attraction is drawn to activity taking place across the narrow street in our neighbor’s apartment. Since he has failed to close the drapes on his vertically generous and revealing windows, I take his oversight as an invitation to peer into this microcosm of Parisian life.  

Ahem. He is enjoying a glass of wine and, while he has not turned towards me, I half-heartedly toast him with my glass of wine. With my chin propped on my elbow I continue to peer through the window in his direction. The street is bathed with the light of the moon and I squint a bit, wondering whether the slight shadow in his flat is that of his gloriously elegant partner. Is the slight nod of his head meant for me?

He turns ever so slightly and dims the light, tossing off his tie and jacket. My breathe abated I am suddenly disillusioned when nothing amazingly romantic occurs and the vibrations of the soccer game and the wildly maddening colors bursting into our shared space.

Laughing, I return to my simple dinner of a baguette, chèvre, avocado and a glass (Or two? Who cares? Who counts?) of wine and I feel inspired to share a few tongue in cheek first impressions of life in Paris. As such I begin my Parisian blog. 

Friday, September 7, 2012


Sniff sniff? My nose has been tickled and is dancing about as frantically as a bloodhound at a boucherie as I search for the source of this rather, ahem, pungent smell. The obvious culprit or source of this smell was my 2.5 year old son who had recently been potty trained. Egads, the memories of helping him learn to deposit his wealth in the potty rather than in his newly acquired Superman underwear still loomed.

I peered over the cover of his stroller cautiously. "Bonka, Cedric? Have you made a bonka? Do you need the potty?" he shook his head in defiance. I inquired again, insisting but visibly confused, he looked back to me from his perch in the stroller and replied "No potty, I need cookie."

Well, his ability to shift to his more pressing needs using the power of analysis is astounding.

My gaze shifted forward towards the source of the smell - which was now strangely inviting - and was hypnotized by rows and rows of small parcels in a window shop. The diversity in sizes, colors, and texture was simply overwhelming. Some were playfully stacked in colorful packages, others roughly wrapped in newspaper or gently concealed with transparent foil. Many lay open and vulnerable, exposed to the sun. Some leaking their pungent yet strangely delightful fragrance and others tempting with the inevitable.

My first cheese shop en Paris.