Members of our delightful “France Fanatics” group on Facebook recently asked me about our favorite Paris vacation apartment rental. A fellow renter (whom we never have met) had written to compliment my book that she found in staying at the same apartment. When I posted her lovely comments, others wanted to know the secret of our “Home in Paris”.
We often stay at a lovely vacation rental property in the Latin Quarter. A charming two-room flat on an ancient pedestrian passageway, our chosen home lies very close to the bustling and always entertaining Place Contrescarpe.
This square remains one of our favorite spots in Paris, a small intersection at the top of rue Mouffetard with a mix of bakeries and grocers (alimentaires), restaurants and ice cream shops. We park ourselves at a café terrace in the sun to enjoy a morning coffee and croissant and watch the students hustle by, the shopkeepers sweep their walkways and place their pastries just so in the window display.
We love the sensation of being in our own little neighborhood. Each day, we walk past the same store owners and waiters, the dog-walking lady and the young gentleman taking his daughter to school.
And each afternoon, we see the same elder man sitting in a doorway overlooking Contrescarpe, a bottle of wine at his side and an ongoing ‘story’ he shares with the world “in general”. He doesn’t expect anyone to engage him in conversation. He isn’t begging or being a nuisance or any such thing. He simply has staked out his place and set his ‘podium’ from which to say his piece. Perhaps, we shall do the same one day…particularly with a good bottle of wine at hand!
We have enjoyed stays in hotels and, when our apartment is not available, stays in other vacation rentals. Nothing seems to touch “Our Little Home in Paris” for being our personal sanctuary, as we enjoy our favorite city.
And these few paragraphs barely scratch the surface of one square in one neighborhood in Paris.