Bonne Année

Happy New Year!  It’s real!  I am in Paris.  I don’t have a job to go to on January 2.  Huh, how about that?  I feel as though I am on vacation in the sense this escape will end in a week or so.  I wonder when it will sink in that I am here to stay?  For now, I’ll share about my first 48 hours…

I am camped out in a small studio I found on Airbnb in my neighborhood.  It seemed like the right spot to get acclimated to the 11th Arrondissement leading up to the start of my lease.

Courtyard view at the Airbnb

The apartment is internal.  I do not have a street view, but rather a “courtyard” view.  (I am being generous with that term.)  I have enjoyed listening to the rain pitter-pat on the roofs close to me and it’s a very quiet despite being in the middle of a bustling city.

I have been out and about on errands and some flânuerie.  (I specialize in flânuerie.)  I visited the street my apartment is on – it seemed like a whirlwind when I jumped over here in September to find a place.  I am pleasantly surprised by the street and the neighborhood.  I have terrific proximity to a number of conveniences I will use in the year ahead.

There is a lovely patisserie on the corner.  I was pleased that it was open on New Year’s Eve.  Much of Paris is closed on Sundays and even more so for the holiday.  This is a good working bakery and not a reseller store front.  I watched people streaming in and out of the shop with baguettes and treats for their 2018 celebration.

Just around the corner I found a wine shop.  I understand in Paris you get to know the local wine store and they know you.  I’m certain this will be among my first priorities.

One of the famous Parisian open-air markets is very close to me, Marche Richard Lenoir.  I strolled through the market and was captivated by its offerings.  It made me want to know how to blend ingredients, flavors and prepare food.  Perhaps this is my year?

Dates and figs

Fresh flowers


Mediterranean fruit

With all my flânuerie, it’s been rainy or overcast threatening rain so I am happy to have an umbrella with me.  I have quickly realized that umbrellas are an accessory in Paris; like a beautiful scarf or fancy pair of glasses.  Unfortunately, my umbrella game is not strong.  I am going to have to buy something much more fashionable than the corporate freebie umbrella I am currently toting.  I suspect that is not my only tell that I am not a Parisian.  I will follow-up with a post about the nuances of Parisian style – I believe I have a steep learning curve ahead.

Bonne année, friends!


2018-11-04T08:45:18+00:00January 2nd, 2018|Categories: La Cuisine, Mon Quartier|Tags: |19 Comments


  1. Jennifer January 2, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Enjoyed your first living in Paris post with my morning cup of coffee. Keep them coming!!!

    • Gretchen January 2, 2018 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jen, I’m shooting for a weekly blog post. So happy we can stay connected!

  2. Karen January 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Happy new year Gretchen!

    • Gretchen January 2, 2018 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      You too, Karen! Best wishes in 2018!

  3. Christina morrow January 2, 2018 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Happy New Year Gretchen!!!

    • Gretchen January 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      You as well!! I hope you had a great holiday…I have champagne waiting for you over here. Let me know when your global travels bring you this way. xoxo.

  4. Robin Liebman January 2, 2018 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Happy new year! Loved reading today’s post. Can’t wait for the next one 🙂

    • Gretchen January 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Robin!

  5. Penny January 3, 2018 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Happy 2018 ala Paris!! Penny

  6. Julie Cohen January 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Be sure to show us your new umbrella when you find one that is Paris worthy! 🙂

    • Gretchen January 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      Absolutely – and I need some rain boots! I’ll need to do some serious research!

  7. Becky January 4, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Bonne Année et je vous souhaite des très bonnes aventures à Paris et partout en Europe. J’en ai hâte de lire et voir tout ce que vous découvriez !

    • Gretchen January 4, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      Merci, Becky. La première chose à faire est de travailler mon français!

  8. Nikki Kraus January 5, 2018 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Love this! Hoping i can get over over to you. I am glad you like your neighborhood. That must be a huge relief!

    • Gretchen January 6, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Thank you, Nikki! I would love to see you – have a wonderful 2018!

  9. Matthew Krissel January 6, 2018 at 12:38 am - Reply

    Hello Gretchen, Happy New Year. Great to read your first few post. Thanks for the book for Addie, we miss you already!

    You asked for some recommendations; these are some of my favorite places beyond the usual:

    Sainte-Geneviève Library, Panthéon, Palais Garnier, Palais du Luxembourg, Catacombs of Paris, Sacré-Cœur and the area around it and of course Père Lachaise.

    • Gretchen January 6, 2018 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Hi Matt! Thanks so much for the note. I will check out Sainte-Geneviève, I love libraries! I actually just visited the American library Thursday. It’s a private library, and has the largest collection of English books in France. It seems like they have some nice author/educational events as well. I am also very interested in checking out Père Lachaise, but I think I will wait until some of the rain passes. It’s been overcast/raining here every day. I will not complain as I have never endured a bomb cyclone! I hope you are staying warm. Happy 2018!

  10. Nancy king January 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to your posts. I’m in love with Paris and all that is French. I’ll do it vicariously thru you


    • Gretchen January 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Mrs. King, Please do live vicariously through me! I’m in love with all things Paris as well. It’s a different world. This is certainly an adventure!

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