Wednesday, September 6
This statue of Marechal Ney is on a square just in front of a restaurant called Cloiserie des Lilas, one of Hemingway’s favorite restaurants, on the border of the 14th and the 5th arrondissments.
Fountain at Place Denis, looking from the direction of the Observatory
We have successfully moved over to the 6th
arrondissement, but it wasn’t easy. In
addition to the four suitcases that arrived with us in
We thought we’d be able to start the laundry, which takes forever with these French washing machines, and put the important things away, then we’d go back and get a taxi to bring the rest over.
The vigic and digicode for the building’s front door worked fine. We entered, and just to be cautious, we knocked on the door to the apartment and rang the bell before entering. The guests who were supposed to leave the day before were still there. We enjoyed meeting them, but we didn’t get the laundry started. They planned to go out and come back later in the day to get their suitcases and then go to the station/airport. That was fine.
We left our important things and went back to get our real suitcases.
We had planned to walk back to the 15th, but it started to rain. So we took the métro, and then Tom went to find a taxi while I waited with the suitcases & printer.
When we came back with all of our suitcases about an hour later, the taxi pulled away, it was raining, and Tom tried to use the vigic to open the door to the building. It did not work. I punched in the door code. It did not work. We rang the bell. It did not work. There seemed to be no electricity to the panel. We waited for an hour. Nobody left the building. Nobody came to the door.
Two nice young men from neighboring businesses were very concerned for us because of the rain. Finally, I stayed by the door and luggage while Tom went to the Hotel Recamier around the corner to see about getting a locksmith (we have no cell phone that works here). The locksmith said he could probably get the front door open by slipping a piece of plastic in there, but he'd have to charge 80 euros. We decided to wait longer.
Part of our problem earlier in the day was also because I left the apartment instructions, including the phone number and name for a neighbor, Madame Zaoui, in my computer briefcase, which I had taken into the apartment earlier in the day when the digicode WAS working (when we met the previous guests). From now on, I will have her name and number with me in my billfold.
After another half hour, Tom went back to the hotel to call the locksmith. I waited longer by the luggage. Finally, before Tom came back with the locksmith, a tall, handsome man in a beautiful suit opened the door to exit. He held the door open for me while I brought in the bags and explained to him what I thought the problem was. He tried the door code and said that I was right, it was not working. He propped the door open.
Just as I got everything inside, Tom came back with the locksmith, and saw of course that now the door was open. Fortunately, the locksmith only charged Tom 20 euros.
We were exhausted. Tom took a nap, and I was reading next to a window that overlooks the courtyard and door to the building. The tall handsome man had left the door propped open, so he could return without any problem. It stayed open like that for hours, then another man went out to get his groceries, and he shut the door. When he returned, he had to call Madame Zaoui to have her let him in.
The two of them went to investigate. The work that I had been hearing down below (someone was hammering and drilling) stopped. Then I heard Madame Zaoui, and the man (who turned out to be Gerard Georges LeMaire, the neighbor below us, who is a literary editor) in our stairwell. Then I saw Madame Zaoui go out to do her shopping, and the electric button for the door lock was working.
Now that we are in it, we absolutely love this apartment near Saint Sulpice. It is extremely comfortable and well organized. Its owners are designers of the most practical sort. I had great fun unpacking and finding neat places to put things. There is a lot of storage here, all cleverly arranged. Although this apartment is smaller than the one in the 15th, it feels bigger.
The building was built in 1650! One of the three Musketeers kept his horse in a place that faced on this same courtyard that this apartment overlooks.
We love it here.