A Nomad in Paris, Part II: My Patch of Heaven

morning writing

Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

If you’ve read Part I of my nomadic journey, you know I’ve been kicked out of my apartment by a leak in a neighbor’s flat that has rendered my home unfit. I’ve had a hard time finding temporary housing in Paris—cost and availability are huge issues here—and during my three-month stay I’ll be hanging my hat in three different apartments. That’s a lot of moving around, but before you feel too sorry for me, get a load of the image at the top of this page. Yes, that’s right: I have a terrace. In Paris.

Just when I think the universe is raining all over my Paris parade, it hands me an umbrella. In this case, a big, blue sun umbrella for the terrace of my beautiful temporary digs in the the 3rd arrondissement.

Apartment #1 came to me through a friend, and I was just grateful just to have a place to lay my head—but this is much more than that, more than I could have imagined. When I opened the door to the apartment for the first time, sunlight washed over me, making me squint. I looked up at a skylight high above me in a soaring vaulted ceiling. The bright, white space popped with cool, fresh accent colors all around—aqua, purple and fuchsia. On one wall, an artist’s mural dominated the room, whimsical and exuberant. Through the glazed double doors, I found a sun-baked terrace that ran the length of the apartment, and on it, two lounge chairs and a table perfect for entertaining—or writing, which I was here to do. From the terrace, views over the rooftops of the 16th- and 17th-century buildings lining the street. The apartment had air-conditioning, a fully stocked kitchen, a king-sized bed and a giant closet—all rarities in Paris. In fact, the entire apartment was a rare gem. Did I deserve such luxury? This paradise?

The bright, cheerful apartment transports and uplifts me. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

The bright, cheerful apartment transports and uplifts me. For a small 236-square-foot space, it’s well laid out with great flow and wants for nothing. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Last summer when the leak first appeared and I was evicted from my dream apartment because of the mold that had grown, my life was already in a state of upheaval. I’d just left my job to embark on a new career as a writer, but I was shaky and still holding on to the past. That I had to abandon my one safety net—my little Paris home—only made me feel even more unsettled, and I struggled to stay afloat emotionally. I was like a fist inside—tight and angry. It was hard to appreciate the gifts that were coming my way, including a gorgeous apartment in the center of town that was offered me as a temporary home.

But nearly a year later, I’m in a different frame of mind about the state of flux I’m living in. I actually like it and I’m happier, more comfortable with the unknown. That fist inside is unclenching, letting go of expectations and fear. Maybe the universe served up a beautiful apartment like this one because I’m more open now—or maybe it just seems like I hit the jackpot because that’s what gratitude does to you. I know now that the curve balls being lobbed at me are not punishment, but the universe telling me to get in the game. This is life.

The difference between the hell of last year, and the heaven I’m living in now? Me. It’s point-of-view and the belief that I deserve to be happy. And yeah, that sunny terrace doesn’t hurt my mood any, either.

Want a tour of the place? Of course you do.

From the terrace I can't tell if I'm in Paris or Nice. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

From the terrace I can’t tell if I’m in Paris or Nice. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

View from the kitchen. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

My view every morning as I wake. Photo ©Lisa Anselmo

My view every morning as I wake. Photo ©Lisa Anselmo

Light pours in from the skylight that had a remote control shutter. Sweet. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Light pours in from the skylight that has a remote control shutter. Sweet. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the pendant lamp from Egypt hanging over the kitchen counter. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the pendant lamp from Egypt hanging over the kitchen counter. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

An artist's mural of the Paris Plage, the artificial beach erected along the Seine in the summertime. Quirky and wonderful. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

An artist’s mural of the Paris Plage, the artificial beach erected along the Seine in the summertime. Quirky and wonderful. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the mural of the Paris Plage, the artificial beach erected along the Seine in the summertime. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the mural of the Paris Plage, the artificial beach erected along the Seine in the summertime. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

The fully stocked kitchen has hand-laid mosaic tiling. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

The fully stocked kitchen has hand-laid mosaic tiling. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

My view from the kitchen sink. A little window opens onto the stairwell and creates a delicious cross-breeze. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

My view from the kitchen sink. A little window opens onto the stairwell and creates a delicious cross-breeze. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Incredible hand-laid mosaic in the bathroom. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Incredible hand-laid mosaic in the bathroom. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the gorgeous mosaic in the bathroom. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the gorgeous mosaic in the bathroom. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the little bathroom window that opens onto the terrace. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Detail of the little bathroom window that opens onto the terrace. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

View of the terrace from the kitchen. I leave the doors open all day long. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

View of the terrace from the kitchen. I leave the doors open all day long. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

View over classic Paris rooftops.

View over classic Paris rooftops. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

A country cottage or an apartment in Paris? Loving my little outdoor space. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

A country cottage or an apartment in Paris? Loving my little outdoor space. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Flower boxes on my terrace. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Flower boxes on my terrace. Photo: ©Lisa Anselmo

Read Part I of this series ; Read part III, here

16 responses to “A Nomad in Paris, Part II: My Patch of Heaven

  1. I only can say WOW ! It is amazing. Is it next to the Place de la Republique? I had the chance to live there for a week and I felt in love with Paris.

  2. Gorgeous!! You are one lucky woman, enjoy your new place! Looks like the weather is sunny and beautiful, too

  3. What a beautiful spot! I would happily camp in this apartment for months and months. Although (as Dorothy would say), there’s no place like home.

    • Me too. Believe me. As for “there’s no place like home,” I am learning to find “anywhere I hang my hat is home.” And it’s a great feeling of freedom.

  4. So beautiful and lovely. Such a happy apartment and the details of the mosaic tiles are just stunning. Enjoy your short stay there as its one place closer to your own home.

  5. What a beautiful place! I would love to have the rental info on this if you’re at liberty to share. Is it through an agency or an individual?

  6. Pingback: Nurturing | My (Parttime) Paris Life·

  7. Pingback: A Nomad in Paris, Part I | My (Parttime) Paris Life·

  8. Pingback: A Nomad in Paris, Part III: A Tiny, Happy Place to Belong | My (Parttime) Paris Life·

  9. Pingback: A Tiny, Happy Place to Belong 2 | My (Parttime) Paris Life·

  10. Pingback: A Nomad in Paris, Part V: What I’ve Learned | My (Parttime) Paris Life·

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