The March 2010 issue of Marie Claire magazine has what looks to be a juicy feature inside written by one of my former Paris landlords.
She and her husband, both writers -- she a writer of books and magazine/newspaper features, and he the football columnist for a major UK paper -- ultimately found the sweet little apartment they'd purchased at 17 rue xx** a little too tight for two stay-at-home writers, and moved to something roomier in the neighborhood, putting their digs up for rent. Lucky for us!
We found their ad on FUSAC and, even though it was more money per month than we wanted to spend, we loved the location, the fireplaces, and the quintessential Parisian apartment configuration: double windows overlooking a central courtyard on one side, and an expanse of Mansard rooftops on the other. We fell in love and bit the bullet, living happily ever after on rue xx** for the rest of our French sojourn.
So, this story she has written is a first-person account of arranging -- and actively participating in -- a ménage à trois. This "gift" was requested (surprise!) by her husband to commemorate his 40th birthday. I haven't read the piece yet, but I will. I just need to get over my squeamishness first; there's something a little weird about reading the intimate details of two lives that intersect with your own. Or maybe not. I suppose I just need to read it and find out.
When we visited Paris this past November, every night was booked with either dinner plans at the homes of extended family, or trips out of town; otherwise we'd have looked up our former landlorsds. We'd asked them, before leaving their/our apartment, whether they'd consider renting to us again, and the answer was an enthusiastic "yes!" so we want to keep that connection going.
One night, before dinner with Nathalie, Sacha, and Lise at their Bastille apartment, we wandered the crooked streets of our old Faidherbe-Chaligny neighborood, passing by Cafe Pure, where we'd go for a glass of wine when we were feeling rich, and stopping in to check out the wares at cute vintage boutique En Ville.
Making an impromptu stop at our old address, we spied, from the downstairs courtyard, human activity in that particular third-floor apartment, but something looked off; the potted geraniums we'd left behind were no longer hanging from the balcony, and we could see -- sort of -- that the walls were bare. The mailbox did indeed bear one of their last names, so we assumed the apartment was perhaps being used for an office now, but there's only one way to find out for certain.
Add another item for our pre-deménage* à trois checklist: Check-in with the former landlords and see if there are any impending vacancies at 17 rue xx**.
* deménage = to move
** Nearly a year after publishing this post, the female half of our former landlords contacted me to request I not identify their street or names in this blog. Censorship is alive and well in the blogosphere!