Paris in Three Parts: Dust, “Dinde” and “Des Affaires”
Parler Paris “Nouvellettre“
HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL!…
***NEW: “Vacation Home in Paris” – Episode HHINT-1A05
New Yorkers Jeff Ballinger and Mary Schiller recently began the first steps toward making their dream together a reality. After honeymooning in Paris, they knew they wanted their own vacation property in France. Now, they’ve moved out of their house and into a smaller condo in the Bronx, NY, and have begun their search for a pied-a-terre in Paris.
***”Settling Down in Paris” – Episode HHINT-1A05
Angela and Ben met in 2003 when they lived in Los Angeles working for the same clothing company. Now, the two are engaged to be married. When Ben started receiving frequent overseas work, the company believed he’d be more valuable in Paris, so they happily relocated. They immediately moved into a cozy rental in the 17th district near the Arc de Triomphe and started to explore the different neighborhoods of Paris. The pair is now ready to take the big leap and purchase an apartment to stay for good. Property consultant Adrian Leeds is enlisted to help.
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
Someone recently asked me how easy is it to find things to write about…and I chuckled. In Paris, there is an endless stream of life to write about. If it were possible, you’d be hearing from me daily. So, in lieu of ‘daily,’ today’s Parler Paris is split in three ‘chapters’:
It may be a lot to digest, so pick and choose or take the plunge and read it all. Meanwhile, I am happy to report that the long awaited new episode of House Hunters International, titled “Vacation Home in Paris,” is scheduled to air on March 27th — although that could change, so be sure to check the Web site page for the latest details at hgtv.com/house-hunters-international/vacation-home-in-paris/index.html
This is the story of Mary Schiller and Jeff Ballinger, who decided to take the plunge themselves, purchase a “pied-à-terre” in Paris, renovate it to the ‘nines’ and put it on the rental market. You will know it as “Le Beau Marais” — designed and decorated by our staff architect, Martine di Matteo, and
Now, read on…
Knee Deep in Dust, Neck High in Elegance
The two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, 81 square meter apartment sits on two levels of the back corner of the second courtyard at number 9, sharing this address with the three-star Michelin-rated restaurant, L’Ambroisie, and the Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt. Title was taken at the end of January and the demolition of the apartment is underway, breaking up the old and worthless stone floor, taking down the unwanted walls and ceilings to discover what lies under it all. The piles of broken stone and plaster were impressive, and there was no escaping the dust, but well worth it.
There are always surprises when uncovering what lurks behind old walls, particularly those from the 17th-century. We found curved walls and space we didn’t know existed. We found centuries-old beams and plumbing no longer used.
Interior Architect, Martine di Matteo, and I met to discuss the furnishings details and make important decisions. With a clean slate before us we further confirmed our plans to decorate the lower bedroom in a masculine style, while the upper bedroom will be a bit more of a feminine “boudoir.” The lower bedroom will have parquet flooring while the upper bedroom will have plush carpeting.
The bathrooms in both, “en suite,” will be absolutely luxurious — the lower bathroom with a large tile shower, the upper with both a spacious shower and free standing claw-foot bathtub. Both will have plenty of closet space, air-conditioning, elegant furnishings and beds that make into twins or one queen/king.
A powder room will be added to the lower level so guests need not go through a bedroom and will be adjacent to the château-like French fantasy kitchen — large and completely equipped and functional for even the most elaborate gourmet cooking. It is planned to be fully equipped with the finest appliances: stove/hood, microwave/oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer and outfitted with a marble sink and counter top set in white distressed wood, adorned by copper pots and all the necessary utensils close at hand. A zinc bar will separate the kitchen from the dining area and will act as a great place to chat with the cook.
(Sunday at a “brocante” (rummage sale), thanks to Martine’s ‘inside information,’ there were heavy and authentic copper pots once used by the Restaurant Jules Verne, engraved with their mark! I snatched them up!)
Under the balcony which leads to the upper bedroom, a buffet-server will be built in for easy access from the kitchen to the dining table filled with serving pieces, bottles of wine, glassware, etc.
At a specialty tile shop in Le Marais, “Ambiance Cramique,” at 2, place du march Sainte-Catherine, we chose tile flooring for the living room/dining room and bathrooms — all made of beautiful stone, slate and baked ceramics in the pale creamy color of natural stone and the gray of natural slate…to be as authentic to the 17th-century period as possible, as will be the entire luxury apartment.
At a meeting Friday morning of a committee of the “Copropriété” (homeowners association) with the director of a well-respected real estate agency among the mix of representatives, we looked out the tall windows onto the elegant Place des Vosges and discussed the price of property in Paris.
Emmanuel de Poulpiquet, director of Féau Marais, remarked that while prices in the district have come down by as much as 15%, property in the Place des Vosges was selling between 15,000€ and 20,000€ per square meter, and on the average 18,000€ per square meter, with no sign of softening. This, of course, is due to the fact that there is virtually no available property on the Place and property of this stature will forever retain its value.
We were seated around a long glass table in a newly renovated apartment of the second floor, with exposed 17th-century beams and freshly painted pale blue walls. With members of the “Syndic” (management firm) and owners, there was a sense that they were overseeing much more than just a residential building. In the way that they spoke of each apartment…who owned, who sold, who renovated…there was a very personal and emotional side to their discussion.
They all came to see the apartment, even with all the dust — and were not intimidated. They were amazed at how the large space, once the stables for the horses, cows and chickens, was in the process of becoming a luxurious apartment for foreigners. M. Poulpiquet that about three out of four residents in the Place are international…yet I found that hard to believe!
Stay tuned for more developments as the renovation progresses. For more information about Le Palace des Vosges, visit frenchpropertyfractional.
More Talkin’ About Turkey by the Travel Oyster…We all stand to be corrected!
A loyal reader and very old friend, Geraldine Kaylor, who spends two months a year here every year with her mathematician husband, who is one of the world’s greatest story tellers and who has a blog online called “Travel Oyster” couldn’t help but reduce the insult and injury of last week’s turkey blunder by adding these comments:
The New French Auto-Entrepreneur: “Work More to Earn More”…Now’s your chance to learn all about it.
You may recall this past November, a discussion in Parler Paris about the new French initiative to create more small businesses and instill more of an ‘entrepreneurial’ spirit into the French called “Auto-Entrepreneur.” The idea is that finally, taxes and social security charges will not be levied if there are no profits! Prior to this initiative, starting a business has been both difficult and expensive, thanks to bureaucracy and high tax obligations, without consideration of profits, creating a huge black market industry as well as deterring those who might want to venture out on their own in business.
Have a reread if you like at parlerparis.com/issues/pparis26-11-08
In the first 15 days of the new program, more than 20,000 people had registered. Yet, from a American capitalist perspective, the program seems riddled with problems. We hope to clear all that up for all of you readers interested to finding a way to earn a living in France…the legal way!
On Saturday, March 28th, Ann Cary Dana, an American-born French immigration lawyer specialized in foreigners working in France (work permits, temporary assignments, students working or applying for a change of status), who assisted me and my daughter greatly to obtain her Carte de Résident several years ago, has agreed to give a presentation and open discussion about the program — in English!
Scroll down for the details and be sure to register in advance as places are limited. The cost is 30€ and please expect to order at least one beverage at the café.
A la prochaine…Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. Mark your calendars for March 10th to visit us at Parler Paris Après Midi, where readers will have an opportunity to get to know one another. Visit parlerparis.com/apresmidi for more information. Hope to see you there!
LESS THAN THREE WEEKS TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION!
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference
YES YOU CAN…BE AN OWNER IN THE BEST ADDRESS IN PARIS — PLACE DES VOSGES
Now you can own a share in an AMAZING “maison” — more of a house in the country than an apartment in Paris, right smack dab in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square — the Place des Vosges.
WRITE YOUR HEART OUT IN CHAMPAGNE!
Welcome to Writing from the Heart…a journey into the heart of France, and into your own heart…April 21-27, 2009 in the inspiring village of Essoyes, in the heart of Champagne country, two and a half hours southeast of Paris. The workshop is given by Janet Hulstrand…
SAVE MONEY WHEN TRANSFERRING FROM DOLLARS TO EUROS
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR UPCOMING LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE REAL ESTATE CONFERENCES…
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The International Law Partnership
The Vaults, Holborn Hall
193-197 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BD
ont>For more information, email [email protected]
BE AT HOME IN PARIS…PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
GET TO KNOW THE BEST OF THE GOOD-VALUE RESTAURANTS IN PARIS
Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
You don’t need to be rich to dine well in Paris – you just need to know where to go. Enjoy fabulous three-course meals with wine for just $20 to $35, including tax and tip. Explore more than 200 hand-picked great-value restaurants. Plus, get a pull-out glossary of common food and dining terms found on French menus!
Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus, Practical Paris!
For more information, visit Insider Paris Guides at InsiderParisGuides.com
MEET PARLER PARIS READERS TUESDAY “APRES MIDI.”
The second Tuesday of every month, Parler Paris and French Property Insider readers gather at La Pierre du Marais for a drink and a “schmooze” — it’s an opportunity to meet and chat with other like-minded people and a great way to make friends! Costs nothing except whatever you drink, so don’t miss the next gathering on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi
PRACTICE YOUR FRENCH…OR ENGLISH!
Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!
For further details, visit Parler Parlor
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“Paris in Three Parts: Dust, “”Dinde”" and “”Des Affaires”"”
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