Hoo boy. This is a daunting task. Finding a long term vacation rental is the way to go - since obviously we won't be signing a 1-year lease. I'm not even sure how it's done in France or Paris, but shorter term stays for business and pleasure are quite common. Ron has left this task pretty much up to me, and I think that's a good thing. I have been perusing websites and taking notes and listing favorites. But there's a lot to consider; the rent ($$$!!!), the location (Ron has to be able to get to work via public transit with a minimum of hassle), the neighborhood and the apartment itself. So after hours of poring over apartments and maps and metro maps, I've narrowed down the search to two preferred areas; the 15th and 8th Arrondissements.
I found this map at Planet Ware, a guide to world travel, and it shows the layout of the Arrondissements:
You might be wondering why just any place in Paris doesn't work - it is because the Seine runs through the city and public transportation doesn't cross it in all places. See where the Seine is exiting the map in the lower left corner? Just off the map, the Seine loops back up and sort of parallels itself for a bit before heading off to the West. Saint Cloud is on the opposite side of that loop, and the T2 line runs parallel to the Seine on the west side, with a stop very close to where Ron works. So easy access to the T2 line is important. The 15th has metro lines that link up directly with T2 and so does the 8th. They link at opposite ends, and Saint Cloud is sort of in the middle of the T2, so both would work.
I found an apartment that looks really nice - it has one bedroom, a bathroom, a toilette, a living area and a nice-sized, fully-equipped kitchen. That last little bit isn't trivial! Many kitchens in Paris apartments are nothing more than a closet fitted with a few items; a 2 burner hot plate, a bar-sized refrigerator and a microwave oven. All we know about this apartment is that it is 642 square feet, right across the street from the Convention metro stop, it is on the 2nd floor (3rd floor to us) with no elevator, the rent isn't ridiculous, and in the very small pictures we've seen, it looks really nice. We have contacted the agency, and Ron will get to look at it this weekend!
As a preliminary step though, he decided to walk to the area and check it out. Here's what he saw:
|The Paris Apartment - 2 floors above the Cafe|
|The Apartment Building Entrance|
|Looking back towards the corner on Rue de la Convention|
|The Boulangerie and Patisserie diagonally across the corner|
|The post office|
|The Produce Shop|
|And of course, a slice of Americana|
There's also butcher shops, cleaners, more boulangeries, clothing shops, housewares shops, and a host of other shops, theaters and restaurants very close by. All in all, it looks like a great neighborhood!