I have a surprise for you.
I WON THE LOTTERY AND AM MOVING TO PARIS!!!!
Oh Yes I did! And I was so shocked that my crossed-eye straightened out then crossed again!
My emotions are just all over the place right now.
We haven’t been since November of 2019–before the Pandemic and we were lucky enough to catch an exhibit of my husband’s grandfather’s photographs! But this time–it’s for reals. We’ll be moving to the City of Lights!
Anyway, I’ve decided to make a list of all the things that I am looking for in my magnificent Paris Apartment. So come along with me on my real estate wish list!
I would like an apartment in the Sixth Arrondissement. Specifically, Quai des Grands Augustins. More specifically 55 Quai des Grands Augustins. That building holds years of great memories for me. All those long stays with Vincent’s aunt, Daniele—I miss them.
Ahhh. The entrance to 55! The dress shop next door was replaced by a kitchen renovation store which I believe is now gone. Oh this place holds such fond memories!
Speaking of Place Dauphine, this photo, taken when I had a full head of hair, is one of my faves. My husband snapped this cutie of me, Antoine Bourseiller and my husband’s aunt, Daniele Delorme. We were headed over to Le Caveau for dinner!
Besides, it’s close to the parking lot under Place Dauphine and if we have an apartment in Paris, we will have a car as well—if only to get a way on a long weekend.
Place Dauphine! My favorite square. Look carefully. Directly above that first iron post in front of you. To the right of the lamp post. There’s a little fence. That leads to the parking log/garage!
Besides, I love the scent of that parking lot. Disinfectant, wine, cigarettes and pee-pee. A rather “earthy” scent if you will. If an apartment cannot be found in that building, I would settle for an apartment on Place de Furstemberg. It’s a cozy, charming square and when I get the urge for Eugene Delacroix, I can saunter over to his home-as-Musee and pretend he’s still alive. He can make a cup of coffee for me and we can talk about art and what a liberated woman George Sand was!
And this is the car that I will buy in order to escape Paris Centre to head to Brittany for some oysters!
Aww. Who am I kidding. The main resason I want to live in the 6th Arr. is because I want to be close to CityPharma!
Oh wait, we have a conflict here. My husband wants a place in the 16th arr. It’s a bit “Upper East Side” but chicer and pricier. I like the funk and hipness of the sixth. But I’m not surprised. After all, my husband did live on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for a while and I lived on the Upper West Side! Our agent has his work cut out for him. At least we both agree on being fond of Haussmann style apartments!
Yes. The Frenchman prefers the understated elegance of the 16th while I prefer to be an aging hipster in the 6th!
And although I’m more of a neutral decor person, there’s too much color in here for me, we both agree on the Haussmann style apartment!
I don’t really care about “an American Kitchen”. I don’t need, nor do I want, a huge frigo (that’s “fridge” in French—trust me, anything to do with food and I can suddenly become fluent). I want to be like a skinny old French lady. Therefore, a skinny old fridge will suffice for me.
I loved Daniele’s skinny yellow frigo.Not large by American standards but the kitchen was charming. I want that charm.
All I need is a gas range. And cabinet space. And a dishwasher. And good lighting. And a window that I can look out of to view the going’s on because I’m that nosey neighbor.
This is the vision Americans have of a typical Parisian kitchen. That is because they watch too much HGTV and House Hunters International’s real estate agents break that vision immediately…
This is more like the typical Paris kitchen, and I don’t care if my million-dollar apartment has a kitchen like this. I’ll go out to a bistro!
This was the view from the range in Daniele’s kitchen. I loved to cook and look out. The pigeons kept a safe distance from me though because they knew how much I love squab!
Let’s talk views. I don’t give a flying hoot about a view. If I want to look at the Eiffel Tower, I’ll either go to the Eiffel Tower or look at a picture.
I swear I have a gazillion photos of the Eiffel Tower. I snapped this on one of our trips. Perhaps it is the jaded New Yorker in me but I really don’t feel the need for a daily view of this.
I’m perfectly content to have a view of a courtyard or the street. I can people-watch from the pleasure of my home and I would not have to get dressed to do so. The most entertaining view I’ve ever had was the view from Daniele’s chambre. The floor-to-ceiling windows gave a fabulous view of the apartment building across the courtyard. There was one apartment dweller who loved to walk around naked. He really didn’t’ care. I’m different though. I don’t want to scare anyone with the ripples and wrinkles that hang out at various points of my naked being.
Okay, so this isn’t naked guy. But, over time I got to watch this view of workers adding another floor to the building across the way! Can you see the Eiffel Tower to the far left. I actually looked very magical at night!
I don’t mind a ground floor apartment This goes hand-in-hand with the view but covers a bit more. The ground floor is better for me because I’m just not a fan of elevators in many French apartment buildings. They are very small-i.e., not wide and are meant to fit only skinny French people such as my husband. My hips don’t lie when I tell you this. My hips take up ¾ of the width of most French elevators. My hips could cause me to get stuck in the elevator—okay? That would not be a good thing. And those elevators break down. Like clockwork. Every visit we made to Daniele’s had a broken elevator for at least three days per trip. Daniele lived on the top floor. End of story. No. Wait. We’ve also stayed at the Prince de Conti hotel and the elevator broke while we were there. It took two days to repair it.
Ashley McRae gets credit for this photo. Can you imagine being on this with a ton of luggage? Can you imagine being on this with wide hips? Yeah! I’m perfectly happy to have a ground-floor apartment. I don’t need elevator stress and trauma!
Another thing. Have you ever witnessed furniture being delivered to a Paris apartment? It’s stressful. Because the elevators are so tiny for tiny French people and the hallways are narrow for those same thin and tiny-boned French people, large pieces of furniture and objects d’art have to be hoisted by ropes or special outdoor elevators, to transport the furniture to the apartments. I’ve almost had major anxiety attacks just watching this. It’s horrifying. I would not be a good customer for those nice moving people.
The furniture elevator is also used. And it’s wider than the people elevators! What happens if the furniture falls off? Do you get a refund?
There’s a bit of an issue here. My husband does not want to live on the ground floor. He doesn’t want to be subjected to any petty crime. Does he want to put neighbors and passersby at risk for losing their hearing as I start screaming and yelling in fear as furniture is being hoisted from the outside into a window on a higher floor? Does The Frenchman not realize that by being on the ground floor means he gets a head start to run to the Boulangerie for our evening’s tradition baguette as well as the morning’s croissant. Seriously, what kind of Frenchman is he anyway? In addition, if I drink too much wine and fall and break a bone, it’s easier for the ambulance to get me. There will be no running up flights of stairs or the possibility of getting stuck in the elevator!!
Let me tell you–I much prefer the tradition baguette. It tastes better. I don’t think The Frenchman would like to hear me say “I told you that if we lived on the ground floor you would have gotten to the boulangerie earlier before they ran out of tradition baguettes!”
And if we lived on the ground floor, in the Sixth, he could run to Cafe de Paris on Rue de buci and grab a couple of these babies! This happens to be one of my favorite photos that I took. Its a thing of beauty and I need to get a print for our wall!
No open floor layout please. I’m old school. I love designated spaces. I love doors. If there is a mess, I can close the door and walk away. Open floor plan means more cleaning. Oh wait. I won the Lottery. I can hire someone to clean. I still don’t want an open floorplan. I don’t want to socialize with guests while I’m preparing dinner. I want to focus on cooking and creating the perfect meal. I don’t want anyone watching me while I cook either. Close the door and enjoy your aperitifs please.
I dig a closed floor plan. Shut the door and the mess is hidden!
Another thing is I love to air-dry clothing. When we lived in NYC, our bedroom was a laundry-drying room. To this day, our downstairs family room is where I air-dry clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of European combination washers and dryers as one entity. But when it comes to my clothing, one of the rooms must be used to air-dry my clothing and an open floor plan would not be conducive to my desire to air-dry laundry!
I want my magnificent Paris apartment to have a clothes-drying system that is suspended from the ceiling. What could be more entertaining than having guests come over only to look up and see your underwear drying??
Fireplaces. I want a couple. That work. On the weekends in the winter when the days are shorter, I want to arrive home from a day of practicing my skills in the fine art of flânerie! Or perhaps a day of flea-market perusing or taking in a museum event. Or arguing with anyone who gets in my way. Yes. A fireplace would also be so romantic. The Frenchman and I could recline on the floor in front of the fire while sipping our Kir Royals. Ohhhhh. Wait. If we recline on the floor, we won’t be able to get up. We shall sit on the sofa that is set in front of the fireplace!
This fireplace will do just fine. First I’ll have to figure out how to steal it from Fontainebleu and bring it back to our magnificent Paris apartmemnt. And then I would have to worm my way up from the floor into a chair!
Big-Ass Windows. I know. I know. I desire an apartment with a lot of those floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s nothing more elegant than waking up in the morning—without my hair and makeup and a filthy old torn nighty and opening up one of those larger-than-life French windows and soaking in some Parisian air! On second thought it may be better to do after I put my hair, makeup and decent clothing on.
Although a view of the Eiffel isn’t a priority, opening up a floor-to-ceiling window every morning would be the icing on the cake. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring–no matter what the weather, I would open those windows every day!
The bathroom. Mommy needs a bathtub. To soak the fleshy body in. And to shave my legs ever-so-gracefully. Shaving one’s legs is just so much better in a bathtub than having to bend down in the confined space of a shower then dropping the shaving cream and then dropping the razor. A bathtub is prettier and gives a much nicer vision!
Well, mommy wants a bathtub, but this bathroom in a very pricey, and luxury apartment that is offered by Kretz & Partners isn’t exactly what I was thinking. God forbid I drink too much red wine and throw up in said bathroom. I would not know where the throw up or marble starts. This is a danger for me!
Oh yeah! I want a bidet too! That’s something I cannot understand why we aren’t hooked on these things in America! Not to be vulgar or anything, but that little opening in the hindquarters needs some attention—especially after a meal that didn’t exactly agree with your intestines if you know what I mean. I love a good bidet and one would be an absolute must in the search for a Paris apartment.
If we Americans embraced the bidet, there would have been no toilet paper shortage during the pandemic. In fact, there would have been a surplus. Just sayin’!
Lastly, NO EFFING CARPETING! I want and demand only hardwood flooring. And the more ancient, the better. Nobody hates carpeting more than I do. Carpeting is disgusting, and vile and full of ground-in filth. When I had the house in New Jersey, I owned two carpet steamers. It was an obsession. And what appeared to be clean—wasn’t. I would empty filthy carpet water every two weeks. When we first saw our present home, I hated it only because of the carpeting. My better half changed my mind with a promise that some carpet would be ripped out and replaced with hardwood. He came through on his promise!
This is my kind of flooring. Carpeting be gone. MY Paris apartment will have only the best and oldest hardwood. No carpet mites for me!
So that’s it. My “little” Wishlist. I don’t care about outdoor space because the entire city is outdoor space enough for me—and the little squares scattered throughout the city are plentiful. Do you want to know which agency we’ll be using for our search for that elusive Paris apartment?
“L’Agence” The Parisian Agency as it is titled here in the USA. Better known as Kretz and Partners!
Kretz and Partners not only sells luxury apartments in Paris, but we can go to them if we want a charming chateu throughout France!
Truth be told, I did not win the Lottery. But I thought my delusional mindset would make a great segue into this wonderful new little series on Netflix!!
The Kretz Family! From Left to Right. Louis, Martin, Sandrine (who wears great heels) Raphel, Valentin and dad Olivier.
If you are a fan of “Million Dollar Listing” or any luxury real estate shows, you will love L’Agence. It’s different because it not only focuses on luxury real estate both in Paris Cite Centre but it also showcases some pretty nice digs outside of Paris and more.
Here’s a bathroom from a 15 million Euro place in St. Tropez. Who knew? Perhaps we can move here and walk to Maison des Papillons Musee Dany Lartigue and admire all the butterflies! Regardless, it’s my kind of bathrool!
The show also focuses on the Kretz family. The entire family with the exception of the youngest son, Raphel, and the grandmother, Majo (who happens to be epic greatness), is in the business. It’s crazy! But crazy in a best, most charming, most endearing and entertaining way.
This family is a hoot. Here the boys are fixing their grandmother, Majo, up on an online dating site. Majo is epic greatness!
Sandrine Kretz, the mother of four boys, used to be a school teacher and ended up starting this real estate company with her husband Olivier. Sons Martin, Valentin and Louis all followed into the business with youngest son Raphel who is in school, waiting on the sidelines.
Yes. She kicks ass in real estate. She’s a mom to four sons. But the best is that she can rock a pair of stiletto heels while walking on the streets of Paris! I’m shook!
The greatest surprise of this mini-series is Majo! She is queen of the grandmeres and we all need to look to her as our major goal in the aging process! She’s got the greatest personality and she’s just a wonderful example of joie de vivre!
Majo, on the far right, deserves her own series. She’s goals. Total Goals!
The show also focuses a lot on the dynamics of the family. It’s such a refreshing change from the cut-throat competitiveness and snark of other real estate shows. There may be ups and downs with the business and emotions and family issues, but overall, this is a loving, respectful and happy family that happens to work together.
I especially love the kitchen table scenes. My family is so different. We’re so loud. The Kretz family is so…so….so refined!
The real estate itself almost takes a back seat—I’m thinking maybe because this season (there will be a season 2) is only a few episodes and focuses more on the family. But the real estate offerings will make your mouth water. From ultra-modern grand homes to more traditional but still grand maisons. From modern apartments to Haussmann style apartments and buildings, and even as far away as Ibiza, the dwellings are total eye-candy!
Lisa Chavy, founder of LIVY Lingerie was my favorite potential buyer. I freaking loved her. She wore leather without looking tarty and the way she handled wearing heels while getting into a boat–I was in awe. I’m still amazed that she is so young and can afford millions on a home. We have the same taste!
This guy on the right was looking for a place on Ibiza. Let’s just say he was more interested in the terrain than a home. I’ve nothing more to say.
And THIS guy, Sebastien, was so ….particular. with a 5.5 million budget he was impossible to please. And he seemed more interested in resale value. My husband kept defendingMonsieur Sebastien against my remarks. With all due respect, he did want a home that wasn’t a museum. Sebby. Please. You have young children. Move to the Sixth!
Another really cool aspect is the Kretz family also works with various businesses and designers to find space for shows and events. And they hold an annual party at their home for clients. I want to be invited to one of their soirees some time.
The Kretz family actually had a runway show of Lisa Chavy’s lingerie designs.at their house party! Can you imagine me me wearing this? The Zebra would be stretched out to the point it would resemble a striped elephant!
So yeah, even though I didn’t win the Lottery, please don’t tell me I’m the only one who has these thoughts. My husband gets very upset with me when my imagination runs away with me. But….
If I did win a massive amount of money in the Lottery, I would buy an apartment in Paris—after I moved back to New York City. And I would call the Kretz family immediately to let them know that my husband and I are on the hunt for a Paris Apartment.
Which of the Kretz agents would we work with? Why, it would be Valentin. He speaks English and he lived in New York City for a year so it would be fitting. Besides, his wife doesn’t speak French. Just like me! It would be great, the Frenchman could give his preferences in French, while I go on with my demands wishes in English!
Valentin is definitely the agent I would go with. Besides–he reminds me of my son Roman! How could I not go with that???
Besides, I could ask Valentin the secret to how in the name of Jesus, his mother is able to walk the streets of Paris in high heels. As much as I despise carpeting, it’s the only floor material that I can walk around in heels. And I’ll need to be able to walk in high, strappy heels when we go to dinner on Place Dauphine!
Tis true. I need to be able to walk the streets of Paris in these gold heels. Presently, I can only walk on carpeted flooring in them. And I detest carpeting!
So, am I the only one with delusions of winning the lottery? Do tell!
Kieran and I have decided that he will buy a place in Alaska. I want warmth so will buy down south and then will buy the “in between” home here in Mahopac, on the lake. After we pay off bills (and that of my ILs) I want to start a nonprofit and build an Alzheimer’s home where if you google it’s like a little village and each “home” (basically 2 rooms) is set up like their home to help assimilate.
Laura. That idea of an Alzheimer’s home is so beautiful. When I win, I’ll help you start it! Alaska would be a bit on the cold side, yet, I wouldn’t mind a place in Edinburgh or Dublin because I don’t mind a bit of damp every now and then. But the South is great because you can literally live barefoot! XOXOXOXO
Oh my goodness! I was so excited for you!! But if you had moved to Paris you might have been too busy to keep writing and that would never do! I love daydreams so please keep dreaming, and i will definitely watch L’Agence. Now that Call my Agent is no more, I have been looking for a replacement so thank you. xx
Hi Judy! LOL. I would still be writing if that happened. Trust me! This miserable job I have depresses me so much that I just don’t have the energy to write blog posts the way I used to. If I had income coming in that allowed me to stay home, I would be writing every day! XOXOXOXO
You had me going for a while there as you mentioned getting a French passport the other day. Oh yeah, I have a similar dream but I don’t want to live in Paris, rural western France will do for me. I’ll be used to the small fridge etc! If you want a 2CV you’ll have to cough up thousands now, I bought one of mine back in the 80s for just £100.
Hi Fiona. LOL. We’re actually waiting for the French-powers-that-be to send my passport application back for error. My husband said nothing is that easy in France and the passport application will come back at least four more times. Perhaps I’ll have it by next summer–and that’s no joke! LOL. My husband used to have that car and loved it. He absolutely loved it and he still talks about how wonderful that rickety old car was! XOXOXOXO
He’s absolutely right, they were the best cars ever and French bureaucracy is well known to be a pain in the arse. Bon courage.
I was so excited for you and was enthralled with the list of requirements. My thought was the same, how will she still relate to us and would she still have her blog. Well, dreams are a must and do keep dreaming and, I hope you do win a lottery at some point to be able to move to your dream city. My dreams for the lottery win always include a chef, always. The location is not pinned down as yet. Keep dreaming, it keeps us going.
Hi Diane! Thank you so much–and I’m glad that you enjoyed the “joke” I played. But I do allow my delusions and daydreams to get in the way at times. But this is my favorite dream! XOXOXOXO
Catherine, I haven’t checked in with you in a while. What a delightful spoof!! Your tastes are similar to mine. I lived in NYC for 32 years and now in Portland, OR. I was born outside Phila. Is Philly in your background? Thought maybe it was. And, needless to say, I am a francophile. Unfortunatly, no mari francais!
OK I too believed you too.
I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet. : )
It would be marvelous to win a substantial amount of money in the lottery.
To be able to buy a place where ever you want.
I would have to have some place warm enough in the winter & cool enough in the summer.
I like the country side nice & peaceful on wooded 10-20 acres.
I don’t need a grand mansion either. Something smallish ( under 2000 sq ft LOL)
with one bedroom, a large bathroom with a walk-in shower with ALL the Jets,
a tall toilet, bidet & a nice hot tub for my sore body.
The kitchen with higher countertops (I’m tall) & a convection oven.
Id like built-in cabinets, drawers & shelving in ALL the rooms.
.I do need a designated sewing room with built ins for my stash.
Wood & or slate floors with radiant heating & central a/c too..
it will need to be wheelchair handicap accessible for aging gracefully!
Other than that I really haven’t thought much about it
OMG, I thought it was really true! I felt like I was having a heart attack! I have taken a little break from Instagram, so I panicked reading that you were leaving the States! I was happy and excited for you, but felt like I was going to lose a BFF! Lol! This was a great blog post though and hopefully you will be in Paris soon and keeping us abreast of your travels through your wonderful blog and with pictures!
I too Really thought you had indeed won the lottery & was feeling both elated and jealous! Your detailed wish list has inspired me to write out a wish list (once I settle on a locale) thank you so much for recommending “The Parisian Agency” it is all kinds of fabulous & I adore the family.
During my first trip to France in 1967, as a college student, I lived with a French family in the 16eme-quite a change of pace for a girl from Queens! I’m with Bonaparte, if I were to win the lottery, that’s where I’d live; it’s quiet, very few tourists and le Bois de Boulogne is great for walking. Like another one of your readers, I would love to live in the southwest: Arcachon or la Cote Basque, but since we are fantasizing, why not both places!!
I do hope you dream comes true! Actually, being able to secure a French passport is like winning the lottery! Your dream is now one step closer to reality! The best I’d be able to do is secure une carte de sejour.
OMG! You have no idea (or maybe you do!) how much I love this post 😍😍😍 I only discovered this fab series this weekend and I’m hooked. Quelle famille formidable! I agree that Majo is a fantastic role model for the ageing process and Sandrine is seriously impressive, too. Delighted that there’s going to be a 2nd series. Seeing Paris, in all its glory, reminded me how much I love that city, why I fell in love with it, aged 16, and why I need to go back asap. I feel a blog post coming on … 😂🤣😂 xoxo
Moi aussi – I’ve magically won a lottery (despite never playing) too. Maybe we can be neighbours – although I want a small apartment with a biggish roof terrace to sit out on. I dont want the apartment too big as I have friends that might want to stay and they have a tendency of spilling red wine (imagine on those soft furnishings!!!) and besides whilst I am happy with the idea of people coming to visit I dont want them staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaying if you see what I mean. Im thinking arrondisements 9 and 17 pour moi. Anyway – we can make plans to meet up for brunch or a bit of flaneuring once we are both nicely settled in
Oui Juliet. Oui! We can meet for lunch or dinner and head to museums. We can also hang at each other’s apartments for some wine and gossip! XOXOXO
Bonjour Cathe! Like the others, I was so sure you won the lottery and were moving! I kept thinking, La Vache! Where did she buy the ticket, I’ll drive out to her neighborhood to get one… I hope you get your passport soon (does that mean you are now a citizen too?). Frank and I were able to get to France ad returned the 4th. It was 2 years since we last saw his parents and aunt (who turned 100). I used my French passport for the 1st time, was excited to do so, and then didn’t even get a stamp to prove I used it 🙂 Thanks for the tip about the new Netflix show. Will check it out. Bonne Fete Nationale et a la procahine! Maribeth
Happy Bastille Day Maribeth! OMG. We always arrive home on the 4th of July when we go during the summer. Nah, I didn’t get the passport yet. My husband said to not expect anything for almost a year because they’ll keep sending it back for errors. He’s so gallicly optimistic! I hope Frank’s family is doing well. So glad you enjoyed the trip! XOXOXOXO
Hi, Catherine, you may not be able to move to Paris, yet, but you could try Lisbon. It’s close to Paris, it’s absolutely beautiful, wuite affordable, and so many french nationals have moved in that you would feel at home 😊
Luisa I would LOVE to go to Lisbon! XOXOXOXO