The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More on the New Place

Tomorrow we'll sign the papers, do the inspection, and get the keys to our new apartment. I'll be glad when it's a done deal, not just because of the apartment itself but also beacuse it means we can have our things delivered, and because it means we'll have a permanent address so we can sign up for cell phones, internet access, and terribly important things like video rental memberships and a library card.

Anyway, I promised details on the apartment, so here they are. It's four bedrooms, has a newly renovated kitchen and bathrooms, parquet floors throughout, marble fireplaces, etc. This picture is of one end of the master bedroom, which has two doors opening onto the balcony.

Here's what things look like from the balcony on a rainy April afternoon, looking south (click to embiggen any of these photos). This is one of the city's main thoroughfares, enough so that we'll be able to watch the start of the Lyon Marathon from here, or Olympique Lyon's victory parade if they should happen to win the championship again next year. It's fairly lively at night--this was one of our only concerns about the place--but our height above street level and the fact that no motor vehicles are allowed should keep things somewhat quiet. Plenty of cafes, restaurants and astonishingly expensive boutiques within easy reach. V. has already noted the locations of Louis Vitton and Hermes on our same block, should we need a scarf on short notice.

If you looked left from here, north along the street, you'd see the fountains and carousel of Place de la Republique, and beyond that a slice of the Rhone.

This is in the living room; the door at left is the one at the corner of the building, seen in the previous post.

One is asked not to use the fireplaces, due to the danger of burning down the entire UNESCO World Heritage area. Also I'm not sure where you'd get firewood, anyway, short of sawing down a plane tree on the quais du Rhone.

Here are our neighbors across the way. The clock tower at the extreme left is at Hotel-Dieu, the ancient (but still operating) hospital where Nostradamus once worked and Napoleon was once treated during his abortive return to power.

Anyway, if all goes well and we get the keys tomorrow, I'll spend most of the weekend shopping for the basics to put in it--we'll need essentially the entire kitchen, for starters. We'll need a French (SECAM) TV and DVD player at some point as well, and probably a portable plug-in air conditioner.

It looks like I'll have to do all the shopping myself: When V. went back to the OB/GYN on Tuesday, the OB said "uh-oh", which is not something you want to hear with your feet in the stirrups. Apparently she's experiencing pre-labor about a month early, and her cervix is actually already slightly dilated. She's been ordered (sentenced?) to bed rest for the next two weeks. We immediately hired a part-time nanny to come look after Boog for a few hours on weekday afternoons, and to cover in case we need to go to the clinic in a big hurry.

Interesting tidbit: If you're an obviously pregnant woman in France, a cab driver won't take you anywhere if you're carrying an overnight bag, for fear of having to clean up baby goo in the backseat. So one goes emptyhanded to the hospital, then when there's a break in the action Dad hoofs it home to pick up the suitcase.

I secretly fear the early labor may have been brought on by the walking we did last weekend, when we went for a Mother's Day picnic up the Saone at the old monastery at Ile Barbe. I'll post some pics when I remember to upload them...but I got a lotta other things on my mind right now.


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