When I first moved to Paris, I settled into my boyfriend’s small studio near the Jourdain metro station. I was lucky enough to find a job within walking distance and I worked evenings so I was free to wander around my new neighborhood during the day. For a year and a half, I spent mornings and afternoons sitting in cafés along the Rue des Pyrénées, strolling by cute townhouses near Danube, and exploring every corner of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. I quickly fell in love with the area and I soon preferred spending my time in the “village Jourdain” as inhabitants call it, to venturing out elsewhere in Paris.
There was a laid-back bar just below our apartment, the Barouf, where we could grab a cheap beer and chat with our neighbors. The bartenders would always greet me with a smile and the signature French bises. Every day I exchanged “Bonjours” with the man who tended the produce shop next door. I didn’t expect this from Parisian life, but this small-town side came to be one of the things I appreciated the most. That, and the Buttes Chaumont.
Although I don’t particularly miss living in Paris, I definitely do miss my quartier.