When I tell people that I’ve bought an apartment in Paris, some friends say, “That’s fantastic!”  But many people ask, “Why?”  That question makes me pause – the apartment is such a part of me, I have trouble explaining.  Perhaps the best answer is – buying a place in Paris brought me full circle, back to a lifelong passion.

My apartment is in this building

My building

My mother started it all. She grew up in the 1920s, when France was the undisputed center of the civilized world. She made it clear to her daughters that the Continental life was the epitome of fine culture. I inherited her taste for languages, majored in French, studied in southern France.

My mother, Frances A. Cate

Mother – Frances A. Cate

Sometime in that period I stopped doing things to please her and started doing them for myself. I adored standing in the light streaming through the windows of Sainte Chapelle. I was enchanted by the winding cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter. I delighted in buying cherries in the Marché des Enfants Rouges and eating them in a tree-shaded park. Most of all, I fell in love with the sense of adventure and accomplishment that came from living in France.

Then I stepped away from France and French for many years – to a family I love, a life in Massachusetts and a technology career. But the dream never went away. When I started consulting, I refreshed my language skills and found a few French clients.  Buying the apartment made the cycle complete.

Of course, there are lots of challenges and adventures. Where to buy an apartment, and how to afford it? How to live an abundant part-time French life? How to stay close to friends and family on both sides of the Atlantic? Every day yields a new adventure.  This is my place to share enlightening experiences, unusual places, useful suggestions and opinionated observations. Welcome to my Paris!

Living room, launchpad for Paris adventures!

Living room, launchpad for Paris adventures!