Paris is not a bad place to be delayed for a few days. Yesterday, we went out for a drink at a bar in the “Marais” – once a swampy area…then the Jewish quarter…and now a very hip part of town. The bar was crowded and lively.
“My business was going well until last year,” said our friend, who rents apartments in Paris to visiting Americans. “But Americans aren’t coming to Paris anymore. It’s too expensive. No one has any money, I guess. My occupancy rate is way down.”
Americans who used to have their own pied a terre in the city are now settling for ‘fractionals.’ Instead of owning the whole apartment, they own a share of it.
“It’s actually a great deal,” explained our friend. “People only come for a month or two. They don’t need a whole apartment. And they don’t want the hassle of owning an apartment when they’re not there. This way, for about one fifth the price, they can get as much time as they actually want…and afford a much better apartment.”
Back at our own apartment, we’re happy to have some company. Our son Jules is working on his musical career, composing and performing songs. He just has to figure out how to market them.
And a pretty 23-year-old French woman has taken up residence in Edward’s room. Marie-Helene is a friend of the family. Last night, she was our audience as Jules and I performed a repertoire of songs by Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and Jules himself. After a rendition of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” we put the question to Marie-Helene.
“Have you ever heard that song?”
“Yes, but never quite like that.”
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