slow down, you move too fast

you gotta make the moment last! and since these are my last days, every moment counts. hard to believe it’s been almost 30 days in paris. can’t imagine what waits for me on the continent…i mostly want to take back with me the calm that i feel here, not the crazy stress of nyc i came with.


anyway, staying in to ‘work’ a little today. yesterday wiped me out, walking aimlessly and endlessly. Each night i pass a window with this book, ‘the art of doing nothing’, and decided it was a sign (i see signs everywhere) do do just that.


my only plan was to find the little abandoned hotel that’s been haunting me. in my mind we’ll all chip in and buy it, each have a floor. who is ‘we’ you ask? us! bloggers! friends! whoever, (it’s a dream, ok)!? anyway it’s for the Hotel Moderne sign below i found a couple posts ago. it has to go somewhere! but of course now that i see it’s named already Hotel Bijou (Hotel Jewel is the literal translation), we’re in a real quandry, keep the old name or the new…anyway isn’t it charmant? can you see the potential? it’s in the 11th arrondisement, are you in? (fyi it’s between the pharmacy and the boulangerie)


maybe this will help


here’s a long shot. manageable, right?


after that i wandered around looking at real estate. there are tons of apartments here for sale, some for 100,000 euros.

anyway, looking around was amazing, everywhere is a surprise. this apartment looked almost ordinary until closer inspection revealed a gorgeous shell ceiling…



my day was spent discovering new neighborhoods, starting at montparnasse and crossing the city from that side. walking for hours i was able to just stumble around, i never get to do that cause there’s always an agenda. this time it was a like a present being able to walk thru the luxemborg gardens (never did that before), and see what the other half is doing for lunch.

guess i came in the back side (no pun intended) to the rear of this statue. they looked so in love an intimate.


it was a great surprise to see the front, a family frozen in time! there’s a maternity store here called ‘1 et 1 font 3’. is that a cute name or what?


it was heaven on earth. pretty statues everywhere, flowers blooming, everyone chillin. hard to believe anything else could be happening…


lunch at the palace


of course you can’t forget the guys who hold it all together


well more later, the sun is shining!

September 26, 2007. Design, Dreams, Flowers, Gardening, Paris, Paris Trip.


  1. giorgia replied:

    Is the Hotel Bijou acyually for sale? If it is maybe we could do that for real – buying it as a joint venture and making something good out of it, that is… I was thinking of a multi-level studio (not the same thing as an associate studio): each floor would be a designer own space, so it would be easier to both work as a single designer and collaborate on projects… does that sound too silly?


  2. parisapartment replied:

    um, no. where have you been all my life?


  3. giorgia replied:

    In Rome. :)
    (Rome, Italy, not Rome, Texas, that is… ;) )


  4. Joy replied:

    Ummm, count me in.

    Just think of the possibilites this charming little building could have….

    Each floor its’ own little world, perfect for month-long stays in Paris, friends meeting up with friends, renting for however long they want to stay…magazine editors setting up a temporary home base when they’re in town – the perfect back drop for photo shoots … a literal oasis for women artists to gather and be inspired…


    I can see it in my mind’s eye!


  5. parisapartment replied:

    a modern day salon…i love it!


  6. Cindy replied:

    It’s the perfect dream!! It would be exciting and fun in a million different ways!! Please count me in . . . (if only in my dreams)

    Your photographs are gorgeous beyond words, Claudia! Thank you for taking us to Paris with you. You are the perfect traveling companion and guide ~ stylish and fun, incredibly knowledgeable and adorable in every way!

    May the days ahead hold some of your most wonderful Paris moments of all.

    Blessings to you Paris girl~


  7. giorgia replied:

    …and at ground level: a café! Move over, Starbucks, here we come!!! :)


  8. parisapartment replied:

    ewwww starbucks! bienvenue Cafe Bijou!


  9. Cindy replied:

    P.S. I think I have figured out how I could be part of this heavenly project, after all! I would love to volunteer to be the official maid/assistant. I would keep everyone’s room spotless, bring fresh flowers in every other day and deliver hot croissants and cafe au lait each morning, per each person’s personal preference. Also, I would run any errands that were needed, (i.e. pick up dry cleaning, run to the post office, pick up friends from the airport etc.) No job is too big or too small. Also, I speak a modest amount of French, so I would be delighted to assist in translating, at any time.

    If needed, please let me know where I can apply. Oh, and my rates are quite reasonable. I’ll work for free!! */:-)


    [resume available ~ with pleasure ~ upon request]


  10. Ronni, designing fairy replied:

    Your blog is such a great source for painting inspiration and just plain eye candy!


  11. rochambeau replied:

    So sad you have to come home Claudia! It’s been so much fun coming along for the ride. You are perfect guide to the secret nooks and enchanted crannies of Paris!
    We will be welcoming you with open arms soon.


  12. Amy replied:

    has it been a month already?!

    a hotel next to a bakery? I’d be fat and happy, for sure! LOL


  13. Penny, Mosaic Artist replied:

    Yes! I would love too!!! I can imagine working on my mosaic art there! How wonderful… Now if I could just find some extra money lying around!


  14. franki durbin replied:

    oh I am smitten! Such loveliness! I particularly love the two men reclining. What a view they have. Incredible journey you are taking us all on, darling. Much appreciated.

    It makes me want to grab my brioche and espresso and pull up a chair prior to reading your blog.


  15. Lisa Johnson replied:

    Oh Claudia, I am so sad you are leaving Paris. I have so enjoyed visiting again through your pictures. My week there last summer was just not enough time to explore the nooks and crannies that you showed us so thank you! I would love to be part of Hotel Bijou (love that name)! Just got to wait until my kids graduate high school and I’m there. (They are currently in middle school, darn!) I would love to tag along on your next trip to Paris though. Best wishes for the remainder of your stay and have a safe journey home.



  16. KathyD replied:

    I could be interested, too (seriously) if the numbers pencil. I just bought my own little spot with two other couples in the 7th this past year and I have a strong real estate/developer’s background (I know, I know this doesn’t do much good when dealing with buying RE in France, but helps a bit as I’m great at compiling proformas.!!) Seriously–let’s talk if you have any sort of numbers to toss around. Of course I say this just as the busy season is approaching and I really need one more thing on my plate…haha.

    I have LOVED your pictures as we all were able to travel through Paris with you–you are a wiz at wielding that camera, my friend. A true testament to your unending creativity no doubt.


  17. Ro replied:

    Me too!! Me too!!! I’ll start having bake sales, babysitting, garage sales, cashing in my 401K. Hmm, maybe not that … but imagine what can happen because we share this dream!


  18. Suzy replied:

    OMG, count me in for sure. You sound like a woman after my own heart. All I do when walking around foreign cities is dream about all the old &/or abondoned buildings I see and what could be done to make them look fabulous again.

    Also, I think I’m still in shock that there are apartments in Paris for 100,000 euros – tell me where now!!


  19. Pilar Chapin replied:

    Great website– i am taking inspiration as I am a recent transplant to Paris from NYC and have stared a blog about some of my personal favorites around the city. if you have time, please take a’s only 3 days old though. thanks!


  20. Felicia replied:

    What beautiful pictures. Breathtaking!


  21. franki durbin replied:

    You are having way too much fun, my dear! So much fun indeed that I cannot keep myself from soaking in your every moment. The pictures are stunning (what camera is this?) and your commentary sublime.

    Keep it up! I just wrote about you (and your good fortune) on my blog.

    ciao, bella!


  22. Design for Mankind replied:

    I LOOOOOVE YOUR BLOG!!! Where have you BEEN? Actually, where have I been?

    Anyway, thanks for your sweet comment and I am SO excited you have a thing for chairs, too. Know what that means? You’re INSTANTLY fabulous.

    Mind if I add your site to my blogroll? I love it!


  23. chatrine replied:

    The curtain in your first picture is amazing!!! I would love to have curtains like that in my home!
    I wish you a nice day!
    Love, Chatrine


  24. parisapartment replied:

    wow, with this kind of power we’re sure to be able to put something together! i’m going to find out more about the hotel and see who owns it. maybe it will be the first blogging community center collective!!


  25. marita replied:

    lovely window scene claudia!! a room with a view!


  26. Whateverdeedeewants replied:

    Beautiful pictures! I just love the apartment with the green windows!


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