Life in the 9th

For the past two years I’ve called the 9th arrondissement home. I loved it, and had easy access to 5 metro lines , which is a huge perk to a logistics person like me. As for now, all my stuff is in storage and I’m waiting to hear about one apartment (cross your fingers!!!), but otherwise my Paris apartment search may be back on. These pictures definitely make my last living situation look far more glamorous than it was, but definitely captures some happy memories. Once I find a new apartment I’ll share more inside my old one – all whopping 12m2/129sf of it. To start the tour, that’s my street at dusk.

My front door (digicode to the right).

Only appropriate that I lived at #9 in the 9th arrondissement.

Often times in Paris behind closed doors, you’ll find a secret garden. I loved my courtyard. Ironically, with my view over Paris, this tree was the only tree I could see. It was at this sight that I would quickly tell all my visitors to lower their expectations GREATLY.

The people with “real” apartments entered here, to a lovely stairwell and elevator.

I kept walking into the courtyard, where one of my neighbors had a lovely geranium.

But I lived in a “chambre de bonne” – a former maid’s quarters – on the top / 5th floor of the apartment building and entered through the “service” entrance. Continue to lower your expectations.

Then it was 100 stairs up and down to my apartment. I had legs + buns of steal! Especially fun when moving out….

UPDATE: Said apartment didn’t work out. Still looking.


  • Anne, the service entrance and daunting stairwell still seem oh so charming to me!

    I also think that those people who have the “real apartments” totally take their entrance for granted. Only a chambre de bonne resident notices and truly appreciates those details… Best of luck with finding a new place to call home soon!

  • Biana, that’s awesome. I love the idea that “only someone who lives in a chambre de bonne would appreciate those details.”

    Thanks so much, Susan! The adventure awaits!!!


  • Oh my – this brings back memories. The first place I lived in was a room in one of those real apartments in the 7th – the landlady had all this space and me and my roommate were stuck in the back room.
    Next up was Clichy in the 17th – six flights of graffiti laden stairs, but a cute loft apartment for the two. After that a peach coloured 16square meter studio on the 7th floor (elevator, yayyy!) in the 14th and my last one was a great place in the 15th, but again, six floors up no elevator. I was very careful grocery shopping.
    Fingers crossed for your new place.

  • I love the courtyard situation! The stairs are charming too, yes I know I just said that. You must be quite fit at this point just by walking those. Looking forward to you settling in your new place. Sending positive vibes your way :)

  • I love the courtyards and colorful doors of Paris apartment buildings. The last time I went, my fiance and I stayed in the 3rd in an apartment owned by a semi-retired Chicago couple, they spend half their time in Paris and half in Chicago. I love trying out the teeny tiny elevator in their building (once was enough) and we climbed up the floor flights the rest of the time. I did walk up to the 5th floor once to see how the “maids quarters” floor was – because one man had bought the entire floor and was renovating it into one large unit. I really hope that you find an apartment that you love!!!

  • Efrutik, well, typically when I was giving people directions I’d say walk into the courtyard, and take the service door to the right next to the trash cans.

    I actually loved the stairs, and they kept me from buying too much crap. Although, I did fit far more than one would ever imagine in that wee space.


  • It was nice being your neighbor, albeit briefly. Will miss seeing you around. :( good luck with the apartment search. Will let you know if I hear of anything!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *