Saturday, June 07, 2008

Les Toits De Paris

Parisian roofs can be quite beautiful. I often wonder what goes on under them.

Rooftops along the rue de Rivoli.

As a student in Paris many years ago, I found out that the tiny rooms under the rooftops were the dormitories for household servants, starving artists, and poor students. These days, I think, they are even being converted into very expensive studio apartments.

Fancy rooftops on the Louvre.

I had several friends back in those days who rented rooms, chambres de bonne (maids' rooms), tucked under the grey Parisan rooftops. The roofs in these photos overlook the Jardin des Tuileries. Very pricey real estate, indeed.


  1. One of my old 78s is Lucienne Boyer's "Chez Moi":

    Tout en haut de la ville
    Depuis trois ans déjà je vis.
    Il n'est pas grand, mon domicile,
    Mais de ma fenêtre on voit Paris..

    A côté des étoiles j'habite
    A deux pas d'un ciel toujours bleu...:

  2. Walt, were you an au pair, or did you do the "hôte payant" route (wasn't that the term? when you just lodge in someone's house?) ? I know that back then there weren't many au pair opportunities for guys.

    I wonder about those chambres de bonne these days... it does seem like many of them are being transformed into apartments... I wonder if that means that the au pair idea is falling out of fashion?

  3. I'm trying to get my mind around the idea of Walt as an au pair...

  4. heh heh :) Even writing that, it sounded funny using the term au pair for Walt. But, there are au pair positions that are not childcare, but rather, for example, helping with the daily needs of a handicapped person, as one of our classmates did. I'm thinking that Walt wasn't an au pair, though.

    (geez... it's me, Judith, but I can't get my password to work)

  5. autolycus, very nice!

    judy, no, never an au pair! I took the pension option.

    chris, good instincts...


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