SHAKING blog

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An American (apartment-hunting) in Paris

You know the old idea that 'there's no free lunch'?

And how that old idea is especially true of New York City real estate, where not only is there no free lunch, you usually end up buying it for the broker and the movers and the owners and the super, and STILL they somehow neglected to tell you abut that rodent issue?

Well, I'm currently discovering a whole new adage in a whole new language in a whole new real estate market. It goes something like this: "there's no free déjeuner." Shockingly, Parisian apartment-hunting (which I'll be doing all week) is just as fun as the New York kind! Full of all that secret language and those little rituals so dear to the beloved brokers of New York.

A few examples:
--what they call a "dressing" here, or a dressing room, is actually a walk-in closet, where walk-in means big enough to fit an anorexic toddler.
--"charming" here translates as the-owner-is-too-cheap-renovate-this decade. it CAN also mean it has lovely 18th century ceiling beams and pleasant wrought-iron work on the balcony, but that's generally not at your "price point" as they like to say ("prah-eece poe-eentah").
--and there is one "charming" asset the brokers are particularly find of, and that's when an apt is "dans les toits," or "beneath the roofs." which is like a concise way of saying the walls slope enough that the anorexic toddler might not be able to stand as he gets out of bed. But that's actually kind of charming.

But tomorow my personal relocation agent, Philippe, is taking me around to appointments all day on his Vespa, so I just might get lucky soon, in some way or the other. And all you anorexic toddlers can totally come visit.

9 Comments:

Blogger wes said...

How comforting to know that despite language barriers and cultural differences . . . "charming" apparently has a universal meaning!

It makes me really question the whole "Prince Charming" fairy tale now. Unless that means he "isn't in my price point" kind of charming-- and who needs porsche driving, handsome men with million dollar incomes anyways? Besides-- that kind of charming (in both princes and houses) usually means you had better check the plumbing.

Let's hear it for charming being added to the list of extinctables along with every other "flavor word" used to describe broken down, cheerless wrecks of real estate and kingdom heirs.

P.S.-- as an interesting, but tangental foot note . . "Prince William's (I'm gay!)love life has been the subject of much conjecture. Over the years, many young and eligible women have been romantically linked to the prince through speculation, even popstar Britney Spears at one point."

Now isn't that just charming? Who knew Wikipedia was the world's largest humor column?

Yes Jay, relish it. Britney Spears strikes again!

August 02, 2006 2:06 PM  
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