Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My Chambre de bonne and the January Paris map

Surprise! We got snow today. A rare thing in Paris and only my 3rd time in 6 years living here.
Le Pauvre Poéte by Carl Spitzweg When you live in a 'room at the top' or CHAMBRE DE BONNE (a single maid's room) you can expect superb views of Paris. My view, on a clear day, extends from Sacre Coeur on the far left to the Bastille on the far right 180 degrees. The views may be expansive but the living space is petite. Rooms usually have a surface space of 6-12 meters, often with sloping walls (I have them) called a garret. Mine is a 'double' so 20 meters. not that I mind small spaces. My childhood bedroom was an attic extension. Big rooms make me uncomfortable. It was in the 1800s that garrets became a defining feature of Second Empire architecture in Paris. Mine is an 150 year old add-on to an 18th century building. All chambre de bonnes are located on the top floor, often with 6 flights to climb. I'm lucky to have an elevator. There are days when it doesn't work (ne marche pas). I climb up and huff and puff. 

Here I'm visiting AMY THOMAS of PARIS, MY SWEET,climbing up 6 flights for a croissant tasting in 2012.
Little did I know I'd end up in similar circumstances a few years later. A rare day when my staff, the elves, cleaned.

Normally chaos reigns supreme in my studio. 
I loved this view from Amy Thomas' garret and added it to the January map.
The 'paper doll' cutout stage of the January Best Views of Paris map. All bits and pieces. Some of those best views of Paris, aside from the usual Suspects can be experienced from a chambre de bonne if you're lucky to know someone. I included Amy's view on upper right of the map. Its the newest subscription BONUS watercolor ->  A bunch of cats sitting in garrets. If you enjoyed this post consider supporting PB by buying my Paris maps, letters and watercolors. And share with another Francophile. Meanwhile Bear 🐻 is outside dodging snowballs 

27 comments:

  1. I love the January map and love, love the BONUS watercolor.

    Does Bear enjoy the snow ?

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    1. Bear definitely has some Artic genes in him. I do not....

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  2. I love peeking into your world!

    Thank you for sharing. xo

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    1. And Thank you for letting me use your feet, dear Milo and your old chambre de bonne view sans permission in my post!

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  3. Allie in NYC10:49 PM

    I love the antique look of the January map!
    Bravo

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    1. Thanks! Always trying something new...

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  4. I'm back at work, as if my lovely time in Paris never happened.
    The January map looks fabulous!!

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  5. Janice12:36 AM

    I saw lots of photos of the Paris snow. I'm kind of sorry I missed it!

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    1. the so-called snow lasted a mere '15 minutes of fame'
      Then the usual damp pavements
      I don't have proper boots anyway...

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  6. Love Bear sitting at the table:)Lovely views and you have a lovely front door;)Your maps♥

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    1. Haha You have such good eyes Monique!
      That was from my 'red-checked Vichy' period...
      I'm now back to my Seine green period à table...

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  7. Rob and Bonnie8:36 AM

    Love the January Paris Map, and the peek at your chambre de bonne! It seems a very apropos space for an artist.
    What a view! Très romantique!

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  8. Anne T10:23 AM

    My first time in Paris, a few days in 1962, I was most impressed by the roof tops.
    So beautiful.

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  9. I've been "threatening" to purchase your artwork for years. I look forward to my 1st map, especially Amy's garret.

    By the way, do you know the title or artist of the painting you used in Jan. 22nd's post? It is such a wonderful image for someone like me...a librarian!

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    1. The garret painting is

      Le Pauvre Poéte by Carl Spitzweg

      Thank you for reminding me to give credit where credit is due!
      And for following theough on your threat :))

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  10. Love the map - can't wait for mine to arrive. Also, love peeking into your space.

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  11. We too had snow, in Madison, WI, nearly 6 inches.
    I am putting Le Pauvre Poete as my screen saver. Such a delight (though by the umbrella, one can tell the roof might need a bit of repair). J

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    1. Ah ha...I was wondering why the umbrella in bed...idiot mo

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  12. Oh, what a lovely view, Carol. And your kitchen seems to have good light -- essential, right? Love the new map. Heading over to the etsy. Although I'm on a buying moratorium till taxes are paid. Still... a cat bonus?

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  13. Mary R12:19 PM

    love today’s post. Snow in Paris. I live in a tiny space too so I don’t have wall space to hang all your letters & Maps. I use the inside of my cupboard doors & I rotate them often.

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  14. I have always said that I love how you can somehow find a fabulous piece of classic artwork and relate it to your surroundings or observations. You are amazing!!! I am bringing my umbrella to your garret on my next visit and we are going to recreate this! I will also bring a nightcap for you to wear��

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  15. Bonnie7:14 PM

    This has to be one of my favorites. I love your wonderful home

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  16. Monica5:08 AM

    Me too!

    I like to look out:)

    A room w/ a view.

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  17. Absolutely love your garret! is the bathroom en suite?
    And you deserve maximum extra credit for climbing the 6 flights to Amy Thomas’s garret AGAIN just for your Paris Letter readers!

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    1. Leave it to you Jeanette to never miss a trick.
      Yes I do have an en suite WC (water closet) and boy is it tiny.
      The mini shower is in there and an electric loo, all hidden behind the anonymous looking door to the left of the kitchen cabinets in the studio photo. Everything is teak wood like inside a boat so you dont really notice it. In fact I am living in a boat. My proprietor is fond of boats. All door handles are recessed like on a boat. Did I ever think I would be living in a boat-like garret?
      No NEVER!
      TMI !!

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  18. I first found you when one of my students mentioned Paris Breakfasts. Luckily I signed up and now I'm feeling like I'm in paris very time I climb into your latest posting.
    Delighted to think you can meet up with our group in June. We are very privileged.

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