Thursday, March 4, 2010

A House with a Blue Door

Just when I was sleeping on a couch. Just when I thought my only recourse of action at the moment would be to fly to Poland and loaf around, because finding a place is just too hard. Just as I was begining to loose hope. Just after a long, cold, wet 1 hour trek around the 7th Arrondisment of Lyon after getting lost only to find an apartment well out of my reach (financially...)

I found an advertisment. A little too expensive, but if I live on baguettes, butter and drink nothing but tap water for one week of the month, I should be OK. In the Saint-Georges quatier. Look up address... less than 100meters from here. I've seen the building before.... it piqued my interest.

I rang the number on a whim (remember, only just out of my budget). Ok, going to visit it the next day. I ran, late as usual, to the building... thankfully only an 80 meter sprint. I met my potential future room mate, saw the house and said 'I'll take it'. In less than 5 minutes, I went from homeless to home-ful.

It's a blue building, on the quai, with a blue door and a room that looks out on the Saone River and, on the other side, into Bellecoeur, through a huge, bright window. The small, but sufficient, kitchen (a bit dark), looks out on Rue Saint-Georges. There is a stone cork-screw staircase, but also a 1970s-era lift.

The bells of L'Eglise Saint-Georges sound the hour. And, as you walk along Saint-Georges towards Saint-Jean, through the narrow cobblestoned streets past medieval buildings, you hit a string of (rather amazing) Irish pubs where there is Guiness (for those who like it) or cheap French wine (for people like me, who don't). Even at 3am, when the bars are closed, the smokey doors of Citron are open for more drinks, and sleazy dancing - where vodka costs 3Euro, but most people are so inebriated, they don't notice.

You can, during the day, on the same cobbled streets, find independent galleries and workshops. There is a stained-glass window studio, and an art restoration studio aswell. Across the river, you can find the nicest of shops, most expensive cafes... the life I can't afford, but I can look! However, Vieux Lyon is my favourite by far. The buildings, some I'd guess 500 years old, stacked together, accented with Gen-Y graffiti and the smell of guiness wafting down the narrow, crooked streets - this is it....

Vieux Lyon is the heart of the city.

...and it is all mine!

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