Choosing the best Paris arrondissement is the hardest thing you’ll do on a trip to France—an arrondissement, of course, being the Parisian equivalent of neighborhoods. There are 20, and they are as different as the Upper East Side and Bushwick. Picking the one that’s right for you is crucial. It was for me when I first came here, and after more or less six years, I’ve almost always lived within a few blocks of my first address, at 32 rue Amelot in the 11th. That, in fact, is the cool thing: Once you pick your place—”your Paris”—it’ll be yours, and you’ll get to know the neighborhood, the shopkeepers, the café waiters, everything. Developing a relationship with your neighborhood is one of the best parts about spending time in Paris, so choose wisely.
Wondering how to rent an apartment in Paris? 1: Airbnb
I wrote this, a consideration of life as an expat in France, before yesterday’s insanity: It’s still worth it, living in a strange, unfamiliar place. What living abroad part-time teaches you—besides how to say “I don’t understand” and “Where is the bathroom” in the language of every country you visit—is that people are essentially the same, and that people are essentially good, Hobbes (and current events) be damned. If you’ve been thinking about journeying overseas and this news has you rethinking your plans, this is not a reason to retreat. If anything, this is a reason to learn, to listen, to explore and to celebrate as much of the world around us (and far from us, and everything in between) as we can.