Oct 22, 2015

Adieu to our Home: Saint Leu


Moving day turns out to be a pretty moving day for us. Just before we have to move out of our home for four years, on Ile St. Louis, we realize that Pippa no longer remembers our house in San Francisco, so this is literally the only home she knows. Needless to say, there are many tears as we leave. Thank goodness we're only leaving for the 5th arrondissement, and not leaving Paris altogether, or we'd be a complete mess. What's amazing is that for the entire week beforehand, it's as if our view is giving us the grandest, most loving send-off it can: gorgeous sunset after gorgeous sunset, with some fabulous night and day views thrown in for good measure.

The thing we'll miss most about this apartment is definitely the view. It is just so open, and so lovely. It's a great place to read with a cup of tea on a nice day. Or hang out with friends and spray unsuspecting tourists with water guns. Sigh.

We've enjoyed looking down on the waiters (who, in turn, look down on the tourists) from our road which I'll finally name publicly, now that we're no longer there: Rue Jean du Bellay, named after a 16th century writer.

We'll miss this balcony, from which we can see not only the top of Notre Dame but also the Pantheon.


It's been a sunny, nice place to hang out, and we couldn't have got more central. I'll miss having to cross a bridge to get anywhere. I never know what I'll see on the Seine.

 Being an islander -- an Ile Saint Louis islander, that is -- has a distinct feel to it. All the people that live and work on the island know this, and talk about it. When we tell them we're moving off the island, they understand our sadness.


There's so much more I could say about moving, about the island, and about our new home, if only the internet we signed up for almost 3 months ago (in preparation) were functional. If you're wondering why there's suddenly a huge gap between postings, that will explain it. After 7 weeks of an open "our internet service isn't working" ticket, it's still not working, and it has taken me forever to upload these photos. Since I'm off on vacation, and am guardedly optimistic that we will have internet soon (though why I'm optimistic, I can't tell you, since nothing in the past 7 weeks has led me to believe they will figure anything out), you can expect a slew of new postings sometime in November.

We do not raise a glass to say goodbye to our home on Rue Jean du Bellay. Rather, we salute it the most appropriate way we know how: We raise a Berthillon ice cream cone in its honor, shed a tear or two, take a million photographs, find a suitable cheese, and look out at the view while we run through a list of incredible memories created over the past four years here.

But don't cry for me, Argentina. Though we are sad to have left the island, and from our new apartment we have no view to speak of, I have to admit that we are enjoying our new outlook on life in Paris very much. More on that to come...once I have reliable internet (French bureaucracy strikes again).


Saint Leu is a half cows' milk, half sheeps' milk cheese made from raw milk. It's a small baseball-sized nugget of a cheese that's normally whiter than the specimen I photograph so lovingly on my balcony.

When my market cheese guy sells me this, it's the only left, and he doesn't expect more in for a while. He warns me it may be too aged. Whooey! He's not kidding. Actually, most of us who taste it really love it, but in small doses. It's like Parmesan on steroids (but without the steroids). It's both crumbly and creamy, and extremely salty and strong, with a smell to match. Leftovers are sealed in my fridge in a bulletproof glass box.


Saint Louis -- Saint Leu, they almost sound alike. Beyond that, I like that it's a half cows' milk cheese, for an island (Ile Saint Louis) that used to be cow-grazing land for the palace on the next island (Ile de la Cite). In modern times, you won't see many actual cows on Ile Saint Louis, but you'll see lots of figurative sheep -- as in the herds of tourists following blindly to the Ile St. Louis hotspots (or, rather, cold spots to buy famous Berthillon ice cream). It may be a desired tourist destination for most of the world, but for us, it's been home, and we're sad to say adieu!


  1. Lovely post !
    Can't wait for more on your new home, and fingers crossed for your Internet …


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