Paris, France

Living La Vie Parisienne

Iyna Bort Caruso

Few cities have been filmed, photographed or feted more than Paris. Yet, in this City of Lights, many of its most elegant residential areas are situated out of the glare.

Paris is made up of 20 arrondissements, or districts, that spiral out in numerical order, snail shell-style, from the heart of the city which is the 1st district on the Ile de la Cite.

Most great cities reach world capital status by overachieving in a specific sector like business, architecture, fashion or art. This iconic capital does it all, a rare combination of urban beauty and brains. The greater Paris region is headquarters for such weighty global organizations as UNESCO, the European Space Agency, the International Energy Agency and the International Federation for Human Rights.

The Parisian life, la vie parisienne, is exuberant and elegant. The city is easy to navigate and best done on foot to appreciate its charms.

The area known as the Golden Triangle in the 8th arrondissment, between the Champs-Elysees and the Seine, is popular with deep-pocketed foreigners. The bon chic 16th arrondissement is home to diplomatic embassies and expatriates. Some of the homes here are the most expensive in the country. The 17th district is known for its many Haussmannian-style homes. Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann, a city planner, is credited with giving Paris its look: buildings of cut stone facades, mansard roofs and balconies on two floors.

The outlying suburbs of Paris are known as Les Banlieues. Le Vesinet is a neighborhood of pretty stone walls and mature greenery. It’s been called the best-kept suburb of Paris.  On the western edge of Paris, Hauts-de-Seine has a solid English-speaking community, attracted by access to American and British schools. Neuilly-sur-Seine is another highly desirable area, well-situated by the river and the historic park, Bois de Boulogne.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.” For a lucky few, they are one and the same.