Living in the same place for almost three years can be daunting -- the same noisy neighbors, the same smelly fish sauce from the family downstairs, and the routine hammering can really grate on a person. It can wear you down and force you to start searching for a new apartment. After the fifth week of hammering, suddenly you think, "Oh, living in the 15th arrondissement doesn't seem so bad."
But then there are the perks. Amongst all of the Canal Saint-Martin's hype and well-publicized establishments, you find something that is your own. Every spring, the same family of ducks hatches a new batch of eggs and the tiny floating fluff balls paddle their way down the Canal. This is not another gushing article about this fantastic neighborhood. I know it's a great place to live. Apparently these ducks know, too.
Watching these little guys exploring the water for the first time coincided directly with my first Canal picnic of the year. We had some drinks with some cheese-stuffed breads from my favorite bakery. The season is on and, if I have my way, it will last until around October when I'll trade them in for hot chocolate in a cozy café.
People read and dream about Paris, about the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood and its arguably epic restaurants, notably the pizza ones. But sometimes all it takes is a quiet evening with a Heineken, a sunset, and a floating brigade of brand new bright-eyed neighbors to realize how easy it is just to sit back and enjoy living in this part of town.