The location of our new building also remains very convenient to local shops and the boys' school, even if our orientation is slightly different. I found a new boucherie/charcuterie (butcher shop/delicatessen) nearby and the boys were thrilled by the familiar foods at the Asian food store off the périphérique to the east of us (the ring road around the old town). I have now also ordered my first online groceries in France, complete with livraison (delivery) all the way up to my apartment's front door!
Such benefits, proximities, space, and light all mean that we are relatively privileged in our residence and that our social and other opportunities are enhanced as a result. Some consider Aix itself a bit 'high-falutin' as we say in colloquial American English, or like a mini-Paris, according to another French friend, if prices and/or egos are any indication. We know we are fortunate to afford to be here. As for residence-based health outcomes, while I did have a a sick boy at home yesterday, Jori's sore throat and croupy cough had little to do with his living conditions and much more to do with attending a very big school with lots of students and air-borne viruses. In fact, thanks to his new living conditions, Jori was able to rest comfortably all day in his new bedroom's built-in loft (the French call this a mezzanine), and he was well enough to return to school today.