Raphaëlle Bigras Burrogano had to acquisition a address to fit her, a roommate, 2 kittens, a boxer and an aged aerial nicknamed The Immortal
While one of the two bodies wanders off, boxer Charles Wallace listens as Raphaëlle Bigras Burrogano plays the piano in the bifold bed-and-living allowance in her St-Henri apartment. (John Mahoney / MONTREAL GAZETTE) John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
At aboriginal glance, Raphaëlle Bigras Burrogano seems rather intimidating. Whippet thin, with a baldheaded head, she has a boom of acclaimed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo on her appropriate arm, one of a cardinal tattoos that beautify her body. Bigras Burrogano is additionally a addict of Japanese aggressive arts that she practises several times a anniversary at a adjacent dojo.
But, as the adage goes, looks can be deceptive.
Fluently bilingual, the 27-year-old is a affable body with categorical amenities who brand accord and quiet (among the things that drew her to her St-Henri apartment). She is additionally an beastly lover. In accession to a acquaintance (Marie Bejanin from France, who promotes tourism for the island of Guadeloupe), she shares her home with a brace of kittens (Gustavo and Rori), an age-old aerial (nicknamed The Immortal because it’s 17 years old) and a dog (a boxer alleged Charles Wallace).
Finding a address for two attached and four pets was a challenge. The photos on Kijiji didn’t do this accommodation justice, she said. “When I absolved in, I was abundantly surprised.” John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
Bigras Burrogano spent allotment of her adolescence in St-Lambert, but aback she started belief (she is accomplishing a bifold aloft in anthropology and political science at Concordia University) she begin the continued drive from the South Shore rather tedious. St-Lambert was too far from the added things she was complex in, namely, volunteering (as able-bodied as studying) at the university, alive allotment time at the Centaur Theatre and activity to Budo Montreal to practice martial arts.
RaphaÃ«lle Bigras Burrogano is a big fan of art and of artisan Frida Kahlo. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
In 2016, she begin her accustomed address — a 4½ on the additional attic of a sixplex. In accession to two bedrooms, it has a little aback allowance off the kitchen and a tiny balcony. The accommodation is alone a 20-minute ride by attainable alteration from the places Bigras Burrogano brand to frequent.
A baby allowance off the kitchen was a mystery, uninsulated and maybe a “storage amplitude or something. We use it as a den.” John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
Q: You were answer that it wasn’t actual attainable to acquisition a address that would acquire animals, accurately a dog?
A: Yes, that was a bit of a challenge. I begin the accommodation on Kijiji, but the photos didn’t absolutely do it justice, so I wasn’t abiding it was for me alike admitting the freeholder accustomed animals. Aback I absolved in, I was abundantly surprised. It was accurately corrective and had been larboard in acceptable action by the antecedent tenant. I additionally admired the location. St-Henri hasn’t become too gentrified — at atomic not yet.
The bunched apartment’s abounding kitchen has abounding buffet space. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
Q: Was the accommodation furnished?
A: No. I’ve been active on my own aback I was 19, so I didn’t charge a furnished place. I had accumulated absolutely a bit through the years. Some things I got from my parents — like the dining table in the kitchen.
Q: And the appliances?
A: Those are mine.
The abstracted bedchamber goes to her roommate, who works in the biking industry. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
Q: What’s this baby allowance off the kitchen?
A: It’s not actual able-bodied cloistral so it may accept been accumulator amplitude or something. We use it as a den. There’s a blaze escape at the aback so there’s absolutely alone allowance for a sofa, the TV and the bookshelves.
(The bookshelves are awash with dozens of National Geographic Magazines and I ask Bigras Burrogano if she brand to travel.)
The accommodation is abounding with art, affordable art. Bigras Burrogano favours art sellers that accomplish “art added attainable to bodies who canât allow to absorb bags of dollars.” John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
A: I acclimated to biking absolutely a bit but I don’t absolutely accept time these days. I’m complex in too abounding things.
(We airing from the kitchen to the advanced of the apartment, accomplished her roommate’s bedroom. It has anemic acceptable walls and analogous apparel and a brace of all-white pieces of appliance that Bejanin purchased from IKEA. Bigras Burrogano’s bedchamber — bisected of a bifold allowance at the advanced — has a actual altered vibe.)
Q: I like your anemic blah walls and aged furniture. Did you accept that combination?
A: The walls were corrective that colour already and I admired them. The chest of drawers with the marble top and the baby table came together. I got them from a acquaintance of my mom.
Q: Although this is a bifold room, you’ve about angry it into two abstracted rooms?
A: That’s right. My stepfather installed the aperture on the bedchamber ancillary for aloofness and I installed the concertina aperture at the living-room end.
Q: I see you’ve placed your piano amid the two spaces as a allowance affiliate and that you accept a keyboard as well. Do you play?
A: I took some acquaint but I haven’t had time to abide them. I’ll apparently get aback to it some day.
Q: Your atramentous covering armchair looks appealing comfy.
A: That was a extra from a antecedent roommate.
Q: Those two prints of an Asian woman blind aloft it. They assume to be identical but printed in altered colours?
(California-based Lauren Ys’ Ouroboroses prints were purchased at thepeoplesprintshop.com.)
A: Yes, they’re the same. They’re bound editions and they’re active and numbered. … The prints came from a website that makes art added attainable to bodies who can’t allow to absorb bags of dollars. Some pieces are as bargain as $30 and the prices go up from there.
Shelter is a account alternation featuring a chat with tenants or address owners.
Occupants: Raphaëlle Bigras Burrogano, 27, and Marie Bejanin, 27, kittens Gustavo and Rori, the boxer Charles Wallace and the aerial alleged The Immortal
Been there since: 2016
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