Happe Paris (PART DEUX)

CONTINUED FROM ” Happe Paris (PART UNE) “

Back to the hilltop ‘village’ of Montmartre…

The Moulin Rouge was overwhelmingly UNDERwhelming, as was the Café des 2 Moulins (the place where Audrey Tautou works in the movie “Amélie”)…

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I stumbled upon this strange and wonderful statue of St. Denis, the Bishop of Paris and a Christian martyr who was beheaded in Montmartre circa 250 A.D.  Legend goes that after his beheading, he walked 10km carrying his own head, which was giving a sermon all along the way.  Ummm… gross.

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The area of Montmartre closest to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is jammed with tourists and all those that seek to profit off them.  Most interesting to me were the portrait artists that prowled the streets in packs, hustling their talent…

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La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur (unfortunately the line was far too long to go inside, but the park leading from the Basilique down the hill was jammed packed and great for people-watching)…

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And back down the hill, a stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin on a lazy Sunday: Friends, families, and lovers picnicking, sailing model boats, and slowly walking along the water…

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As I walked, I followed a pair of boats making their way down the canal.  I watched as the locks opened and closed, allowing sections of the canal to fill and empty as they made their way through.  I noticed how many old men I found watching this process with a great deal of attention – this surprised me, as I assumed they probably sit along this canal and see this very same thing every day.  I suppose there’s something about it that’s just hypnotic…

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And just to give you an idea of how much the water rises as the boats go through, I’ll show you pictures of the same boat in the same place taken about five minutes apart…

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I have one last topic to cover, as a post about visiting Paris would not be complete without mention of the food! As a traveling artist, I had a tight budget of course, so many of my meals were cooked and eaten at the flat. However, this certainly didn’t stop me from picking up bread and dessert at the city’s many, MANY boulangeries and pâtisseries (bakeries and pastry shops).  Nor did I let it stop me from buying the occassional crêpe.  Ohhhh, dangerous stuff….

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I also ate some lunches outside the flat, as I was usually out and about by that time of day.  I found myself eating lots and lots of ham. I’ve gone through various states of vegetarianism since my undergraduate days, but have been back to eating all meats for about two years now. I had still shied away from pork, though… that is… until I came to France. I think it’s fair to say that I ate more pork in one week in Paris than I’d eaten in the past ten years put together! But as they say, “When in France…”!

The famous ‘croque-madame’ (there’s ham under all that cheese)…

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And the classic ‘sandwich club’ – yet another arrangement of ham, eggs, bread, and cheese…

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And so, with a stuffed belly, sore feet, and a full memory card on my camera, my week in Paris came to an end. Soon I’d be off to the next big phase of my sabbatical adventure – a two-month residency at the CAMAC Centre d’Art in the tiny village of Marnay-sur-Seine, just about an hour outside the city.

 

So, I’ll leave it there for now. Stay tuned for some more awesome Parisian street art, and posts all about my residency at CAMAC. À très bientôt!

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