Our trip is winding down to the final few days and of course we are trying to cram as much in as possible. But like it or not, some things just take more time than we have – like the flea market at Clingnancourt or “marche aux puces de saint-oeun clignancourt” (can you say that 3 times?).
We were there all afternoon and probably didn’t see 1/8 of it! Everything from untouchable French antiques to 1940’s original jewelry findings by the boat load (if I had known about this when I had my jewelry design company!!!) and fabulous retro hats and purses – amazing is the only word I have for it. Judy and I found ourselves looking at each other with that “I can’t believe we are experiencing this” look way too often! ; )
There is so much to tell – like stumbling into the uniquely French brasserie founded in 1931 – so charming! We were walking from one area of the flea market to another and were ready for an espresso stop, we hear this accordion and Edith Piaff style voice coming from this charming little restaurant, we entered and 2 hours later emerged friends forever with the owner Frederick! If you are ever there, be sure and visit Brasserie Biron on 120 Avenue Michelet at Saint Ouen. It was a priceless experience. The bacon and blue cheese and chard salad was delicious but the homemade fresh chocolate mousse was the perfect finish with the “perfect foam” mounded cappuccino!
We topped day six off with a visit back to the Champs Elysees to get more “daylight” photos of the Arc de Triomphe. We had dinner at a little side street Italian cafe – Caffe Caesar. We actually got back to the hotel before 1:00 am and tried to go to sleep early….but Paris is NOT quiet on Saturday night….ahhh!
Day seven comes early with the lack of sleep from the rowdy crowd on the street Saturday night. So we had a delicious breakfast in our room of coffee and lemon tarts we bought a Laduree the previous night. Can you say creamy? Oh my! My brother in law Randy would have fought me for one bite of the creamy-smooth lemony custard tart!
Sunday is amazingly quiet here. For the first time since we have been here there was a hush over the city when we awoke. It was lovely and relaxing. Our first stop today was Sacre Coeur de Montmartre, another amazing historical structure. We hop out of the cab to join hundreds of “pilgrims” coming to see this Paris landmark. The church did not allow photos so you will have to take my word for it – eye popping fabulous! Jude and I landed in the gift shop there and contributed to the cause, buying more roseries and cards!
Funny story: As I am sitting and waiting on Judy to come out of the gift shop (I had finished before her, imagine that, and told her I would wait for her right outside the shop door in the cathedral on some chairs that were arranged there), I am wondering if maybe she has come out and I didn’t see her – it had been a while – I’m thinking “oh brother I wonder if she has left the store and didn’t see me?! Well if she has I don’t want to know so I am going to just sit here!” Sure enough, a few minutes after those words crossed my mind, here she comes. “OH MY GOSH!” she said, “I have been looking everywhere outside for you in the crowds of people!” I am sooo glad I was patient and stayed put or we would both be hysterical in the crowd outside! (She does not have a phone with her!)
As we emerge from the cathedral to explore the small streets filled with artists and tourists, shops, bars, cafes – we are immediately approached by an artist who wants to draw our picture. Of course we try to “shooo” him away as we look at the trinkets in one of the gift shops – then I hear him say with his heavy French accent “fine then, if you want to come to Montmartre and not support the artists and buy that shit, then go ahead” as he walks away….ewww, that got both of us. So Jude leads the way and we go find him and say – ok, you got us. We want a portrait together!
And he did, and we did, and an hour later we have a treasure and have made another new friend, Eric. Life is grand! We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the tiny village area and looking at and buying art. Artists from all over Paris were set up in the center of the village, painting and selling their creations. It was a festive atmosphere with lots of food, creative people, and beautiful sunshine! It was a fabulous experience that I wish for anyone who goes to Paris….don’t miss Sacre Coeur and the charming surrounding village area of Montmartre!
Now the search is on for the Moulin Rouge. Not only my favorite movie, but my favored Paris haunt that I have fantasized about since reading on it’s infamous history…I had to see it and shoot it!
We walk down from the Sacre Coeur and into what I guess you would say is the “sexy” district. Tired and not sure about where we are, we see the windmill from afar and I felt that feeling when you see a celebrity that you love! I was so excited. I hurry along to get there to take my photos and was overwhelmed with the beauty of the red windmill and all the history that place holds – I could just see the infamous writers, dancers, and painters hanging out and creating the works of art and the Paris that we all know and love today.
What a day! We topped it off by catching a cab back to one of our favorite places – the Saint Michelle area. We had a delicious dinner at the Chez Clement and a quiet ride back – dreaming of the day maybe? Planning for tomorrow? A little of both – but now it’s light out!