Monday, 25 April 2016
Once completely coffee-d, we headed uphill on foot. Uphill from here means north and toward Montmartre. The buildings obscured the tall dome of Sacré-Cœur until we were half-way there (horizontally—we’d already gained maybe ten flights). Here’s looking back along a side street off Pigalle.
Farther uphill; look how the road heads toward airborne obscurity.
Now we’re up so high the roofs and walls below are mosaic of greyish shapes.
We wound through the Place—should be the Place des peintres et des taxis. We avoided the taxis and bought no art en route to the small church up here, Église Saint-Pierre de Montmartre. This church is the oldest in Paris, and is said to be atop the ruins of a Roman temple to Mars—hence the name Montmartre, now corrupted to refer to a martyrdom. The church pertained to a Benedictine abbey—long gone. I loved the glittery stars and other shapes between the paving stones in front of the church.
It’s a modest church, with the usual accouterments. For the big candles, with glass surrounds and images of the Madonna, the requested donation was €10…for simple tea lights it was €3. Pricey up here closer to the deity.
Illustration in glass and metal on one side of the chunky altar.
Side chapel ceiling and upper walls.
Yes, we did wind around to prepare to descend the front garden-and-staircases…whatta view!
And look back up at Sacré-Cœur. Iconic.
Down the way, loving the descent, we stopped to eat in a simple brasserie at about the same elevation as the Moulin Rouge. Our table was in the window, and we watched pedestrians, the usual. Then these roadies pushed this heavy trailer uphill (the truck that brought it and other gear was parked below, around the corner and out of sight) and jockeyed it into a parking spot (or what became a parking spot) in front of the venue. They earned their wages for the unloading and man-handling; there were at least seven of them pushing—it was heavy and gravity was not in their favor.
On a lark, we headed out northeast, but still well within metro Paris, to a design school to see a free exhibition. The billing was that it was recent student work. I saw dates like 2005 and 2010 and 2008, so maybe not so recent after all…although these forms were kinda cute.
Around the corner but still in the complex, we found a park to sit in and gather our thoughts. I felt compelled by this emergency staircase, black metal against a stone wall…the building housing a Club Med, no lie.
Back in our neighborhood, we’ve been walking around the Galleries Lafayette Haussmann. Apparently there are other Galleries Lafayette. This one is the flagship; it was darned busy, and especially caters to Chinese shoppers. The dome is an elegant show stopper, with tier after tier of balconies leading the eye to the dome-center (completed in 1912). We only wound our way through the choked aisles of the basement and main floor…trying to escape.