When people think of Paris, people think of romance, the Eiffel Tour, The Louvre...and art in general. And they would be right! ... but, its only one side of the coin. There's this whole other dimension to Paris - the seedier side - that can be found at Montmartre. I stayed in Montmartre for 10 days, and adored what i found, deepening my love for Paris even more than before. Before, i described Paris as Jackson Pollock sipping vodka and dripping paint onto a raw canvas, well... Montmartre, Paris, is like Baz Lhurman's Moulin Rouge fused with both a Andy Warhol movie and with The Zeigfield Follies, drinking Absinthe and watching fireworks and cannon balls being fired, with Edith Piaf and the soundtrack from Chicago being blared from the side-streets, and Picasso's ghost giggling at you and haunting your heels... and THEN some!
So channeling Amelie and Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, I chased the rabbit down the hole into Wonderland once more, and set off exploring Paris' underworld. the hostel i stayed at (Le Village) was on the doorstep of the Sacre Cour, and was near to the metro station (GOD! i love their metro system!!!) so, perfect and near to everything :) i managed to fit in so very much in this time, and i could really go on forever about how much i love Paris...so... im only going to write about some of the things i ended up doing...
my first day, i decided to do a tour with new europe tours (www.neweuropetours.eu) of Montmartre. it was, once again, great! :D ... i would highly recommend ANYONE to do tours with these guys (theyre all over europe...) went to Van Gough's house, to the restaurant that Picasso swapped his drawings of waitresses (on napkins!) for food, to the Sacre Cour, through the main thoroughfare, to see the statue of headless Denise (apparently, he was so hell bent on proclaiming the word of god and stuff, that, even after he was decapitated, he scooped his head up, and carried on preaching...whilst holding his head! haha! XD...he's also the patron saint for headaches hahaha! XD), the Moulin Rouge, the last remaining windmill in Paris, and... the piece de resistonce (drum roll please!!!...) WENT TO THE 2 WINDMILLS!!! aaaah! :D ... where i became a COMPLETE photo whore and photo-ed E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!! In the cafe really! hahaha! XD...i was a wee bit disapointed that the cigarette counter wasnt there, and neither was the glass that Amelie writes on, but...it was still a pretty magical experience! :D...on my way to the tour, i got stopped by a french fashion photographer and got asked to be photographed as well!!!... i love how everyone is so open to creativity and value it and see it as important here!
the next day, on the advice of a lovely lady i met at the hostel, i went to Giverny where Monet's garden is, on a bicycle riding tour (www.fattyretours.eu) which was so so soooo good...actually, it was almost spiritual. the garden itself is spectacular, and the ride to the gardens is very picturesque as well. my bike was called "poodle" heehee! ^.^ ...and one of only 2 studios he ever painted in, was on site, and it was everything i imagined it to be like... which i wasnt actually expecting.
I went to The Louvre, and...to be really honest...i got bored of it. i stayed for 2 whole hours, and then i left. in front of the The Mona Lisa smelt and felt like a mosh pit, and it was so bloody tiny as well!...and alot of the other paintings and stuff...well... i dont know =P ... im not denying that i think these painters had incredible talent and skill, and the paintings and sculptures were very very well done... i just dont think i really appreciate the period or something. they all began to be a bit same-y and it was all getting to be a bit lost on me. i guess i prefer impressionism and...i guess...more concept art or something?... but, they did have a few amusing signs out where the line was...like a picture of an Eiffel Tour keyring with a big cross through it... "NO EIFFEL TOUR KEYRINGS ALLOWED!!!" heeheehee! ^.^
so, i left there, and went with a french friend i met through a clowning group, who took me to an artists squat near Pere La Chaise. oh, how i wish i had of spent more time here!!!... the place was called "La Petite Rockete", and the people i met here were just so lovely, and let me paint a little as well! :)...what it is is, its a small community of bohemian artists, who squat (legally...coz France is cool like that!) here or use the space as an art studio and music studio. the only rule that the government insists upon in order to keep these groups up and running, is, that, their doors have to be open to the public...or in other words, its a public gallery...pretty cool huh?!...they run art, music and drama workshops here where you can get your hands dirty with it all, or you can choose to just be an observer...its all up to you :)... i could have spent a YEAR here with these people alone - it was so much fun! :)
I went to Pere La Chaise Cemetary twice... once in the daytime (sober - to visit my first husband Jim Morrison; Edith Piaf and Oscar Wild), aaaaand once (drunk) in the night-time (to visit my first husband Jim Morrison hahaha!... and a couple of other creepy graves) :D...and ended up ripping my pants on the climb over the fence in the dark (as the cemetary is closed at night...yeaaah...we were naughty naughty haha! XD), and had a pretty haenous bruise on my thigh from the very ungracious landing haha! XD...but, it was worth it... even if just for the fright that the boys gave me when they jumped out from behind a tall grave stone COMPLETELY starkers hahaha! XD...and, before that, for making me think a ghost was following me haha! XD...i guess im easy to fool!!! XD
in all seriousness though, i felt like the souls at this cemetary really were at peace. ive never felt that at any other cemetary as much as this one. it was a nice feeling :)
i took a burlesque class while i was here as well!...i thought...well, why not?...this is where it all started, right?...its returning to the scene of the crime! haha! XD...which was super fun, and a nice way to end my last day (as i went on my last day) in Montmartre :)
my night-times were generally spent with wonderful company (met soooo many really amazing people at this hostel...*some* even stole my heart away ;D), drinking GOOD french wine (that only cost 1 or 2 Euro's!!!), eating GREAT cheese and bread (i do NOT know how french women manage to stay so tiny!!!... sooo much nice cheese and bread and food in general in France!!!...even their bad food is good!!!) underneath the Eiffel Tour or watching it sparkle from the grass; or out the front of the Sacre Cour on the steps (...people just bring their booze, and everyone has a great time partying with each other on the steps...and on the carousel!!! haha! XD)... one night, the boys wanted to trawl the sexytime stores near the Moulin Rouge (which was actually pretty amusing too!)...there is sooo much to do and see here...i think i may have even had a little bit of a seizure from sensory overload on a few different occassions! hahaha!
its concreted in my mind now, that, eventually...im gonna move here for good :)...WATCH THIS SPACE! hahaha! :D...