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Postcard from Montmartre

Postcard from Montmartre

I’ve never been in love with Montmartre–mostly because so many other tourists are. I prefer the charming, still-almost-undiscovered Marais or at least the much more central Saint-Germain-des-Prés. But the last time I was in Paris, I went off the sex shop studded main drag and snuck away from the hordes at Sacré-Cœur. I finally discovered a part of Montmartre that might cause me to have a change of heart: tree-lined alleyways, an unassuming wine bar filled with friends, quirky street art.

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Of course, there’s still the impressive (and failing) street artists, the crowds gathered on the steps to take in the sunset. Even if it’s not my favorite place in Paris, I’m finally starting to understand the draw.

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Look closely: it’s made in France.

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  • spent a fun night there in September, the kid with the soccer ball was a blast to watch, still can’t believe the things he can do with that ball.

  • Anonymous

    These are some of the exact reasons why I fell in love with Montmarte as well. Once you get away from the press of the tourists, it’s true nature is revealed. I especially enjoyed my walk in search of Dali’s former home. It was my first time eating a meal in a Parisian outdoor cafe, and somehow the wine, cheese, and bread tasted just that much better. And Sacre Couer became on my fav cathedrals out of all the countries I’ve been to so far. That area just has a charm and feel to it that other parts of Paris don’t.

  • Anonymous

    There are some awesome street performers, that’s for sure! I guess I just don’t think Paris is the most beautiful from this view–it almost doesn’t seem to have enough contrasts.

  • Anonymous

    There’s definitely a different feeling to it! The Marais is still my favorite neighborhood, but I think there’s still a lot of Montmartre I have left to explore.

  • Fabulous pics of a fabulous part of the world!

  • Great photos Christine! Love Paris! However, is all the snow really gone now?

  • Michelle M

    I realized my hatred for crowds again at Sacre-Cour…. It didn’t help that it was hot. I’m always cranky when it’s hot outside. And crowded.

    I need to go back and just explore! And see the other parts of France…. love love love Amboise.

  • We lived in Montmartre for a couple of months and I’d move back there in a second!

  • The wonderful thing about Paris (I am learning to find the wonderful things 🙂 ) is that it is made up of villages where each person can find a place in which to be in sync, in which to find his or her groove. I really think there is a vibe to each village and that we feel that vibe, and it is either our vibe or it is not. I think it is something that can change with time and experience and life-lived, especially if one has a chance to actually spend a significant amount of time in Paris. I have met people who like one part of the city when they have visited here before, but when they actually go to live in that part of the city later (these are people who eventually moved here), they really found that they hated to live in that place!

    I myself like Montmartre to visit. It has quirk and charm, and the three times I have been there (and I have lived in the city 2.5 years, lol), I have had fun, mostly because of the people I shared it with. I have been in the Marais a few times, too, more than Montmartre, and I have come to feel that part of Paris is a little like Disneyland, too. Talk about tourists?! Been there on a Sunday at the peak of tourist season much? Yikes. But have I had fun there? You bet. 🙂 I adore the Musée Carnavalet, and there are other things that are fun to see and do there. But I would hate living there.

    Recently I discovered the Ménilmontant area, and really fell in love. I actually (finally) had that moment that people have been telling me about where Paris bowls them over and they fall deeply in love. For me, it was in Ménilmontant, with Belleville as a close second.

    I also realized recently just how much I love the area in the 19th where I live, too. I love it because it is totally outside of the center of Paris and the tourist attractions.

    My (very long) point is that Paris has something for everyone, and I think there is something to be appreciated in every part of Paris, if we are willing to look, be open, and willing to find something to love.

    (Maybe I should go blog this in my very own blog instead of yours, hahaha! 😉 I’m really glad you found something to love in Montmartre, my dear. 🙂 )

  • I love Montmarte, but not for any of the touristy places either. There are so many nice cafes and restaurants there that tourists never even see. You’ve captured the real Montmarte perfectly!

  • Anonymous

    Montmartre IS fabulous! Totally miss it!

  • Anonymous

    These photos are from late October–I’m sure it’s still snowy!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not as central as I’d like, but it certainly seems to have its own character–I know quite a few people that live there and love it!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not the biggest fans of the crowds at Sacre Coeur, but I did enjoy discovering the little sidestreets of Montmartre. Much more to discover than just the tourist hotspots in that neighborhood!

  • Anonymous

    That’s very true! It’s very different to enjoy a neighborhood as a tourist as opposed to living there–I just adore the food and character of the Marais! However, I don’t think it’d be my first choice if I ever moved to Paris. I’m not too familiar with the 19th or Menilmontant or Belleville–will have to check those out on my next trip!

  • Anonymous

    Merci! The great thing about Paris is that there is something for everyone–the people who never leave the tourist track and the ones who wander off the beaten path 🙂