Thursday, October 23, 2014

Postcards from Paris: Montmartre

I have learned that one of the most precious gifts in life is to maintain a certain naiveté, a sense of wonder, regardless of how old you are, how many places you've traveled to, how much money you make.  This is one of those life secrets that have been leaked out over and over again, yet still remains a difficult one to practice.  "Fresh eyes,.. fresh eyes," I would remind myself when traveling somewhere I've been to already.  Especially in Paris, no two experiences are ever the same anyway!

Montmartre was our neighborhood for the past two years that we've been coming to Paris, thus my soft spot for it.  We've found little restaurants that we favored here and little corner boulangeries and cafes that we frequent as though we were locals.  It was here where I had a fiasco at the lavarie where, because I only speak toddler's French, I dyed a white shirt pink.  It was here where I also discovered an alien side of Paris, when we walked along the North African market on Barbes because a metro stop closed.  It was a side of Paris I never knew existed.

Montmartre can be a neighborhood packed with tourists during the day drawn to Sacre Ceour and the Moulin Rouge.  It is in the north of Paris and is away from most tourist destinations.  Montmartre draws the artists as far back as 1800's.  Renoir would paint scenes from parties held in Montmartre and Van Gogh used to live in this arrondissement with his brother, Theo.  Check out my walks in Montmartre from a visit one year ago here.

We stayed in the Marais this time, but I found myself in Montmartre for a stroll again.  It was a warm day and the skies were a perfect blue.  And to my surprise, everything felt new to me again.  Paris will do that to you.

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