A bottle of wine / a baguette / some cheese / some music and the rooftops of Paris – this is my Afterlife
This is one of my favourite signs in Paris. It’s for a shop that no longer exists…
Sadly, the trip is over, but I’ll post more photos soon.
The Seine, towards Pont Louis Philippe
Sacré-Coeur Spire Top
Turning the past into the future (On Rue Saint-Sabin)
Waiting (on the Champs-Elysées)
The End is around the corner
Bistrot du Marais (Le Marché des Enfants Rouges)
I just can’t believe it has been 20 years.
After staying for a couple of months in a company-supplied apartment near the Château de Vincennes area (Southeast), I moved to 13, Rue de Suez near the Château Rouge métro (Northeast). It was, and is, an African and North African neighbourhood. People I worked with were relieved every day that I arrived (late) for work – they were worried I wouldn’t survive. While it was not what you think Paris is, it was a safe area – I never had any trouble and never saw a fight. The worst that happened, happened once: my roommate Yasmeen was whistled at.
I lived on the fifth floor – no elevator. I actually exercised for a bit (the Canadian Army 5BX method) and was so energetic that I ran up the stairs and sometimes found myself on the sixth floor!
I took a walk around the neighbourhood, and after 20 years, just like the rest of Paris, some things are the same and some things have changed. I’ve done this so you don’t have to.
There is a story about Oscar Wilde living (and dying, I think) in a hotel near here. I’ll have to do some research on this.
The entrance to métro Château Rouge, which I used every day for two years. There used to be a boulangerie here where I would buy two croissants every day for my journey to work. Because I was a regular customer, the croissant girl would slip an extra free croissant in the bag. When I said I didn’t need a third croissant, she would say to give it to the homeless – but I never found the homeless up at that hour!
The launderette I frequented is no more – it was very convenient, where I could have my clothes washed and folded for an unreasonable fee, though it seemed they beat the clothes to a pulp. It was the only launderette in which I saw someone reading the Holy Quran. Next to the launderette is this little resto, where one could find the cheapest couscous in the city.
The market street, Rue Dejean
13, Rue de Suez. Tug on my coat-sleeve and I’ll tell you about a fire that broke out in the apartment next to mine.
Navel is an Indian resto on Rue de Suez (I can’t believe it’s still here). I was so excited to find an Indian restaurant five steps from home, but soon found that the Marks & Spencer frozen Indian meals tasted better!
Shopfronts are quite different here (many are closed on Mondays).
Two things that have changed: every shop is either a hair extension place or a mobile phone store.
Antraigues-sur-Volane et le Pont de la Tourrasse
On the D578
Cycling is very popular here. Anke and Bart bike up to 70 km of these up and down roads!
These two guys were probably not aware what was up ahead…
The Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche went by us at a terrific speed!
Mont Gerbier de Jonc. The mountains of this area are remnants of volcanic craters. These geological formations are called “sucs”. Anke and Bob climbed this thing a couple of days ago!
Bart is a gentle, generous 55 year old Dutchman that has been visiting La Roche for 45 years. His house is isolated from the rest of the hamlet. He bought it a few years ago and has restored it on his own. He has no electricity but has a spring that provides excellent, healthy water. Everything has to be hauled up via a rocky path on the mountain, including the cast iron stoves!
Faux-vintage interior scenes
At the beginning of 1991 I began a two year work term in Paris. A few days after I arrived I participated in one of several anti-war rallies against the first American war in the Arabian Gulf (euphemistically called “The Gulf War”). The march took about three hours and while taking photographs and chanting some slogan or other, we passed monuments, famous buildings and streets – I saw Paris so differently than as a tourist.
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with everything about Paris – except the attitude. Twenty years (and a few months) later Paris is still Paris and the attitude has improved tremendously.
I thought I’d blog about my twentieth anniversary visit. It will be composed mainly of photographs with some nostalgic musings about places revisited and perhaps some new surprises.