Yes, I’ve missed a couple of days of posts. We’ve been busy.
A few days ago we spent the day at Montmartre. No, we didn’t go inside Sacre Coeur. We climbed the steps to the front and then dodged around to the left to perhaps our favorite quiet spot in Paris, Saint Pierre de Montmarte. This is older than Sacre Coeur and not frought with so many political undertones. Sacre Coeur was built with public funds as a slap at the communards of the 19th century. Saint Pierre, on the other hand, is the founding place of the Jesuits. It’s small sanctuary is an active church whose quiet penetrates the soul. We sat for a while inside and Jean lit a candle for her sister who has been ill since we arrived in Europe. It is difficult to be so far away.
Then we ventured to the square to see what the local artists are offering. In this open square over 100 artists set up their easels and paint, draw, or sculpt while also selling completed works. Much of the work is schlock made for the tourist trade – cutout silhouettes, quick pastel portraits, etc. However, there are some gems as well. We strolled around and stopped to talk to a few of the artists.
After checking out the artists we settled into one of the cafes that surround the square to watch the people and have some tea. Jean couldn’t resist the urge to sketch and soon was working on capturing the essence of a tree in the square. Perhaps she will share her sketch in her own post. A bride and groom were lounging inside the cafe and before we left they emerged to walk down the street. Was it before or after the wedding? We don’t know.
Late in the afternoon, we returned down the hill to the Metro home, where we shared dinner with JP. Our nightly gathering for dinner to share our day’s adventures has been wonderful and we will miss his company when we leave here on Saturday.
The square that you mention is known as Place du Tertre. It used to be frequented by artists when Montmartre was a spot in which real artists lived. There are now very few left there, but of course, the Place du Tertre has become a tourist spot. I rarely go there, but it has happened to me. One more I am impressed that you found a real person to talk to; my experience was that not only they specialized in schlock but they are unpleasant to boot. As you can guess, Montmartre is not one of my favorite spots in town, although I share your taste for the soft and soothing quietness and sheer beauty of St Pierre.