09 June 2010

A visit, a vacation, and vivacious vespertine vizards (part 7 of ?)

We start out the morning by going to check out where the Bastille
stood. Tours of the opera house that now stands there don't interest
us, but P was born on Bastille Day, so we're kind of obligated. We
luck out - turns out on the weekends there's a big open air market. If
Pat hadn't just picked up souvenirs in Burkina, he could have
believably faked it shopping here. He stops at a hat stand. And I
encourage him to buy a Panama Jack - EVERYONE looks good in a Panama
Jack - but he's in the market (no pun intended) for a black felt
fedora. To try to state things the right way around this time, I
observe that in retrospect I can see the influence of this market
tradition on NOLA, and even more so Charleston, SC. Not to mention
chez moi, of course, though even in Ouaga the fish never looked this
We mosey up the Blvd Magenta, where I kick myself for having just
bought a suit in Ouaga (they have them here for 35€!) to our next
stop, the one place every single person I talked to recommended we
visit: Montmartre and Sacré Coeur. It turns out to be a steep walk,
but well worth it - our direction of approach has allowed us to bypass
the majority of tourists and end up smack in the neighborhood itself.
Which is beautiful and wonderful and I completely understand why
everyone told us to go there. We stop at a small cafe and have
tartines and wine. Mine has bacon, plum, and one of the dizzying array
of cheeses available in France. Since we're on Rue Lamarck, I spend
all of lunch humming one of Enjolras's solos from Les Mis.
Afterward, we make our way around the backside of Sacré Coeur, where
we find all the tourists we'd temporarily shaken. We also find ice
cream! When I go back someday, I'll want to try the popcorn flavor,
but for now I stay a bit more conservative and get peanut butter. We
walk past what I am convinced is the single water fountain in the
whole city (silly me, I didn't think to pack a Nalgene to go to
Paris!) and finally arrive in front of the cathedral and enter. (to be

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