Sunday, February 15, 2009

Winter Vacation '08 - Paris - The Neighborhood

sexodrome - pigalle, paris

As I noted in an earlier post, I thought I had made a huge mistake during our first trip to Paris when I realized we were going to be pretty close to the Pigalle red light district.

However, we soon determined there was nothing to worry about and that most of the area was actually pretty great. It has since become something of a 'comfort zone' for us. So when I found a good deal on an apartment just off the Pigalle square, I didn't hesitate to grab it.

View Larger Map

This turned out to be a great base for us, with good access both up the hill into Montmartre and down to Rue des Martyrs.

UPDATE 2/21/09:
Finally got my videos uploaded to YouTube so I can now embed a few in these posts. This is the walk from our apartment to the Pigalle square. And, to answer the question Judy asks at the end of this, yes, there was someone in Santa's sleigh, which is what I was trying to capture w/ the zoom.

These are just a few of the shots I snagged while walking around during the week we were there.

scene in montmartre, paris - hotel
Just liked something about how simple this was. Was happy to get a shot of it, but glad I wasn't staying there

scene in montmartre, paris
Le Grenier a Pain -- Judy loves bakeries. We stop and look in the window of almost every one we pass. This one was just up the hill from our place and we got some bread here as well as the reusable bag that Judy is holding.

scene in montmartre, paris
The holiday lights on some of the main streets were pretty amazing (as seen further below). But even some of the little side streets like these had modest displays that added to the seasonal atmosphere.

scene in montmartre, paris

This street was always bustling at night, with a number of cafes open to the sidewalk even though the temperatures were in the 20s and 20s. Hard to do the vibe justice in this shot, especially since I'm a hack with the camera. This larger shot is better, but not great.

UPDATE 2/21/09:
Adding a video that gives a bit more of a sense of the feel on Rue des Abbesses.

What was really lively was the bar in this next video. Kind of random. This was a bit further up the hill but not all the way up to Place du Tertre. It was a little sad when, after 'Jump' ended, a couple of the women tried to keep the 'look at me I'm dancing on the tables' vibe going into the next song, which wasn't anything particularly cool or fun. Just gave off that stink of trying too hard, like they were convincing themselves of how much fun they were having by staying up there on the tables.

scene in montmartre, paris
This was cool, just catching a glimpse of Sacre Coeur as you walk along Boulevard de Clichy.

scene in montmartre, paris
Another view of Sacre Coeur. This one is near Corso, an Italian place we tried during our stay.

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