Thursday, August 31, 2006


A view of Montmartre from the Musee D'Orsay after the rain stopped:

We ate lunch in Montmarte between rain showers. Our authentically surly French waiter tried to talk us into going inside, but we wanted to people watch. The waiter shrugged and sat us outside. Immediately, artists swooped down on us like articulated pigeons. Did we want a sketch done? No. They'd do it for free, and if we liked it we could buy it, they cooed. Our waiter came by and shooed them away, but as soon as he went inside, a new flock descended. Our waiter muttered colorful curses (if our French speaking friend was to be believed) and threatened to kick the artists in the ass each time he came by. He was the best part of lunch.

It was late, well after eleven, when we headed back to our hotel. A violinist serenaded us in the tunnels leading to the Metro. There was an accordion player in our car on the first Metro train, and a puppet show in the aisle of the third one we took. The kids were asleep on their feet, but they clapped and begged for coins to tip the puppeteer and musicians. We emptied our pockets into their hands and set them over to drop the coins in the hat. That's my favorite memory of our time in Paris.

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