Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spectacular Settings - WEP: A Slice of Montmartre, Paris

A quote about Paris, from David McCullough, in The Greater Journey.

". . .Paris was a place where one wanted to walk, where to walk - Flâneur* . . .as the French said - was practically a way of life." ('Ah, to wander over Paris!' wrote Honore de Balzac, 'what an adorable and delectable existence is that.  Flânerie is a form of science, it is the gastronomy of the eye.")

I concur.


A Slice of Montmartre Life

Paris - A Montmartre Street Still Life, by DG Hudson

A man in the left foreground of the image above, stands behind his wife who is framing a photograph.

"Oh honey, just take the photo. . .quick before the tour group leaves us behind."

"But I just noticed that street performer on the other side of the street. . .where did he come from?"

"Who knows? Be sure to get Sacre Coeur's dome in the shot, that's what we want - the church looming over the hill, reminding the people of its past. . .as the Mount of Martyrs."

"Of course, the camera is set for wide angle. I have included the church, the performer, the tourists, even the mother and child."

“Great, let’s catch up with our tour group. The performer is headed that way."


 The young mother watches the performer with his tell-tale long legs and wonders at his purpose.  Her son in the stroller sees him too.

"Maman! Maman! Look!" the child points to the street performer in stilts.

"I see him, ma cherie, do you know what he is?"

"Street play man? I want to see, ple-e-a-s-s-e, Maman!"

"We will see if he stops, little one, he may be headed for that tour group up the hill. . ."


The performer focuses on retaining his balance and stride as he climbs up the hill towards the tour group. His black and white ensemble is de rigeur for his occupation.

These new stilts are slowing me down a bit. . .but no matter, that must be the tour group ahead. What a disjointed collection of travellers. . .but I will charm them. I would much rather entertain that child and its mother, the little ones always love me, but the tour group will pay better. I have to eat too. 

I know what will appeal to this older audience, I will present the French tour guide view as he tries to interpret the Franglais and other mashed languages that most of the visitors speak.  I will be diplomatic as they say, of course! Ah, Paris!


*Flâneur - an aimless idler, dawdler, a dandy with time to stroll; one who observes life and offers his opinion on what he has observed.

From DG:

As I walked the steep hills of Montmartre, I saw the little things that bring a place to life and imprint upon the memory: the blue door to the residence where two brothers Van Gogh lived, an inner city vineyard, Lapin Agile - a café which swapped meals for art, the wall-passer - an author's story brought to life by a sculpture in a small square, and the view from  Sacré CoeurI saw the areas which had declined with time, but they faded behind the historical aura of Impressionist artists painting turn of the century dances in courtyards tucked in the shadow of the windmills. I could almost smell the fresh bread made from the milled flour.

WC = 501

Feedback = MPA


August WEP Prompt: Spectacular Settings

A setting can infuse our imagination. The visual prompts the sensory and the memory follows along. What is spectacular will vary with each writer. 

WEP = Write, Edit, Publish - this worthy challenge is back!

WEP has been revised to allow more time between prompts and more opportunity to read the work by the writers who join in the challenge, WEP offers the writer an opportunity to test their short writing skills. The word limit is 1000 or less.

The hosting job is now shared between two writer/bloggers, Denise and Yolanda, who have tweaked this challenge to make it more interesting. Read more about the changes, the prompt and how to participate at the WEP blog site. Also check out their blog sites to find out a bit more about our two hosts.

Join us! Hope you enjoy reading all the entries via the web site and giving feedback where indicated. 


Have you heard of WEP? Are you interested in joining? Do you like reading short fiction?

Please leave a comment just to say you were here, so I know you dropped by!  Constructive feedback is welcome. Hope you enjoy the reading!

Thanks for reading my entry, and don't forget to visit the other writers on the list at WEP - Write, Edit, Publish!