Cool views, cooler crowd.
Running between meetings yesterday, I stumbled upon a new (to me) Paris neighborhood, Caulaincourt. My introduction to the area began with a graffiti-adorned bridge that served as an overpass for the Montmartre Cemetery, where luminaries like Mme Récamier rest in eternal peace. Cars rushed passed while just below, lazy cats sprawled in the afternoon sun, shadows of the blossoming chestnut trees dancing across their bellies, settled tenants of this Paris neighborhood.
A local stopped to ask me what, exactly, are people always photographing on this bridge, because every time he crosses there is someone, camera in hand, snapping away. It’s a good bridge. Immediately after the bridge, on the rue Caulaincourt, sits a very design hotel I’d never heard of, boasting a terrace view. Curiosity got the better of me and I was soon taking the elevator to the 7th, a lounge/bar at the Terrass Hotel. Wow, what a view. My eyes didn’t know where to rest: the Paris scenery, the designer outdoor furniture or the achingly cooler-looking-than-I clientele.
I understand why guests like this luxury residence, in the shadow of Sacré Coeur, with picturesque old Paris just out the front door. There were little old ladies swaying along the street, shopping carts on their heels as they headed out on their morning chores, and older men smoking madly outside Le Café Qui Parle (the Talking Café), old-fashioned bakeries, cobblers and lovely street scenes. I could almost hear accordion music playing to the rhythm of my footsteps.
Antiques even I can afford.
I passed by the beaux-arts wine bar Le Cépage Montmartrois, which is famous for its live jazz and neighborhood scene, before taking a final break at Le Café Francoeur, where I enjoyed a glass of perfectly chilled white wine while watching the tripistic little white Montmartre train go past. Children played at the foot of the picture-perfect, dangerously (for soccer) steep steps, under the 19th-century green metal lamp posts that are typical of this most iconic of Paris neighborhoods.
Le Terrass Hotel
Le Café Qui Parle
Le Café Francoeur
Le Cépage Montmartrois