Montmartre

Alright now, study this sketch carefully because there is a quiz below it.

GraphiteOnPaper

Quiz: Multiple choice, choose all that are valid:
Who is the first person who comes to mind on seeing this sketch:
1. Indiana Jones (AKA Harrison Ford)
2. John Wayne
3. Yours truly
4. All the above

If you chose number 4, you can claim your winnings on the way out.

The sketch was made by one of the artists at the famous Place du Tertre a couple hundred yards from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacre Coeur) on the butte of Montmartre in the north of Paris. The artist himself saw me as Indiana Jones (not the
first time for that, actually, due to the hat), and one of his colleagues saw me as John Wayne. And since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, who am I to say who is right?

PlaceDuTertre

Since 1772 this square has been a center of activity for visual artists. The current waiting list for rights to set up an easel is ten years long. Among well-known artists with an assocation to this square you’ll find such names as Van Gogh, Modigliani, Picasso, and Pissarro. So when you go and have your own portrait done, just imagine who your own artist might be in the future.  But follow the tips of travel experts and negotiate the fee before the sitting.

Art is omnipresent in Montmartre. Sadly, we couldn’t visit the Salvador Dali space
because it was under renovation. But on our way to lunch at our old neighborhood
restaurant next door to the apartment we lived in for four weeks in 2013, we passed one of my own favorite sculptures, Le Passe-Muraille, based on a story by Marcel Aymé about a man who could walk through walls.

LePasse-Muraille

The basilica was constructed just after the French-Prussian war of 1870 as an act of gratitude by the nation for divine preservation of the city. The interior is consecrated space, with no photos allowed (yeah, right, tell that to the people sneaking clandestine photos with their smartphones).

SacreCoeur

We are pleased to report that the transportation unions were true to their
promise to keep the trains running today. We had a non-eventful, restful 2
1/2 hour drive from Paris to Avignon, where we rented a car and drove to
Arles, where we will spend the next four days.

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