A World of Color: Paris’ Montmartre in Green

It would be a gross understatement to say that Paris calls to me. Rather, I am Odysseus entranced by the sweet song of the seductive Sirens. The distinctive melody of French police cars and screeching subway brakes are music to my ears. Combine those sounds with the flicks of cigarette lighters, the hum of Vespas, and the clink of wine glasses, and my Parisian soundtrack is more delicious and intoxicating than a bottle of 2001 Clos de Vougeot.

Perhaps my obsession with the City of Light is a bit cliché. After all, millions of people cross oceans each year for a glimpse of La Tour Eiffel. I freely admit that the sight of the iconic landmark never gets old. Day or night, I find myself bewitched. For me, it’s not the Eiffel Tower, per se, but instead what it represents: I’m in freakin’ Paris!

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I’m a bit late to the Paris party, having only visited for the first time in December of 2012. Since then, I’ve made it a point to see the Seine each time I’ve been in Europe, which happens to be an inordinate amount of time, or so I’m told. Three times in 2014 I’ve indulged in my Parisian obsession, with the most recent trip being in July.

Each time I return to Paris, I want to discover a new arrondissement. This past trip it was the 17th, home to Montparnasse and its rich art history. Though as exciting as it is to unearth something different, I also love revisiting my favorite districts–Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Latin Quarter, and Montmartre. Each with a distinctive personality, I find the fact that they’re in the same city intriguing.

Until July, I had no idea what the city looked like without a veil of clouds, rain, and frost of winter. I suppose I’m like Owen Wilson’s character from Midnight in Paris–I like the city in the rain, and I probably would have adored it in the 1920s.

Alas, July was my first trip during a Parisian summer, and a mid-morning Saturday stroll through the steep, sloping streets of Montmartre was in order. After a leisurely breakfast of breads, juice, and coffee at the bottom of the hill, I began my ascension through the narrow, cobblestone roads of Montmartre. Carefully avoiding the ever-growing throng of tourists, I poked my head into closed gates and walked up empty staircases. I saw tiny, hidden parks and a number of homes that would do just fine.

In January, I’d seen the village in the 18th arrondissement aglow with Christmas lights, and in March, it was cold and wet. But in July, the former stomping ground of Picasso, Renoir, and Matisse, was bursting with the color of an artist’s palette. Montmartre was a beautiful woman who’d shed her dark, woolen layers in favor of a boho-chic sundress. Her once-pale skin was now sunkissed, and her lips perfectly stained with the color of rosé vin.

In this colorful neighborhood, I couldn’t help but be drawn to green. Whether it was the grass, grape vines, worn paint on shutters, or fruit stands, the verdant hue begged me to pull out my camera. Thus, in the footsteps of Malaysia in Gold and Austria in White, I give you the next installment of my “A World of Color” series–Montmartre in Green.

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20 Comments
  • Sand In My Suitcase
    July 25, 2014

    Beautiful post! And luscious photos… Paris is enchanting for sure…

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      It’s just so damn intoxicating. I’m certainly addicted. Thanks!

  • lyn barden
    July 26, 2014

    Love your photos. Very different! A real taste of Paris. I would love to visit Paris again, it is such a beautiful city.

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      You’re so kind. Thank you!

  • Erin - The World Wanderer
    July 26, 2014

    Great photos! I really must get back to Paris. I love the movie Midnight in Paris, and agree that it would have been absolutely wonderful in the 1920’s!

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      One of my favorite movies of all time…I think it’s because I can relate so much. Let’s go back together! 😉

  • Becky Padmore
    July 28, 2014

    Definitely one of my favourite places in Paris, I love all the art shops and boutique stores. You’ve captured it beautifully!

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      That’s so kind of you to say, Becky. I remember all of yours and Graham’s photos from Paris. I can only hope to capture the city like the two of you.

  • Amanda
    July 29, 2014

    I LOVE Montmartre! I kept finding myself drawn back there during my first trip to Paris last year.

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      I get it. Seriously, it’s such a lovely area.

  • Gerard ~ GQ trippin
    July 30, 2014

    Love green. Q loves pickles too. Me, not so much. Love green though.

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      Gerard…you’ve clearly not mentally checked back in from your African honeymoon. Haha!

  • Gorgeous photos Leah! It shows such a different side to Paris compared to the pictures I’m used to seeing and I wish I could try that pistachio cake right this second!!

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      Thank you so much. That’s the point of this series is to look beyond the obvious. 🙂

  • Craig Zabransky
    July 30, 2014

    love the metro photo, that is a keeper for sure…
    StayClassic, Craig

    • Leah Walker
      July 31, 2014

      The guy on the stairs is what really caught my eye. He posed for me for a few minutes.

  • Emma
    September 4, 2014

    Hey, love the gorgeous photos. Sounds like you really enjoyed your stay.
    Just a heads up, though, Montparnasse and Montmartre are not the same place – they may sound alike but they’re at opposite ends of the city. 🙂

    • Leah Walker
      September 5, 2014

      Thank you very much. Yes, I’m aware that Montparnasse is not the same as Montmartre. You must have misread what I wrote.

  • Lesley Peterson
    February 20, 2015

    Just in time for spring–love Paris and this post!

    • Leah Walker
      March 7, 2015

      I can’t wait to see Paris again in full bloom. As if it couldn’t get any more beautiful.

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