Our very first day in Paris – though we were both still deathly weary from the plane flight – we went, on foot, up into Montmartre.

(This seemed appropriate to me, since my favorite composer, Erik Satie, used to walk back and forth between le Chat Noir (the Montmartre bar in which he worked as a cabaret pianist) and his home in Arcueil (south of Paris) every day. He drank his way from bar to bar on both trips, and he carried a hammer in his pocket, just in case he was attacked on the way.)

So we climbed Montmartre. It was a brilliantly sunny early-autumn day. Partner knew the way, as he’d visited it several times on Google Earth, and he amazed me; he knew exactly which streets to take.

We ended up in front of Satie’s house on the Rue Cortot:


Next door is the Musee de Montmartre. It is a huge rambling old house, in which Renoir worked, and Suzanne Valadon and Maurice Utrillo lived, and Aristide Bruant, and many others.

It is beautiful. All of Paris is laid out at your feet. Look:

Partly we were still dazed and jet-lagged. But partly also we were wandering in an earthly paradise. If I didn’t have a photographic record of it, I’d swear it was a dream.

Two of my friends in Tunis used to call me “Hajj” as a joke; it’s the title of respect given to a man who’s visited the Holy Sites in Mecca.

Well, I’ve earned the title, because Montmartre is my Holy Land.

But don’t call me Hajj.

Call me Monsieur Hajj.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

3 Responses to Montmartre

  1. starproms says:

    Well monsieur Hajj, you did well to climb all the way up to the top. As I recall that’s hard on the knees because the steps are steep and go on forever… Well done. However, I agree, it’s well worth it and you have some very nice pictures to show us. Montmartre is my favourite part of Paris. It’s so full of life, so arty, so pretty and so full of fresh air. Just lovely.
    Incidentally, did you find the jet lag worse going to Paris or coming back from Paris? I’d like to know.

    • For me, the eastward trip is always more difficult. Although, now that I’m older, I find them both very tiring . . .

      • starproms says:

        I’m usually fine when I return to England. We fly overnight so I sort of sleep in the plane. Then I wake to a new day starting over here. When I go to Atlanta, I arrive at my time 11.30 pm and there 7.30 pm and it seems like an interminable night.

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