Today, Tuesday, July 14th, celebrates the taking of the Bastille by the French people in 1789!
Rather than give a rundown of the events back then, other than provide a few links I liked, I’d like to simply present some pics and thoughts about visiting the Bastille circle and surrounding area, back in 2012, when Sheila and I stayed there for awhile (traveling from Vermont back to Texas).
Though I knew the Bastille had had a massive breakout and eruption against that period’s’ tyranny, I was still a little surprised none of the original structure remained. Heroes of the period and uprising are I believe interned in the base (or below) of the monument. Plus a fairly busy traffic circle kept us from daring approach it much closer.
Still, knowing some of the history, and that bodies’d been buried there, and the beauty of the winged figure atop, were stirring.
Sheila and I had taken a bus from where we stayed our 5 1/2 weeks, and we’d seen on a map we were relatively close, and one bus (no transfers) got us there fairly quickly.
From there we’d already planned something that maybe’s kinda counterintuitive, but I suspect is something many tourists all over the world end up doing, even if just a tiny bit – we located and walked from the monument to the only Bar-b-q spot we could find in Paris – Blues Bar-b-q.
Sadly the shop is apparently now gone, replaced by someone else who’s taken Texas Bar-b-q to heart, and opened a new shop, The Beast, in Paris 😊 The owner even traveled to spots here in and near Austin to get tips on creating an authentic Texas version. If/when Sheila and I get to return to Paris, that’ll be one of our stops, lol! Here’s their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/thebeastparis .
The owner of the original shop was from Texas, and was his partner, Dallas or Fort Worth I think.
Here’s Sheila and him, feel terrible I can’t remember his name right now. Great guy.
I of course never thought it’d be this long before we’d return to Paris again, but, that’s what happens. Very much hope to remedy that eventually ❤️
The streets away from the monument, and off the smaller boulevard leading to Blues Bar-b-q, were very narrow and old. Sheila and I walked them, and eventually returned to a small cafe one evening to eat and hear the piano player. It was quite a little throng of us pressed up to the door before opening time, being November and – for us – very chilly. But everyone was festive, and we had a great time there too!
It was all very casual-elegant. Except round past the piano player to the club’s more very casual section where folks sat at huge wooden table and pounded the wood with their beers along with the music there – it was quite a shock seeing it, so wish I had a picture, but I remember I didn’t get the impression it’d be okay to take a pic right then 😊
Sheila did, on her trek to the ladies room down a hall, “run into” the piano player, which she was very excited to tell me about, and I tease her about to this day ❤️
Sheila and I eventually took the same bus back we’d taken to the Bastille monument, back to our tiny upper floor loft in a nice apartment building, rented through an early European version of what Airbnb later came into being as.
So the question is, how does this all come back to also being about Bastille Day?
Well, I’ve decided it’s about freedom!
There was, and imagine there still is, an undeniable flow of freedom in the air that pervades Paris.
We felt it, we walked it, and I photographed it, much as I could with the camera & phone (iPhone 3) I had then, lol! But they did a remarkable job, considering 😊
Next time ‘round, I want to also paint it 💕 Much like my remembrance paintings of Paris are shaping up now!
Stay free – stay creative!
Happy Bastille Day!
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