A little more of 'hidden' Paris. Well perhaps not so hidden but one thing that we don't see much of here are hawkers, beggers, aggressive street vendors. In Paris they're everywhere from addicts on trains with their rote speil begging to feed their kids or their addiction to ferals with packs of dogs protecting their few belongings while they beg. Of course there's the street life from prostitutes and peep shows to drug dealers and gypsies, all out for something. It's a colourful world on the streets for 'one Euro, one, Euro, one Euro" or simply kneeling on the sidewalk hoping someone will fill your cup.
Artists in Montmarte accost the tourists for portraits outside Sacre Coer, they're all good, very good but can be a little intimidating if you're not interested. This one however just tended his easel in the hope of a sale.
Hawkers are everywhere plying their mini Eiffel Towers, silk scarves, bottles of water, they're persistent and their product cheap but illegal. This is one of tens constantly haranguing the queues at the Eiffel Tower. Two days later they were seen off during a bomb scare. I'm sure they're back!
A slightly more wholesome crew playing Ah Ha's "Take On Me" in St Germaine. The crowd were there for the kid but I'm not sure he was actually playing. Still, cute overload and they sounded great.
The drug dealer and his posse on the corner of Rue St Denis, I watched many a trade here and he became the subject of a recent piece of fiction.
Addicts. This one sitting at the Arc de Triomphe still with his cone and lighter in hand having a conversation with an army of invisibles while others seem to find him invisible.
Gypsies at the Eiffel Tower, approach and ask if you speak English. If you do, they unravel their piece of white paper explaining why they need your money. Say you don't and they race off with a devout purpose to fleece someone who does, usually Americans.
The Champs Elysees is indeed a busy street, far to busy to notice this woman who remained bent and wooden for the 2 hours we were there and probably many more after we'd long since left. It's heartbreaking and I have no idea why they beg.
Another street 'artist' cutting sillhouettes near the Place du Concorde
He might be down and out but he clearly feeds these guys regularly, they saw him coming a mile away.
On the street where we lived. New Sex Centre because old sex is so last Tuesday.
Looks like a bum but no. That's just Werner my Biarritz drinking buddy, drunk falling off a wall. Clare had to hold my hand home . . what a night. Er, no the dog was sober.
Sorry for the infrequency of visiting, my internet has decided to be unavailable until at least 9:30 at night. New provider coming on board this weekend so hopefully things will be a little more stable (famous last words!)