Sunday, January 25, 2015

why i love paris (8)

In the afternoon of Tuesday, November 11, 2014, I met up with the Paris Sketchers crew on the panoramic rooftop terrace of the Printemps department store located on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris.

I had suggested the outing, as part of my "Paris par arrondissement" drawing project (in English: "Paris by arrondissement"), for the 9th arrondissement.  On the Saturday before, I had checked out different sites in the arrondissement in order to choose one that was convenient and interesting enough for a talented and passionate group of urban sketchers.  Opera Garnier came close (I know that I would have loved to sketch in the famous operahouse).  There was even Galeries Lafayette, which also boasted a panoramic terrace on its rooftop.  But there was nothing like that of Printemps, which, on the tenth floor of the store, offered a great cafe vibe combined with comfortable furniture, lovely decor, and people everywhere.  And yes, fantastic views all over Paris too.

Photo provided by

What was even better than all that was the weather.  It was gorgeous!  Sure, it was a bit chilly, but for November, it was wonderfully sunny.  And none of the sketchers who came stayed inside the cafe leading to the terrace (until it had started to get dark).  We were all outside, sharing space with the locals and tourists passing through from time to time, some of whom did not resist the temptation to come and see what we were up to.

In the sketching crew were mostly familiar faces ‒ Eriko, Jean-Marc, Jérôme, Blandine, Chantal, Tula, Carole, Véronique, Aviva ‒ and a few people I had never met, notably Monique and Michèle.  I was glad that they had all chosen to spend this public holiday ‒ the Armistice of 1918 ‒ sketching with me at a pleasant and somewhat unusual location in Paris.

I was drawn during the entire visit to a view of Montmartre that culminated in the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, even though I really wanted to dig into something showing the Eiffel Tower.  I had to accept that a date with the "Dame de fer" (in English: "Iron Lady") was not to be that day, for some reason that I can no longer remember exactly.  But at least now I have a reason to return to such a remarkable viewpoint.

La butte Montmartre

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