Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

7 Oct 2016

Amelie chasing in Paris

While I probably have more affinity with the bar owner than Amelie herself, the film has become a visual map of all that is perfect and quirky in Paris. So as I don't have bones of glass this year has been led by the motto Carpe Diem, do everything you can before times runs out. We pass the time of day to forget how time passes.

My other half has written a song with a friend and singer, called 'An American In Paris" and so I hunted down the cheaper seats on the Eurostar and a low price Air bnb so we could walk and film in the steps of Amelie and beyond. 

My recommendations for catching some of the films most iconic locations will take you on a most romantic trail, away from the main streets and the obvious sights.   Start your journey at the Metro station Lamarck Caulaincourt and find yourself immersed in Amelie country.

At Lamarck Metro station, with the double staircase either side, take these stairs up and head towards Place Dalida, the cobbled street going up will take you to the pink and green cafe on the corner of Rue St Vincent, this is where our film starts with the buzzy bluebottle. Stop and have a coffee or beer at the prettiest Cafe, La Maison Rose.

As you follow the winding streets up hill there is so much to entertain, passing by the square where the artists sell their work, until you reach the Sacre Couer. Perhaps use the telescope to look for love, or just stand and wonder how many people are having an orgasm this this precise moment.

We took the steps down at the front of the Sacre Couer and explored the area below, not forgetting to look along the Rue De Trois Freres for Amelies flat.

I like to look for things no-one else catches.

I have had a slight obsession with the Metropolitain line stations since I was a child, my first love was the Art Nouveau movement, I copied drawings and shapes, the fluid lines and swirls, and oh, shouldn't every railway station have a canopy so stylish.  The Metro station Abbesses should also be your destination on the Amelie trail. 

The most important destination however, is the Rue Lepic and the iconic cafe where our heroine works. The Cafe des deux Moulins.

 We stayed a while, drank some Kir, watched couples and film fans, and I can thoroughly recommend the steak and chips, but if you are a true Amelie fan then you must order a creme brulee so you can crack the sugar with your spoon.

 There were so many places I didn't have time to find, the green grocers, the Gare de l'Est, the Canal Saint Martin and the Pont des Arts, although as the Eurostar pulls in at the Gare de Nord you can almost begin the adventure as soon as you arrive.

Amelie[to blind man] Let me help you. Step down. Here we go! The drum major's widow! She's worn his coat since the day he died. The horse's head has lost an ear! That's the florist laughing. He has crinkly eyes. In the bakery window, lollipops. Smell that! They're giving out melon slices! Sugarplum, ice cream! We're passing the park butcher. Ham, 79 francs. Spareribs, 45! Now the cheese shop. Picadors are 12.90. Cabecaus 23.50. A baby's watching a dog that's watching the chickens. Now we're at the kiosk by the metro. I'll leave you here. Bye!

If I manage a trip over to France with the car I am going to seek out the seats which adorn the pavements outside every Cafe, some are such beautiful colours and even accessorised by the plants.

 I'm sure this city looks good in every season, I really want to return for Spring but I do love the golden tones of October and with some last days of sun.

Whatever you do, don't get tired as you simply have to see Paris by night, no trip is complete without a glimpse of the Eiffel turning twinkly on the hour ... the sky can also provide some lovely surprises to this scene, like the half moon hanging like a christmas ornament from the Eiffel's searchlight beams.

 Life's funny. To a kid, time always drags. Suddenly you're fifty. All that's left of your childhood... fits in a rusty little box.

postcard from Janice Issitt

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