It’s quiet late Sunday morning. I am leisurely walking through the empty streets of Montmartre towards a rendezvous with a naked woman. Well, to my first drawing session in Paris with a professional art model. In my bag – a wooden board, big sheets of paper, and a box of charcoal. It’s cold today and there are very few people on the streets. Although streets are always empty on Sunday mornings. I love this magical time.
Walking in Paris, I am often torn between the desire to look up beautiful facades of the buildings, at the balconies, and picturesque roofs and the necessity to look down on the ground to avoid stepping in some unpleasant things like dog’s poop or twisting my ankle on an uneven pavement.
I turn onto Rue André del Sarte where fronts of the shops are covered by metal and wooden blinds. Everything is closed at this hour and some of the places will stay closed for the whole day. Everything, except the bright red-painted boulangerie at the corner where I see a few locals in a running gear and with little dogs on leashes, talking. They came to buy fresh baguettes and croissants. The conversation in French echo in the empty street and intoxicating smell of warm bread is drifting through the November air.
This street leads to the foot of the last hill on top of which, if you look up, you will see the white-stone Sacré Cœur. I circle the bottom of the hill, passing by the main gate next to the funicular, where never-sleeping tourists are battle-ready with their selfie sticks in front of the carousel, go up the street where I used to live when I just came to Paris, ascend one of the many Montmartre steep stairs and arrive at Le Petit Theatre Du Bonheur. A little door on the right, which you can easily miss, unless you turn your head.
And when they call it “petit”, it’s not a term of endearment, it is very true.
The Little Theatre of Happiness is a cave the size of my current living room, but it has a tiny stage and a tiny bar and even a red plush curtain.
When two hours later I leave Le Petit Theatre Du Bonheur, my sketch book is full of new drawings and I am bursting with inspiration, there are already a lot of people on the streets of Montmartre.
Paris is awake. Another beautiful day ahead.