Dan's post about what lies beneath London got me thinking about underground Paris and the abandoned Metro station I visited.
Underneath these gates to Parc Monceau in the 17th arrondissement where Marcel Proust walked with his governess lies an abandoned Metro station and the graveyard of the Sprague Metro cars.
Worse for wear now the Sprague Metro cars languish defaced and grafitti'd in long rows but you can see a bit of their former elegance. The wood, the brass fittings, the painted glass panels.
The old poster for the Metro workers to contact inter agency.
A restored tiled advertisement for Maizena. Part of a route map.
The French would say 'Seelance' for this sign. It's part of the underground area under Parc Monceau that was a bomb shelter for Metro executives during the war. Inside are huge seal off gates against poison gas which the French still feared the Germans would use in WWII. Interestingly enough, civilians weren't allowed here and though never used, this shelter would have accomodated only several hundred of the top Metro brass.
Above ground here's the restored Art Nouveau Metro station entrance.
Here's the trailer for Charade, the film with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Bear with the trailer and towards the end you see Audrey being chased through the Paris Metro circa 1963.
In December during our visit to the Crime Scene Department we met François who, as one of his jobs, needed to recreate a possible crime scene in the Metro station at Bastille. The juge d'instruction, like our DA, wanted to ascertain if foul play or an accident had occured. Evidently a dealer used part of the Metro tunnel, a crevice in the wall, to hide his stash and either the deal went wrong and he was shot or he made a mistake and got hit by the running train. François recreated the scene in the Bastille tunnel after the trains stopped running late at night to assist the juge d'instruction in assembling evidence and possible scenarios. Was the Metro tunnel a crime scene or not?
My eyes lit up...not at the gory details he proceeded to tell us, but at the idea of an underground cache, possible confrontations and the speeding train in the Metro tunnel. Who knows how this could work in a story? After I'd visited the underground quarries in the Latin Quarter, saw the cavern complete with a bar built by underground cinema guerillas who held film festivals and parties there, I ended up using the quarry bar in Murder in the Latin Quarter.