Monday, March 23, 2020

Time travel to Paris in 1942

Montmartre is a famous location for films. Remember Amelie? Bob the Gambler, Ronin, Moulin Rouge and many others. The familiar steep atmospheric stairs, views of and from Sacre Coeur, the narrow hilly cobblestone streets lend themselves to cinema. Two friends on Instagram; @pretavoyager and @theearfultower who live in Montmartre documented, as you see below, what met them every day.

This happened at the beginning of March. Rue Androuet and the adjoining streets became changed into a film set. The movie set in 1942 had period cars, German troop trucks, motorcycle side cars and storefronts built and signs posted from that era.  So they'd started filming and then President Macron everyone to stay home.

To leave your building to exercise, walk your dog, go for groceries or to the pharmacy was permitted. To do that you needed to print out or hand write your personal 'derogatoire' to state your reasons and you will be subject to checkpoints and fined if you're not on sanctioned business.
The police ask for 'Papers, please.' 

In Le Parisien yesterday an article 
pointed out that the streets of Montmartre
 felt eerie for three reasons;
 they were deserted,
 that the stage decorations
 and store fronts of the 1942 movie 
are still in place and that police
 were asking anyone on the street
 for 'Papers, please.

Just like Paris
in 1942.
Cara - Tuesday
Stay safe and well.


  1. That's a very stark reflection on times past. On a happier note, I did the same dog I have walked for about 15 years - usually nobody speaks to me, maybe a nod and that's it. Today, people were hanging around in their front gardens, waving, saying hello and that they had already washed the car twice.... did we want our dog walked?

  2. Montmartre was my favorite place to stay in Paris. So many wonderful memories, though none quite back to 1942...though these days it may seem that way. Stay safe.

  3. Caro, our block is full of families with young kids. Next door, a Dad drilled a doggie door in the outside wall for their new pup, a labradoodle. Penny, the labradoodle, is 'newly' trained. This morning I heard yelling and nervous looked out the of the kids had gotten stuck trying out the doggie door!

  4. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

  5. The SA Defence Force will supplement the police in enforcing the lockdown, which starts at 2359 on Wednesday. (They had to change the time from midnight on Thursday because some people were confused whether midnight on Thursday meant one minute after 1359 on Wednesday or one minute after 1359 on Thursday. And they haven't even been locked down yet.

  6. Carissima Cara, Anytime I think of wartime Paris, I think of the movies that have brought me there. The most moving for me recently was Monuments Men. But always I think of Casablanca and "We will always have Paris."