After a meal, a drink… at one of the famous establishments on Boulevard de Montparnasse, La Coupole, Le Select, La Rotonde, Le Dôme (about all of which already a lot is to be said)…,
... may I suggest a walk along Rue Delambre, and after crossing Boulevard Quinet, also along Rue de la Gaîté, the “gaiety street”?
Rue Delambres looks very “normal”. What is special and what can give you a specific feeling is what the street represents as memory of the artistic life in Paris, especially during the 1920’s and 30’s. You should know that this is where a lot of (later) world famous artists lived and worked during more or less longer periods, in hotels, which may have changed names, flats….
One, now Italian, restaurant used to be known as the “Dingo Bar”. This is where Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald (who had just published “The Great Gatsby”) met – by chance – for the first time in 1925. Here you can see what the place looks like today and compare with a photo with Hemingway and Zelda Fitzgerald at the entrance. Hemingway talks about this in his “A Moveable Feast”.
I once did a post about “Ernest Hemingway in Paris – A Moveable Feast”, but forgot to mention this place.
When crossing Boulevard Quinet, you will see (top picture) a mural painting (from 1991, by Loren Munk), which illustrates for what the next street, Rue de la Gaîté, is famous. But first, it’s time to remember “The Wall of the Farmers General”, which stood on this boulevard until 1860 and separated Paris from the suburbs until they were incorporated in 1860 … and where taxes had to be paid. (If you go to this post, you will also find links to other posts about this wall.) As all around Paris, this meant that just outside the wall you could eat and especially drink “tax free”. This is a reason why Rue de la Gaîté has a long history for different types of “entertainment”.
Even if Rue de la Gaîté also at first looks quite “normal”…
… you will soon realize that it’s still a street full of bars, restaurants, theatres….
This is also where you since 1873 can find the music hall “Bobino”, with a today very modest entrance hidden by a hotel. “All” French artists have performed here, also some international ones.
Some of you may remember that I recently made a post about my meeting with the bestselling author Cara Black. As all the above has been about Montparnasse, I thought it was opportune to mention that her new book “Murder Below Montparnasse” will be published very soon. If you are interested, you can go here, possibly order a book (I have no commission) and, perhaps even more possibly, win a trip to Paris.