Discovering Butte Bergeyre

buttebA few weeks ago when I was traipsing around the 19th to make sure my favorite places were still my favorite places, I stumbled upon a neighborhood I’d never been to before. Easy to see why. You have to stumble up 100 meters to find it. Butte Bergeyre might just be the most secret hill in Paris. Luckily I had my walking shoes on and I climbed the many steps to arrive on Rue George Lardennois, the main street of this micro-village. I couldn’t believe what I found: calm, cuteness, and a clear view of the Sacre Coeur. I passed a community garden, but it was padlocked. I couldn’t tell whether it was still open to the public or not; the sign was so faded it seemed from another era. I wanted to ask the one gardener I saw milling around, but then I noticed he was taking a leak. Hmm. And moving on. (The garden is apparently open from 2:30 to 5:30 PM Wednesdays-Sundays, I later found out). Right next to the garden stood a small vineyard on a steep hill. Wow! I knew there were vineyards in Montmartre, but not here! There didn’t appear to be any entrance to the vineyard accessible. Few people were out on the street, giving it that surreal feeling. In due time, however, an older gentleman walking his dog ambled by. Finally! Someone to accost! I just had to know in what magical place I had found myself.  “Excuse me, sir, do you know if this is open to the public?” I asked him, waving my arm expansively to encompass all that was before me. “Ah,” he said, “This vineyard belongs to the City of Paris. They closed it because otherwise it would be overrun with sunbathers.”


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