Paris noir et noir – and hardly morbid at all

Richard Wright was cremated at Père Lachaise.

wright

But before that happened, he used to enjoy hanging out at the Café Tournon with Chester Himes. (You could also find James Baldwin and Ollie Harrington there, and it was where Duke Ellington made his Paris debut.)

wright a

wright b

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the management are only interested in letting you know that Joseph Roth lived there. I guess they figure the legend of an unholy drinker is bad for business. (Did you like the literary gag there?)

roth

Somewhere on this street, Chester Himes used to have an apartment.

himes a

himes

 

 

 

 

 

 

But when John A. Williams was visiting Paris and dropped by to see him, he found Himes had moved out, leaving the flat to Melvin Van Peebles.

We found Himes still keeping good company in the unexpected book department of Le Bon Marché, the first ever department store.

himes b

Another African-American in Paris:

baker

And Harry’s Bar. Where Humphrey Bogart used to hang out.

harry's bar

Their margarita is a damn fine margarita…

harry's bar inside

…but it is not as good a margarita as their mojito is a mojito.

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Paris – mostly revolutionary, mostly morbid, but with a hint of nudity

This statue stands on the spot where the guillotine was erected to execute Louis XVI in January 1793. guillotine a Somewhere near these gates, the guillotine was erected to execute Marie-Antoinette in October 1793. guillotine b Jean Sylvain Bailly was an early leader of the French Revolution and the first mayor of Paris. He was guillotined during the Reign of Terror. guillotine In April 1834, a workers uprising broke out against new laws limiting the activities of Republican organisations such as the Society of the Rights of Man. 13,000 police took four days to quell the uprising. On the Rue Transnonain, police massacred all the residents of one apartment building. transnonain Not even a fucking plaque. rue_transnonain_le_15_de_avril_1834 Honoré Daumier’s lithograph Rue Transnonain, le 15 Avril 1834 appeared in the journal La Caricature. When the original was discovered, he was imprisoned for six months. In the the Musée d’Orsay, we found Maximilien Luce’s Une rue de Paris en mai 1871. painting We also, I kid you not, saw a hipster find a portrait of a 19th century man with a similar beard to his own and take a selfie in front of it. The whole city groaned. In spring 1871, the last of the communards hid out in the Père Lachaise cemetery. The victorious Armée versaillaise put one hundred and forty-seven Fédérés up against the wall and shot them and threw their corpses in a trench by the wall. communards communards a Opposite this simple memorial is the grave of Marx’s daughter Laura and her husband Paul Lafargue, who wrote among many other things the excellent The Right to Be Lazy. In old age, they committed suicide rather than be a burden on the revolution. lafargues a     lafargues           Nestor Makno, the Ukrainian anarcho-communist revolutionary was cremated here, too. makhno   I guess I’m wilfully mistranslating/misunderstanding the inscription on this. mistranslation On a cheerier note, this is the bar where Lenin and Trotsky used to hang out in 1915/16 to play chess. lenin I guess it was a little less blandly bourgeois back then. The current management are less inclined to recall Bolshevik grandmasters than to boast that Pierce Brosnan once ate there. Lenin, mind you, can pop up in the least expected places (as, indeed, can Stalin). lenin penis