Montmartre Barricades the 'Butte'

photo: roller bistro monte carlo

After Friday's 'Roller Folk' have gone, this bistro
returns to normal.

Homeless '2000' In Paris

Paris:- Sunday, 18. June 2000:- This afternoon residents of Paris' most famous hill hit the streets to keep cars, trucks and tour buses out of them. Even the RATP's popular 'OpenTour' double-decker bus was turned back at the Rue d'Orsel, forcing its passengers to walk to the funiculaire's lower station.

The action was led by the greens - 'Les Verts' - whose slogan is, 'Let Paris Breathe.' Car drivers arriving at barricades all claimed to be residents of Montmartre, and that their homes are very near the top.

One was reported to have said, 'I don't care what they want, what they do,' while claiming to be a Montmartre resident with a car registered in 94 - the Marne; adding, 'I want through, that's all. They aren't the police, are they? So I'm going through.'

The 'Verts' in place thought he should visit Paris on his bicycle. Meanwhile, on top of the 'Butte,' lack of traffic and its noise was enjoyed by both residents and visitors. 'It should be like this every Sunday,' one said.

Paris Clochards, '2000 In France' Version

Artist Jochen Gerz had a project idea for France's 'Mission 2000.' After a lot of deep thinking thephoto: notre dame's new face organization accepted the idea, and it is now on view on the Parvis in front of Notre-Dame in Paris.

Called 'Les Mots de Paris,' it consists of a modern bus shelter, which shelters a dozen 'homeless' - in French: SDFs - persons, who are dressed as themselves. The 'Mots' are under glass, lying on the ground, and are the words of the exhibition's animators; unfortunately all in French.

Notre Dame surprises visitors with its 'brand-new' look, and its 'Homeless' tribute to '2000 In France.'

The crew of SDFs are paid the 'homeless wage,' which is slightly more than half of France's minimum wage. The bus shelter cost the '2000 In France Mission' 1.5 million francs.

This little affair has raised some strong objections, even though 'homeless' persons and clochards are a common sight all over Paris. It is not thought 'good taste' for them to exhibit themselves, even if they are permitted to sleep on the streets.

'Clochards' are usually homeless, but are not necessarily seeking one. The 'SDFs' in contrast, are usually seeking both reliable shelter and jobs.

Unlike 'voluntary' clochards, many SDF persons are victims of circumstances. Even withphoto: shoelace of the week a valid French Carte d'Identité, only paid telephone or electricity bills are usual proof of residence.

Without 'proof of residence,' it is nearly impossible to get a job. Getting social aid from either city or state is also difficult without some 'proof of residence.'

'Homeless' rope shoelaces are not yet a big fashion item in Paris.

Thus, this modest '2000 In France' project has granted at least a bit of cash to the homeless. At a minimum, this can rent a hotel room - which can be an address - and this can get them started up the tangled rope of red tape towards becoming bona-fide full-benefit citizens again.

Paris' Cardinal Lustiger has not complained about the display in front of his church, so it seems to be time for the rest of the Parisians to accept the idea that the homeless are human beings too. This 'exhibition' will continue for three months.

Paris Transports - 'Batobus'

While fooling around waiting for the weather to make 'Paris Plage' slightly more plausible, it occurred to me that the 'Batobus' operation wasn't making much noise for itself.

This Seine shuttle service which runs from April to October, has just added a handy new stop - right beside the Pont Alexandre III. This will give passengers easy access to the trio of 'palaces' there, the Petit, the Grand and the Palais de la Découverte.

This new landing stage adds to the six existing ones. A daily fare of 65 francs is good from 10:00 tophoto: traction of the week 21:00 and allows getting on and off as often as you like. The same fare for children is 35 francs, and the two-day ticket is 80 francs for adults, and 40 for kids under 12.

This is... an exceedingly rare 'Traction Coupé of the Week.

The name of the new stop is Champs-Elysées, even if it is about 350 metres away from the avenue. The fares above are reduced if you already have some other form of transit ticket like a Carte d'Orange, so don't forget to mention it. Simplesingle tickets are a bit pricey.

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