Neighbors anyone ?

Programs for this blog post

French Language & Culture

Authored By:

Darius Beasley

« What a beautiful day in the neighborhood... would you be my neighbor? »

I couldn’t help reminiscing about this classic public television show tune while walking with students on our morning activity through the beautiful neighborhood of Montmartre - the bustling heart of Paris’ 18th district. It’s a neighborhood that is riddled with classic Parisian architecture, but more so, it’s the whimsical, quirky, and amazing creativity that will catch your attention. You can always go there to just see or you could shop at one of the many unique shops selling anything from perfume to cured meet or even Japanese street clothes. There’s even a shop that specializes in rubber ducks of all shapes and sizes! 


Historically this is a neighborhood has been home to many social movements and also artists. Ever heard of Picasso, Manet, or even Van Gogh? Long ago this was their 'stomping grounds' and quite possibly the inspiration of several pieces of their work. The area is equally known for its many sculptures and murals. Showcasing older, but also contemporary artistry and styles. One of the most famous murals of the neighborhood being “Le mur des Je t’aime” or The wall of I love you’s. This wall contains the phrase "I love you" in over 100 different languages. 

Students had a chance to discover this and more while doing the CIEE Montmartre Scavenger Hunt. In groups, Program Leaders and students had to find nine items/places and take selfies in front of them : a selfie in front of an artist, the railing of love locks, a panoramic view of Paris or with the carousel in the background. And I got to tell you – THEY NAILED IT! 

Montmartre is a great place to walk (or wander) around and to top it all off there is the Basilica of Sacré Cœur! And, yes, it is literally at the top. This basilica, in construction for 40 years, paid for by it's patrons and Parisians’ donations, was consecrated in 1919. It sits majestically at the top of the hill of the neighborhood of Montmartre overlooking Paris. From it’s location you have a bird's-eye view of the city. You can even see directly to the Eiffel Tower.

Why wouldn’t you want to be neighbors in Montmartre ?