I've put up my latest rue Cler video, a somewhat longer version of the one I put up a few months ago.
As I've said in the past, the rue Cler, a tiny, mostly pedestrian market street in Paris, has nothing really to objectively recommend it, but it is famous because travel author Rick Steves praises it at length in his books on Paris. I'm not sure why he does this. It's easy to get the impression that he has never seen enough of Paris to know just how mundane this particular street is (in comparison to many other market streets in the city). But whatever the reason, thousands of tourists naively flock to the street, either because they think it's a major Paris sight worth visiting (it's not), or because they think the hotels there are something extra-special (they aren't).
My upcoming video on the rue Montorgueil should clearly show just how uninteresting the rue Cler is, although that message will never reach Rick Steves' disciples. I wonder how many people sit in one of the small hotels on the street, look out the window at the shops below, and believe that they're seeing the best of Paris.
Anyway … this little video is the first I've made with background music. I had to license the music, of course, since my conscience allows no other option. (Living in France has hardly made a dent on my conscience, although it has had more influence than I would like.) I use royalty-free music, which is of good quality and affordable, with its one-time licensing structure. I mainly wanted to see if music is better than just ambient noise. The rue Cler is pedestrian and fairly quiet, so this isn't a worst-case test, but it is instructive. I did leave the ambient noise over the music track, to provide a bit more atmosphere.
The density of Americans is so high on the rue Cler at this time of year (April in Paris) that sometimes the only language you hear around you on this street is English. I'm sure it must be a boon to the merchants on the street, although some of them (like La Compagnie des Aspirateurs, which sells a wide selection of vacuum cleaners) manifestly cater specifically to locals. The area of town in which the rue Cler is found is known for its high rents and its high density of retirees and diplomats, and it's not the most animated spot in the city.
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