I went up to Montmartre and Pigalle recently to see how the hysteria has affected it. The number of people was actually pretty normal—for normal city streets. But it was a chapter from The Stand compared to the usual crowds in Montmartre.
|One of many tall stairways in Montmartre
There was no line for the Montmartre funicular, which is unusual. I haven't the energy to climb the many stairs up to Sacré-Cœur, so this was nice. The cars are unventilated, and with crowds and warm weather they can be unpleasant, albeit still preferable to a heart attack from climbing the stairs.
There were more people down in Pigalle. All locals of course, walking up and down the pedestrian median on the boulevard de Clichy. Lots of bicycles in the adjacent bike lanes, too; I had to take care not to get run over. The beautiful weather surely helped lure people outdoors. And I was surprised by how much all the trees have grown on the median. I recall when they were first planted, years ago, as shadeless, skinny saplings, taped to sticks to keep them from falling over. Time flies.
I noticed that the sanisettes in the area are now equipped with hand-sanitizer dispensers. I wonder how much difference that can make when so few people wash their hands after using the toilet already. If they are not afraid of gastroenteritis, the Deadly Virus seems unlikely to worry them.
The Moulin Rouge is still closed. I wonder if it will ever reopen. There were two security guards standing in front. The "Red Mill" was not turning. Deadly Virus oblige. Not to mention those ridiculous giant flowerpots installed to discourage bogeymen and terrorists. Or maybe they're afraid of Gilet Jaune protestors. Or strikers. Or Islamist fanatics. So many things to be afraid of! People are afraid of their own shadows these days.
I've made a little video of my explorations, below: