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Montmarte's Bohemian Haunts

A nocturnal tour of the Montmartre neighborhood with singer-songwriter Keren Ann
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.3 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  Keren Ann epitomizes the multicultural modern nomad: born to a Javanese-Dutch mother and a Russian-Israeli father, the... more »

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Points of Interest

5:45 P.M. A night in Paris may as well begin among the dead--at the Cimetiere de Montmartre, one of Keren Ann's must-see city haunts.

"Dalida and many artists are buried here," she says, leading the way across the Pont Caulaincourt in the rain. "At no time is it spooky. There's a nice energy, and the stained glass is really... More

6:45 P.M. Moving at a Parisian-quick trot past the movie-set cafés on the Rue des Abbesses, we stop at La Mascotte, an unassuming brasserie with old wall tiles and a Bordeaux-themed clock, for belon oysters and a glass of chilled Macon. She smokes steadily, chatting up the characters at the bar. This could be a scene out of Jean-Pierre... More

7:20 P.M. "Salut, ma chérie, ça va?" Keren Ann calls out to a toothless woman camped out on a stoop on Place des Abbesses, the neighborhood's main square.

"Do you have enough cigarettes?" Keren Ann supplies this local fixture with smokes, while the nearby épicerie provides her with a daily liter of milk.

... More

4. L'Oeil du Silence

7:30 P.M. It's a half-hour until closing at Keren Ann's favorite book and music store, L'Oeil du Silence, a shop with high ceilings and an eclectic mix.

"It's best to come in and let yourself be surprised," she says, adding that this is where she goes for hard-to-find items like DVDs of Nico performing live and a John Cale biography in ... More

9 P.M. At the intimate Café Burq, co-owner Frédéric Péneau pours the singer a glass of champagne at the bar, which is lit with sherbet-colored Christophe Pillet-designed wall sconces.

"When I'm writing or recording and I want a drink, I'll come here--it's just two steps from my house," Keren Ann says, pausing... More

9:45 P.M. Down the hill from Les Abbesses in the Pigalle quarter, bustling Boulevard de Clichy is lined with sex shops and flooded with tourists spilling out of the topless show at the Moulin Rouge.

"I love this area," Keren Ann says. "There's something old and very French about it."

She's also fond of Montmartre's music... More

7. Aux Noctambules

10:15 P.M. Nights often end at the kitschy cabaret-style bar Aux Noctambules, where the drink specialty is a vodka pomme frozen made in a slush machine and the house act is an old-timer named Pierre Carré, who sings French classics while playing a keyboard or an accordion.

"You come in here at 2 a.m. and order a digestif or a bottle ... More