Take in a Sexy Show at the Moulin Rouge
Excerpt from the book On a Tall Budget and Short Attention Span from the Teresa the Traveler Series.
By my third day I had enough of Paris and was anxious to leave but unfortunately the overnight train to Barcelona was full and I couldn’t get out until the next day. I killed the time by walking to Sacred Heart, a beautiful white stone church crowning the summit of Montmartre – the highest point in Paris. Built in 1870 in memory of the Franco-Prussian War, it provided the backdrop for U2’s music videoTwo Hearts Beat as One.
Parked beside the church was a small open-air train offering tours of Montmartre and Pigalle. I hopped on and got my first glimpse of the world famous Moulin Rouge – the French dinner theatre featured in the 2001 Hollywood film of the same name.
In 1889, the edgy theatre company introduced the French Cancan, a revolutionary dance that provided the audience tantalizing peeks at the dancers’ anatomy under their petticoats and frills. The tradition continues with daily shows featuring 60 dancing girls, dressed in costumes of feathers, rhinestones and sequins. Unfortunately I was not dressed for a dinner show so instead I took a walk along Clichy Boulevard trying to capture the perfect Red Light District picture.
I snapped one of a man sitting on the sidewalk with his dog making leather pouches after which a lady approached me and started speaking in French. I told her I didn’t understand and continued on my way.
She followed me down the street then approached me again saying something about a photo. I never took a photo of her and had no idea what she was talking about. She didn’t seem to be playing with a full deck and was starting to scare me.
I ducked into an x-rated video store, and the lady followed me in then lunged at me trying to snatch my camera. The two male employees pulled her back and kicked her out of the store where she lingered by the door yelling at the top of her lungs. Crazy lady was not about to give up that easily and succeed in getting back into the store and attacking me twice more before one of the men decided to hide me in a peep show booth hoping she would think I left and go away. Before long crazy lady discovered my whereabouts and broke into the booth whereupon the men pulled me out of the booth and locked her in. Then one of the men led me to a sex shop next door and stuffed me into the broom closet telling me to wait until the coast was clear. About 40-minutes later he came back for me announcing the woman had finally given up and left.
Needless to say, I high-tailed it to the nearest metro station and headed back to the safety of my hotel room. Walking past by all the hissing men littering the streets around the Gare Du Nord was much preferable to a run in with the Crazy Lady of Pigalle.
Where I Stayed...
Hotel de Milan
17, rue de Saint-Quentin, 75010
This affordable hotel is located near the Gare De Nord or North Train Station.
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