la Commune

In the little visited 13th arrondissement known mostly for its China Town, is an interesting area called Butte aux Cailles. It is mostly a working class environment but is full of some very nice places to eat and it is lovely place in which to stroll around.

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The day I was up there (a butte is a hill) they were celebrating the Commune which was an uprising in 1871 by the workers of Paris who were against Napoleon III and then who fought against the invading Prussians and Germans. They lost their battles and as many as 30,000 of the fighters were killed. One of the most fierce battles of that time took place here on Butte aux Cailles. By the way, I looked up the commune on the Internet and read that Karl Marx thought the Commune was a wonderful political happening and based some of his writings and beliefs on what happened in France. I am assuming that the Commune lead to the word Communism?

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I think this man was a singer although I never got to hear any music while there. When he saw me taking his photo he happily posed for me.

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Another mustached fellow also posed with him.

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A nice place up there to have tea and a little dessert. It’s owned by a nice fellow American, Aimee.

Update: Someone was nice enough to send me the information that the man with the mustache who posed for me was Riton La Manivelle and that he does indeed sing Рand he also plays a barrel organ. He always plays at the F̻te de la Commune. Dang, wish I could have heard him.

12 thoughts to “la Commune”

  1. This is something I loved about France–all the celebrations of historic events! I remember once when the local battalion (this was in Savoie, in Chambery) set up little stations commemorating their wars from Franco-Prussian to modern warfare. We esp enjoyed the trench set up for WW1 and the guy in costume from WW2.
    I always enjoy your photos, although I don’t usually comment.

  2. They’re so cute! Look like characters in a book.

    Forget Paris…I want to live on Lake Lugano for six months out of the year. It’s so beautiful it doesn’t look real.

  3. That’s Riton La Manivelle that you’ve snapped there, Linda. You’re quite right: he does sing – and he also plays his barrel organ. He always plays at the Fête de la Commune, which is what you were fortunate enough to chance upon.

  4. Did you know that L’Oisive thé is owned & run by a fellow American blogger? Or did you just happen to take a picture of it par hasard? If so, next time you should definitely stop in and say hi to Aimee – she makes the best coffee cakes ever!

  5. What a cute place to stop by for tea. Only in Paris, Linda. Thanks for the great photo. I also enjoyed the postings of your “musicians” who posed.

  6. He looks like a real cutie. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the French love posing for our cameras. One French guy I met in a cafe in Mirepoix was more than happy to pose with his dog……lol
    Always nice to stop by here and visit with you. Now that I have a few blog entries done from my trip, I’m enjoying visiting the blog world again.

  7. They look like a very colorful couple of characters…and I see the big guy seems to have gotten himself a nice black eye somewhere along the way!

    Those vats of polenta in your other post are amazing…that is a lot of polenta! How wonderful for your grandkids that they will grow up being bilingual! I think that is a real gift to them.

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