No Photos Yet. I am still sans camera. I need a power cord to charge the battery. There is a cell phone store on every corner, sometimes 2 or 3 on the same street with the same name 'Happy Phone'. But it seems in a beautiful city like Paris, no one ever needs a camera. I would give a kidney for a Radio Shack. - Of course I could be asking people where the nearest 'space shuttle' is for all I know. My French is so bad; I can't even understand what I am trying to say. I can't tell you how humbling it is to be unable to communicate with the people around you. I went 2 days without carrying on a full conversation.
C'est la Vie
Today I did a walking tour of the Historic African American Paris. The tour focused mostly on African American figures like: Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Leroy Haynes and Langston Hughes. We walked thru the neighborhood of Montmartre and heard the stories of days gone by. I guess the neighborhood could have been compared to Harlem during the Jazz era. I got to see the restaurant where Langston Hughes worked as a dishwasher, the place that used to be "Chez Josephine'. The really cool thing about the Montmartre is that the neighborhood where the jazz greats hung out in the 30's and 40's - famous poets, artists and playwrights were hanging out in the same places hundreds of years before them!!
Anyway. . . Often African American soldiers would stay in Paris after the Wars because there was no segregation, they had more opportunities and the French people were so grateful for the American soldiers saving them, they welcomed them with arms.
But the First 'known' African American to make his home in Paris was brought by Thomas Jefferson. In 1787, while Jefferson was serving as an American Envoy he brought brother and sister slaves James and Sally Hemings (I'm sure that name sounds familiar). Slavery had already been abolished in France. So when Jefferson went back to America James Hemings chose to stay behind, but the young Sally went back to America with Jefferson. James stayed in Paris and trained as a Cordon Bleu chef.