One Year . This wineblog has gone through one year of visits, tastings and various experiences . To share it with you, I have been to places I would'nt have always been to : Editing this journal has been a win-win situation for all of us . Let's try to beat this road further down...
Rue Mouffetard is a street in the 5th arrondissement . It is a lively street with a colourful daily market near St Medard church . I chose to visit a bar here named " Le verre à pied " after looking at a book that alluded to it . I occasionally come in this street to see a movie at " L'épée de Bois " , a movie theater that shows usually good movies . I remember seeing " Come and see " (ИДИ И СМОТРИ) there, an apocalyptic war movie by Elim Klimov, shot in Soviet Union in the 80's ( strongly recommend it ).
Le verre à pied is quite narrow . A sort of large hallway stretched deep into the recesses of the building . Mirrors (on which good photographic works are exposed) tone down the narrowness effect . At the end , behind frosted glass , the kitchen .
The bar counter is on the left when you enter, right after the tabac counter where locals buy their cigarettes . The whole place is largely unchanged since 60 years I would say , except the bar counter wich was very low and has been raised . I walked to the bar , found a place to stand between patrons and looked at the wines by the glass on the board with an angel on it .
I made a curious choice this day . I usually choose among the reds , and now,
who knows why, I opted for a glass of Muscadet at 2,6 Euro . I soon had this clear fresh wine in a 14 cl filled-to-the-top glass in front of me . Coincidences are strange . Why did I choose to visit this bar , in a street I associated with movies I came to see near here, and chose to drink a muscadet ?
I began to speak with Claude, the owner, and Hendrika, his wife . First spoke with her, she being interested in my camera wich I discreetly used to capture the ambiance . She had this light foreign accent and I asked where from . The north, she said . Holland, I suggested . Right . She spent half her life in France but retained her lovely accent .
Claude took this bar 21 years ago . Since 1983 the rue Mouffetard changed, with more restaurants vying for the young evening crowd of this university neighbourhood ( La Sorbonne is close by ). But it had already changed in the 1970's, says someone who witnessed it . Second half of the 80's was also a turning point with a boom in real estate prices and rents . It nonetheles still has a neighbourhood touch, thanks to its daily morning market down the street near St Medard church . Claude previously worked in the TNP ( théatre) bar when he heard of this available location and invested here .
As I was sipping my muscadet and looking around for something else to note about the place, and after a silence, he adds : This may interest you to know the place had its instant of glory for a movie sequence that was shot here . Jean Pierre Jeunet and his actors spent about two days here when shooting what was at the time an unknown future movie in the making : Amelie ... I can't believe it ! I swear I did'nt know it when I chose the place . I had heard of other bars in Montmartre , far from here , but nothing about some place near here . The same day, back home, I inserted the Amelie DVD in the computer ( I admit having indulged myself into buying a few DVDs in Shanghai...) . And there she was, in this very bar, standing at the counter. Drinking do you know what ? A big glass of a clear white wine like my Muscadet . Strange . If you're interested, it is in the beginning of Chapter 5 . That's when she rings a phone
booth from the bar's phone, to have character Dominique Bretodeau find a metal box with souvenirs in the phone booth . She hangs up without a word . And with the metal box in hand, he goes to the bar near there, unaware the young woman standing at the bar is the one who left the box for him . And he orders a cognac while Amelie silently sips into her glass . In the midst of the nostalgy set off by the metal box, he speaks to everyone around, including Amelie, who nervously downs the rest of her glass in one go .
Very few people know about Le verre à pied and Amelie . Many people do visit the locations of the movie, but they usually know only about "Le Tabac des deux moulins", where Amelie works, and a few other locations in Montmartre . Le verre à pied is in the opposite part of Paris, and went largely ignored by the "Amelie pilgrims" . Audrey Tautou, who played Amelie's character is going to add another movie with cult locations in her curriculum : She has just been chosen to play the lead female character in Da Vinci Code, the movie due to be shot here next summer ...
Drinking my ( good and fresh-forgot to ask about the domaine ) Muscadet, I think about the place . Quite easy to speak to other people here, or to the owners . Seems like artists living around here frequent the place . Serves also as a meeting place for the local greens .
Address is 118 bis rue Mouffetard . Metro station : Censier-Daubenton ( between Chatelet and Place d'Italie ) . Open everyday except monday . Closes sunday at 3 pm and other days at 8.30 pm .
Here are pics from the movie I shot on the computer monitor :