copyright 2013 Lisa B. Falour, B.S., M.B.A.
YouTube: SLOBOMOTION, CUTECATFAITH
This ancient parish was just outside the protective walls of Saint-Denis, just North of Paris.
During the Dark Ages, one wall, then later another, had to be put up to protect people from barbarian invasions. It has good water sources and was quickly a thriving market town, having been a Roman village and the first capital of France later, before Paris.
This is just North of Paris proper and the journey can be done on foot -- otherwise, it's not far by bus, train, bike, et c.
Were I to live on a higher floor, I could see the Sacre Coeur de Montmartre basilica.
Finally, centuries later, since the inhabitants of this parish, which had a church and many dwellings, could not be protected, it was decided to raze it and take the inhabitants inside the walls. Saint-Denis was the number one place of Christian pilgrimage in France for over a thousand years. Denys was the first bishop of Paris ("Lutêce") and was martyred around here with two clergy, by Roman soldiers -- trying unsuccessfully to flee and save themselves.
I have lived here since '94 and am from the USA. The US became untenable for me so I became French.
This part of Saint-Denis is pretty ugly so it's nice to see it gussied up.
Over 80 languages are spoken daily in Saint-Denis and I like it better than I did New York City.
My artwork and writings appear in the FREAK WAVE books, and I was a guest in 2013 on FRANCE CULTURE, Radio France. It was voted the program the French wanted to hear rebroadcast in the "Mauvaises Genres" series.
In this clip, you can see the first tramway put in in the Paris area, back in the early '80s, and some of the wall of the Légion d'Honneur. Near town centre and the basilica, a cathedral since '67 and the world's first Gothic church, you can see its restoration ongoing, near the Hôtel de Ville (city hall). The greenmarket is one of the biggest in Europe and runs every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning. This was a kind of Christian Disneyland, if you will. Despite this cold, grey, damp November Monday morning, I was glad to feel the cold air and see the leaves turning.