Date: Friday, August 15, 1958
Today the American in Paris (me) had a chance to play Audrey Hepburn – just like in Roman Holiday. We had the scooter – only the place was Paris. Christian arrived early so came and sat with me while I ate breakfast and then we walked over to Notre Dame for mass. Met John, Sue, and the group just leaving the hotel when we got back so went along with them for a while! Took some pictures of Christian. He certainly is darling and if I were to fall for any foreigner it certainly would be him! Walked along the Left Bank – stopped at the book-stalls for some French stamps and a picture of a dentist yanking some poor soul’s tooth out for Clare.
Then Christian took me out to Versailles on the scooter. It was more darn fun only next time I’ll know better than to wear a tight skirt. We had lunch (steak, french fries, tomatoes, wine, and cake!) at a hotel and then walked all over the gardens, just beautiful, and rested awhile by the lake.
Then back on the scooter for a ride way out in the country and back to Paris, right through the Arch de Triomphe and down the Champs Elysees. It was really a wonderful day, and we are going to the show tomorrow night! Getting ready to leave now on our night-club tour of Paris! ($14.00 for four night clubs – one glass of wine in the first two, champagne in the last). First was in the quarter Lee Bastille – floor show apache type complete with strip. Next to a student center type in the Latin Quarter Left Bank – magic show and then to Montmarte to the Zodiac – more strips! And last and best of all to the Moulin Rouge. Interior – red mills, little red lights on each table and T. Lautrec posters all around. Floor show, costumes etc, was really good. Home at 2:30, tour lasted from 10:00 to 2:15.
(Paris – with Christian all day from 8:15 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.)
The Moulin Rouge was established in Paris in 1889 by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler. The name translates to “red mill” and the cabaret’s building is marked by a large red windmill (designed by Adolphe Willette) on its roof. Coincidentally, the Eiffel Tower was built in the same year, exemplifying the innovation and optimism characteristic of the Belle Époque.
The Moulin Rouge was a place where people from all walks of life could gather and experience an intoxicating mix of extravagant luxury and seductive entertainment. The venue was nicknamed “Le Premier Palais des Femmes” (The First Palace of Women). It is considered the birthplace of the Can-Can dance as we know it today. The provocative dance was viewed as scandalous during its early years and its presence at the Moulin Rouge was controversial.
Among the venue’s frequent visitors was artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who captured the spirit of the Moulin Rouge through a series of paintings.