belleville's best

by - 5:48 PM

Always one for a new adventure, I ventured to the 11e arrondissement after a friend of mine swore to me that the 11e was in fact, "vrai Paris." Five months into my happy life in the 16e, my territorial instincts set in. 

What makes the 11e any more Parisian than the 16e or the 7e or even the 4e for that matter? How does it get more Parisian than walking past the Eiffel Tower?! 

After I had taking some time to reflect, I decided the best way to discover the 11e would be to get lost in it. No less than ten minutes into my adventure, a peek of bright graffiti caught my eye and I stumbled across my new favorite street: rue Dénoyez. 

These street of artists' studios and residences in full of excited and ever-changing street art. Every square inch of wall space is covered in funky graffiti, tags and murals, while the trash cans and sidewalks are covered in mosaic tiles. 

There is no shortage of creativity: stenciled designs and layers of plastered posters and pamphlets cover every available surface, leaving one to wonder how these artists reach such {physical} heights. As if the colors aren't enough, this street plays host to fairs, gallery exhibitions and most enticingly, vide greniers. This French equivalent of a trunk//rummage//yard sale always has a bizarre and surprisingly strange selection of clothing, furniture and knick knacks. 

When you get exhausted from photographing as much as you possibly can, grab a drink at the corner resto, Aux Folies, where the interior is sure to inspire you just as much as the exterior. Don't expect great service, we are in France after all, but load up on the free city guides and music concerts that are piled in the back corner. 

A giant graffiti Kate Moss watches over the patrons. Bottom left. 

8 rue de Belleville
75020 Paris
M° Belleville.


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