A Different Way of Seeing Paris

Belleville 1A few weeks ago, much to my delight, I discovered a wonderful French walking tour guide named Angénic–who has the keys to Belleville, the trendy working-class district that rivals with Montmartre as the highest point in Paris.

According to her Email directions, we were to meet on the Place Jourdain,  in front of the church that you see as you get out at the Jourdain metro stop on Line 11.  Angénic turned out to have a smile so bright it could light up the Eiffel Tower in case the city every had a blackout.  I will never forget how she began her visit: “In Africa, when one old person dies, they say an entire library burns down.”  With that proverb in mind, 12 years ago, Angénic was prompted to interview the local residents of Belleville–including bakers and hairdressers, bootmakers and hat designers, sculptors and mosaicists, on their personal history and experience of Belleville.

Paris in a Basket: A City of Mouthwatering Food Markets

 One of the major reasons why Paris may be the world’s most irresistible city is that it has the most mouth-watering food stores and open-air markets to be found anywhere. Whether you want to have a picnic of simple, whole-grain bread and cheese made from raw milk, or feast on such fine takeout fare as choucroute garnie and paella, the food markets of Paris have it all, and then some.