lundi 11 mars 2013

20th Arrondissement Street Art Walk

I was interested in doing a bit of a mini street art walk and decided to embark around the 20th arrondissement.  This arrondissement is a quartier* undergoing some regentrification and becoming a very "hip" place to hang out. This is not your "fall in love" with romantic Paris area, however walking down these streets give you a real connection to all the ethnicities of Paris. This is more the nitty and gritty of Paris, however do not let this deter you - this is an area not to be missed.

 I saw some amazing things here that I had not encountered before. Coming out of Metro Belleville, I made a left on Rue Denoyez, another left on Rue Ramponeau and left again on Rue Julien. Heading up the hill to Place Frehel and Rue Belleville, I found myself in front of this full on street art at the corner. Just to the left on the other wall is another piece of street art where at first glance it appears the artists are in the process of creating the art. Looking more closely, one realizes the "artists" are not real at all but part of the scene.
French Artist - Ben Vautier - simply known as Ben 
Loosely translated  -  "Look out for words" by French artist Jean Le Gac

Continuing on down Belleville you turn on Rue de Plat and continue walking and you will run smack into Parc de Belleville. This must be one of the best kept secrets of Paris. The view is amazing with the city spreading its wings beneath me. I imagine when the flowers are in bloom in the spring and summer this park is incredible.  Plenty of these "space invader" type plaques are scattered throughout this area as well. No one knows the real identity of this street artist, as he has continued to remain anonymous.

Space Invader Plaque

Seating great for sunning and lounging in Parc Belleville

Parc Belleville

Continuing on down Rue Cascades I turned down Rue Ermitage. This is a little jewel of a street - a secret paradise. Sadly, it appears to be undergoing construction and teardown like much of this neighborhood.

A little oasis in the heart of Paris

 Heading up telegraph and turning left back onto Belleville, I ended my walk in a mini square by Metro Jourdain. I stopped at a pastry shop recommended from David Leibovitz's app.This square had more beautiful street art. These are just a couple of the panels. They were about 7 panels all done by Mosko and Associates - well known street artists in Paris. Check it out:

I was trying to find this bakery Boulangerie 140 and I went round and round this square trying to find it. The pastry shop - Pâtisserie de L'Eglise which incidentally has the same owners gave me a one-off response about where the bakery was and seemed a bit irritated that I was even inquiring about the bakery. In any case, the desserts were awesome and worth a second trip.

Here is an excellent link to a street art walk in this area. This author has put together a very detailed walk complete with bios of the various street artists. Well worth a look.


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