9.11.09

Belleville, Menilmontant ... something more


I have already made some posts about rue Belleville, rue Menilmontant and the adjacent parts of Paris which were incorporated in 1860, traditionally and area of workers and lower middle-class - often active in the different social movements during the latter part of the 19th and earlier parts of the 20th centuries.

Last Saturday I was invited to a varnishing (obviously wrong word: vernissage in French means - also - e.g. the opening of an exhibition) at the “Bellevilloise” (rue Boyer) by an artist friend (KEJ – see previous posts). The “Bellevilloise” was created as the first cooperate association in Paris in 1877. It counted 9000 members in the beginning of the 20th century and offered shops, restaurants, libraries, a chance for the members to meet and to get educated... After a few decades of decline, today the place is living again as a very active cultural centre.

Another example of early social initiatives in this area is the group of “buildings for workers” (rue d’Annam - see also top picture) which you can find close to the “Bellevilloise”. This complex was ready in 1906 and, as you can see on the inscription under the entrance arch, with the intention to offer “cheap accommodations with all kind of hygienic guarantees”. This is just an example of several similar complexes which were built in what were those days the outskirts of Paris.

On the way home, I made a stop at Parc de Belleville which offers one of the best views of Paris, a place from where you can capture the Pantheon, the Notre Dame and the Tour Montparnasse or the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais on the same photo.

35 comments:

Baglady said...

I swear when I went to Belleville last month it wasn't that pretty. I think we were looking in the wrong places...

Karen said...

I never got to that area. What a beautiful entrance archway that is. Your posts always amaze me. Thank you.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Wow! Brilliant! When was the first picture taken? Dawn! Looks awesome!

Adam said...

I like this twilight shots!

The picture of the ladies through the window is a bit troubling though - on certain days, there is a striptease school in the Bellevilleoise! :-)

GMG said...

See, one place in Paris that I've not been to... ;)). And it seems that the vernissage was quite busy!!

Ellie said...

They are some great shots!

alice said...

Donc, ces belles lettres qui ornent le portail sur ta première photo doivent signifier Groupe des Maisons Ouvrières... Et tu te trompes, Peter, dès qu'on s'éloigne du centre de Paris, je suis totalement perdue!

hpy said...

Le soir tombe de plus en plus tôt, il y a déjà de l'éclairage artificiel sur toutes les photos.

Nathalie said...

Je vois que ta vie sociale est intense entre les visites des blogueurs et les invitations à des vernissages - le champagne doit couler à flots :-)))

Mais il n'y a pas de bonnes fraises du jardin à Paris, rien n'est parfait.

Nathalie said...

Visité avec un peu de retard ton billet sur la rue Bonaparte... le plus petit jardin public de Paris est incroyable, on dirait une simple cour. Très joli mais si petit !

Je me demande s'il y a vraiment des enfants qui ont des souvenirs qu'on les ait emmenés jouer là ? J'espère que non - on peut jouer n'importe où, ce n'est pas ça le problème, mais si les espaces verts c'est ça...:-((((

Sinon, ma belle-mère est un accro des macarons de chez Ladurée, j'en ai mangé de temps en temps grâce à elle mais je ne suis jamais allée voir la boutique.

Thérèse said...

No commnent on the "vernissage" itself?
The map is such a plus because I tend to put places at the wrong spot on my inside Map, lol

Ruth said...

Sometimes I wonder if Paris ever runs out of money for improvements? Even in these economic times. I am happy to see it thriving!

Virginia said...

I"m still Googling "vernissage/varnishings. I'll find it eventually! :) Looks like a very interesting place and the art exhibition as well. The top photo is just stunning! BTW, I like the way you've added the lines between your photo collages, Peter. Is that new or am I just know seeing that??
V

PS I agree with Thérèse, I enjoy the maps as well. It helps me understand where everything is. I'm learning my way slowly, along with the language! Ha

Virginia said...

Peter,
If I may add for the English speakers, a varnishing/vernissage is an art preview, opening, exhibit. Varnishing was confusing for me since that means applying a clear coat of a protective sealant or coating in English. Now it all makes sense! And your friend KEJ does some great work. I enjoyed seeing his art on the link to that post.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Merci for more wonderful photos of Paris, you keep surprising us all :-)

Love the photos of the Eiffel Tower, I just love it :-)

Bergson said...

Les gars de Ménilmontant
Sont toujours remontants
Même en redescendant
Les rues de Ménilmuche
Ils ont le coeur ardent
Le coeur et tout le restant
Tant qu'ils s'en vont chantant
Ménilmontant.

sonia a. mascaro said...

What a beautiful pictures, Peter! You always amaze me with your fantastic posts. Thanks for sharing.

Starman said...

Thanks, Virginia, that was exactly what I was going to ask.

Marie-Noyale said...

J'aime bien cette idee d'Art abordable!!
Ce parc de Belleville que je ne connais pas, semble un bel endroit pour clore la soiree, apres un vernissage.

ParisBreakfasts said...

another place/area I haven't explored Peter.
You do keep us on our toes. Just when we've got to thinking we know Paris a little bit you spring another exciting place on us and we're back to square one.
But it's certainly a very beautiful square one.
merci!

richard said...

Curious to find out the origin of "vernissage" - it's used in Germany and German speaking Switzerland as well. I like these cultural enclaves in cities - where people work, mix and produce. Although there is a commercial side it is a refreshing break from modern consumerism. I think it's good when it is a part of regeneration and reuse, rather than turning these areas over to purely residential use.

claude said...

Ce n'était pas très loin d'où j'habitais (avenue Parmentier).
Tu as raison pour Patachou, c'était une grande interprête et je trouve qu'elle chante bien la chanson des feuilles mortes et l'orhestration n'est pas mal du tout.

from cali said...

The building in the first photo is quite beautiful.

I was only in this area briefly so it's nice to see some of the things I missed.

Gotta love the photo of the Eiffel Tower.

Lud said...

Paris is really wonderfull! I don´t know Paris, but, one day, I´ll visit your city! The photos are very nice!

Cezar and Léia said...

I'm enchanted!
Thanks for this beautiful post!
Léia

JM said...

What a beautiful arch, Peter!

Peter said...

Baglady:
I'm not surprised! If you look on some of my previous posts on the Belleville area, you can also find some other aspects. :-)

Karen:
I think that the more you come here, the more you realise that there is a lot more to be seen! :-)

Rakesh:
Yes, just after sunset! :-)

Peter said...

Adam:
Too bad, not the day I passed! :-)

GMG:
At least there are some places you don't know! :-)

Ellie:
... and a great shot of you! Thanks for you visit here! :-)

Peter said...

Alice:
Bien vu; je n'avais pas remarqué! :-)

hpy:
Je me lève tard! :-)

Nathalie:
Oui, ça ne bouge pas mal en ce moment! :-)

Peter said...

Nathalie (bis):
Jamais chez Ladurée? !!! :-)

Thérèse:
L'exposition était sympathique, beaucoup de belles choses et de l'art "abordable"! :-)

Ruth:
The local taxes have increased quite a lot these last years! :-)

Peter said...

Virginia:
No, I haven't changed my way of doing the collages recently.

Virginia (bis):
Thanks! I have made a small addendum in the text! :-)

Anne:
So, have you fixed the dates for your next visit? :-)

Peter said...

Bergson:
Ah... les gars se Ménilmontant! :-)

Sonia:
... and you always amaze me with your very kind comments! :-)

Starman:
Yes, thanks Virginia! :-)

Peter said...

Marie-Noyale:
Le Parc de Bagatelle vaut bien une visite aussi dans la journée; on a une des meilleures vues de Paris! :-)

ParisBreakfast:
With your regular visits here, it will be easy to "repair"! :-)

Richard:
I fully agree! :-)

Peter said...

Claude:
Oui, je la trouve très bien dans son genre! :-)

From Cali:
At least you have been there, not so common for visitors! :-)

Lud:
Soon I hope! ... and thanks for visiting my blog! :-)

Peter said...

Léia:
It's a true pleasure! :-)