Urban art, street art, graffiti, tags...

Whether what I show here should be classified as urban art, street art, graffiti, tags... is open to discussion. These are some examples that I have recently found, mainly in the north-eastern part of Paris. Most of this is done by artists unknown to me, although a few items by Dacruz, Mesnager, Mosko, Jeff Aerosol... are there. (You may also refer to some previous posts about "urban art" and "graffiti".)
Some of you may feel that this shouldn't be. Well, if you see on which kind of walls this has been done, it may definitely be acceptable, the only worry may even be that a lot of this will soon be gone, being on walls which will not last for long. What can be regretted in my mind is that some of the works have been tagged on top by others.
Since some time it seems to be a fashion to decorate the delivery vans, especially those which deliver the open or covered market places. These trucks are of course more easily accesible for "decoration" than trains, metro cars... It seems that most of this is made in agreement with the van owners, but this may sometimes be questionable.



I already made a few posts on the Parc de Belleville, a rather recent park, hardly visited by tourists, but offering a very good view of Paris. When I passed the other day (May 22), there was a great dance event going on, salsa. Of course you have a moment of hesitation; should you start moving around also? I decided to just take some photos.
I wish you a nice weekend!


Green fields

During the past weekend, the Champs-Elysées were transformed into some real “champs” – fields. The French agricultural organisations made a great manifestation and the whole avenue was for two days – only - completely transformed. In the nice weather, there were obviously some two million visitors. … and after the long weekend, the traffic was back to normal – a fantastic logisitic operation.
As the serious blogger I am, I decided to climb the close to 300 steps to the top of the Arch of Triumph (see previous post), to give you a total view.


... and even a bit more from the 18th arrondissement

Maybe a last look, for the moment, at the northern part of the 18th arrondissement? We are far down from Montmartre, but with a bit of luck you can see the top of Sacré Cœur appear (the red circle).

We are in another area which obviously needs restoration …
… which partly is ongoing.
The most remarkable building here is probably the apartment building you can see below, rue des Amiraux. According to a stacking principle with set-back terraces, all apartments have a lot of access to light. Under the apartments is a big swimming pool, which now is open to public. The facades are covered by white faïence tiles, still in good shape after some 70 years; the building stood ready in 1927. The architect is Henri Sauvage, who already created a similar building at rue Vanvin (6th arrondissement) in 1913, this time without swimming pool. I mentioned Sauvage also in a post about Avenue Victor Hugo and the gallery “Cité l’Argentine”.


More from the 18th arrondissement

You may have noticed that I have walked around quite a lot in the 18th arrondissement lately. Here are two more places which I feel are worth our attention.

One is the Square de Clignancourt, a nice little green (actually multi-colour) area, surrounded by some “Haussmannian” buildings, giving a more fashionable image than much of the neighbourhood.
A few steps away we will reach the lively Boulevard Ornano and if we cross the street, we find this surprising little bar, called “La Petite Renaissance”. Its interior decoration dates from 1893. I discussed with the owner over a coffee and he confirmed that the decoration is classified and cannot be modified, but he did not know the name of the artist. The ceiling decoration has unfortunately disappeared, more or less stolen (before the present owner took over). At least we can see that the tile manufacturer had his address on Rue de Paradis, which used to be the main street for china, faïence, crystal ware… (see previous post).
(I'm still absent, so this post is again pre-programmed.)

I wish you a nice weekend!


Old cinema theatres

We are still more or less in the same area as in the last preceding posts.

I have already made a few posts about some old cinema theatres – "Ciné 13", "Studio 28", "Le Brady"…. This is about closed ones.

The first one is about one which was called “Barbès Palace” (see also top picture). It dates from 1914 and remained a cinema theatre until the 80’s. It could seat some 1200 people. Since 1988 it’s a gigantic shop for (cheap) shoes. Fortunately the new owners accepted to keep the place rather intact. Maybe one day it can revive?
The “Ornano 43” (the name and number of the street) has its theatre name written as part of the building, but it’s today a small supermarket and only the façade is left. Originally, this cinema started its activities already in 1908. It was rebuilt a last time in 1933, which can easily be seen by its architectural style. (I found no old picture, but a painting, imagined by an artist called Daniel Authouart.)

At last, let’s talk about “Louxor”, built in 1921 in a Neo-Egyptian style. It had an orchestra pit and a pipe organ and could seat 1500 people. When times – and the area – changed, the program became more Arabic. Some unfortunate events led to its closure in 1986, when it was converted to a disco and taken over by “Tati”, a cheap-clothing chain with shops on the other side of the street. It was however never taken in use as a shop, which may have been planned, and finally the City of Paris bought the place in 2003. The definite plans to save it have now recently been taken and in 2013 it should look nice again. The interior will however be completely remade, there will be three smaller theatres rather than one big; the decoration will be remodeled, copied… At least, the building will revive! (The old picture is from the 1930's.)

(I'm still absent, so this post is again pre-programmed.)


Goutte d'Or - bis

Referring to my post last Friday, about the “Goutte d’Or”, there are some very special little areas, which may be more attractive (and expensive) for living than others. One of those would be the “Villa Poissonière”. It’s behind closed gates and on the plate you can read that you are not allowed to “… walk your dogs, feed the cats, to urinate”, but at least with a bit of luck you can manage to get in.

This is where I found the first roses of the year!

Maybe especially for the French readers; this is where Alain Bashung lived.

(I'm absent... so this one is pre-programmed.)


Goutte d'Or

If you walk down the eastern slopes of Montmartre, you will reach an area which is called “Goutte d’Or”, meaning the Golden Drop, a name which refers to the white wine once produced here. (The official "Goutte d'Or" area is the larger one on the map, but normally you refer only to the smaller area.)

Although it has this golden name, it’s not any of the more fashionable areas of Paris; it used even to have - and somehow still has - the opposite reputation. Since some 20 years an important renovation and rehabilitation program is ongoing, which like with many other areas may lead to some kind of gentrification, but it’s still what you can call a working-class area with a very mixed population; the number of immigrants and especially residents with African or Arab origins is high.

This is something you can notice when you walk around the crowded streets and visit some open markets, like the “Marché Dejean”, full of exotic products.
This area was officially annexed to Paris in 1860 and from about the same period dates the church “Saint Bernard de la Chapelle”, although the architecture may look quite gothic. The church has a very good organ, but is known to most people for having been occupied in 1996 by some 300 immigrants wishing to regularize their situation and being expelled by important police resources. When I visited the church the other day, it was peaceful; a limited audience listened to a concert by a young string sextet, plus a flautist. A fine moment!
I‘m leaving for Sweden again, for about a week, but have pre-programmed some posts! Take care!