Monday, July 26, 2010

Paris - The Other Guise of Paradise

Where are we now?

Rue Oberkampf again, one passage up from "Passage Paradis".

I'm sure that Paris is full of little streets like this.  It would take a lifetime to record them all.  But it's a job that I would be glad to have!  

This one is quite a bit more humble than Passage Paradis now looks.  A reminder that Oberkampf is still a neighborhood "populaire".  Where regular people live.  And maybe some quite poor people.  Cheek by jowl against Edith Piaf's old neighborhood Menilmontant.  Where she herself grew up in poverty, and a little wild.

But changes are afoot.  Paris life can be so fluid.  That, above, is the office of a film-making company.

And what lies behind this shabby-chic vignette?

With it's rustic charms?

A "design" furniture store?  Or maybe I mean "atelier".  Something between a retail space and a workshop?  Paris is always full of surprises.

Giant zinc letters?  For me?  Yes, please!   

At the end of the passage, two little boys playing in their "front yard".   For young people their age, this passage might seem an expansive universe of possibilities for exploration and play.  And yet they are sheltered and apart.

Suspended somewhere between the past and the present.


  1. I love back streets, these are lovely and brought back memories, but also memories of Japanese back streets as well, and others in other places I have been, some how they seem more real.

  2. There are many passages like this in the 20 eme arrondissement de Paris.

  3. oh man, you've got me again. its nearly a year since our last trip and i'm feeling it. something bad. love the shot of the clothes line off the window. love that about city life, looking at what you have space wise and just making it work. we have an abundance of space here, and so we're never forced to be this creative and clever with it.


  4. atelier...yes...I like that ... halfway between a workshop and a retail outlet...
    so charming MP!
    lets chat soon...I have the 80th party Saturday...48 people to cook for..a litle help from a chef with mains... from a dessert chef friend with a birthday cake and some cafe friends for no the night run around tasks...
    My business suit brother from down south is doing a "this is your life" for the birthday irl and i might keel over Monday or run away for a few days...
    after that I will be more available that in ages... so busy... newstudio I have moved into...
    soon photos... and actual days painting there...
    S xox

  5. Such great photos, and what a wonderful discovery this neighborhood is! I understand that its actually becoming quite hip these days...lots of cool music and the like...

  6. Flowers growing from the ground! beautiful!

  7. I never got to these bits of Paris on my last trip. Not very entertaining for a 5 year old I suspect. So thanks for taking me there anyway. Your photos are beautiful.

  8. great photos...beautiful. I hope to visit paris one day!

  9. Oh thanks everybody! I wasn't sure whether I was overdoing the "Passage" business. It is a beautiful space though isn't it? There is something about back streets, that "Sleeping Beauty" quality about them. And they're so private that they do feel like your very own discovery even if the whole world knows about them! No matter how many times you've been to Paris or how long you've lived there (Delphine) these lovely little spaces and places always draw you back!

  10. You are SO not overdoing the passage business!! I LOVE these so very much. :-) Those hollyhocks next to the crates make my heart sing - and those darling boys in the courtyard. I love it all. :-)