The North of Paris is not a place where I’m much used to hanging out. It has to be said that save Montmartre, it is not the most touristic area of Paris, and pretty much not the Paris you would like to see on the postal card you send to your family back home.
The districts of Northern Paris are the most popular ones. Most of the immigrant communities of Paris coming from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe have their districts there, and they give this part of Paris a strikingly colourful and kind of exotic feel you will find nowhere else in the capital city. From the Indian restaurants gathered in Le Passage Brady to all the African markets bordering Rue Saint-Denis, you will travel way farther than you may have thought if you decide to venture there.
Quite unfortunately, this doesn’t go without all the troubles you’ll generally find in places where people who have just arrived in the country struggle to find a place to live and money to eat : prostitution, sweatshops, drug dealers and black market are quite common in this area. It certainly contributes to making the place feel insecure, though more thrilling also. However, during daytime, you will certainly have nothing to fear, so it would be a pity not to save time and take a walk there one afternoon if you ever have the time to.
I personally find it’s a good place to take photos, full of narrow streets, hidden yards, old stairways, and, of course, faces. I wouldn’t venture myself there alone, but with a friend nearby, I think it’s a district where you really have a lot to photograph if you take the time to leave the main street and to visit all the passages, dead-ends and courtyards that altogether constitute an incredible, and worth-the-visit, maze.
I hope my photos will finish convincing you!
Rue Guérin Boisseau
To the light
Puits de lumière
Passage du Caire
Some lustre in a passageway
A hidden stairway at the end of a courtyard