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Gritty Paris In Transition

MDear Clementine - Taken in the 10th Arrondissement

Dear Clementine – Taken in the 10th Arrondissement

When I was in Paris in September, I needed to be near the train station to make a quick entry from Charles de Gaulle, a quick exit to The Hague, and a quick re-entry back to Paris so I could get home to DC via Reykjavik, Iceland.  That was a lot of unpacking and repacking.

During my five days in Paris, I experienced the transitions in the 10ème in more ways than one.

Paris has 20 districts known as arrondissements.  Each is assigned a number and may appear with a suffix of -e, -er, or -ème.  Arrondissement is sometimes abbreviated as Arr.

The 10ème has two train stations (Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est) making it convenient for day trips and for getting to Paris attractions in minutes via the Metro.

At Le Balto - 10ème Arrondissement

At Le Balto – 10ème Arrondissement

This once gritty and overlooked part of Paris has gotten a makeover over the years and is exploding with restaurants, bars, and sites that beg to be noticed.

Want to stay close to everything yet don’t want to spend a lot?  Want an area where cultures from all over interweave?

Consider the 10ème.

Here are the top five things I experienced during my stay:

1.  Walk:  Visit the Canal Saint-Martin.  The waterway connects to the Seine and offers soothing walkways for picnics and people watching.

2.  Eat:  Steps from my hotel was an intimate Italian restaurant called Da Giacomo on the Rue du Château Landon.  Had your fill of croissants and pâté?  Stop by and enjoy the friendly service at this non-hurried restaurant.  They have great pizza that you can take back to your apartment or hotel.

3.  Browse:  Visit Coin Canal for some nostalgia.  The store on Rue de Marseille sells high-quality, streamlined mid-century-to-70s-style furniture.

4.  Gaze:  Stop by Le Balto for an espresso or Jupiler and take advantage of its covered outdoor seating.  Watch the people and traffic as everything collides at the intersections of Rue de Maubeuge, Boulevard de Magenta, Rue de Dunkerque, and Rue Saint-Vincent de Paul.

5.  Get Out:  Use the easy access of Gare du Nord to your advantage.  Hop on a Eurostar train for quick access to Lille, Brussels, and London, to name a few.

The 10ème is no longer the gray and gritty neighborhood of Paris it once was.  It offers a vibrant spirit, sets trends, and gives you a launchpad for easy access to other destinations in Europe.

Interested in snaps from Paris?  Visit the photo gallery.