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Neighborhood of Pere Lachaise; What's it Like?

Neighborhood of Pere Lachaise; What's it Like?

Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Neighborhood of Pere Lachaise; What's it Like?

I'm looking at a rental apartment just northeast of Pere Lachaise Cemetery, probably in the 20th. Has anyone strayed up that way? Would like an opinion on the neighborhood in terms of safety and Parisian character for family of four, two of us young and three of us female. It's obviously out of the tourist mainstream, which might be a plus. I wish I could figure out how to add the French circumflexes and accents to my type for these posts; would give them more cachet.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 07:52 PM
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While I haven't gone northeast of the cemetary, I don't have a particularly high opinion of that immediate neighborhood. I like the Nation and Republique areas much better. They're also out of the tourist mainstream, but they seem to offer more in terms of amenities. The Metro connections are also superior.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 09:38 PM
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It's far away from the sights, except for the cemetery itself, of course, and rather dreary, I think. It does have Parisian character, although it has a lot of immigrant character as well, so it's not going to necessarily seem like something out of your favorite novel. It isn't unsafe. Although the Métro leads everywhere, just about everywhere is going to be a Métro ride or two away if you are in that part of town.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:16 PM
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"It does have Parisian character, although it has a lot of immigrant character as well."

Exactly. The two, side by side. It's both quintessentially Parisian and 180 degrees counter to nearly every outsider's "certain idea" of Paris. There are delights in that shabby neighborhood, but it's best for the bold and urban-street-wise.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 01:12 AM
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I found the descriptions of the area a bit harsh. North-east of Père-Lachaise can mean the area around the Place Gambetta, which is a middle-class, sought-after residential part of the 20th, with numerous food shops. I would't describe the streets north and east of the cemetary (rue des Pyrénées, avenue Gambetta) as "shabby".
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 02:09 AM
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It is one of my favorite areas in Paris -- the hilly old neighborhoods with cobblestones are about as Parisian as you can get, without the tourists of Montmartre.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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You're right Trudane, I was thinking of the other side of Pere La Chaise, near Boulevard Belleville. However, it is fair to note, I think, that the bourgeoise aspect of the surrounds of Place Gambetta, which are very pleasant as you said, trails off pretty quickly in some directions.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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ttt
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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I walked all around the Lachaise cemetery area in December and it's OK - actually is a big Chinese presence - one McDonalds even had signs in Chinese on its windows and a Chinese motif - Asian groceries - i wouldn't call it an upscale area but an ordinary blue collar area - lots of cafes, etc. Seemed very safe.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I pretty much agree with Dave about everything he said. NE of Pere Lachaise could be lots of different things from ave Gambetta up to rue de Belleville. It's nowhere I would ever want to stay, and I've been in all of that area a bit. I can't imagine why a tourist would want to stay there.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 10:43 AM
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sorry, I got my posts confused, I was agreeing more with Anthony than Dave. The idea of going to a city to stay in a poorer immigrant neighborhood would not be everyone's goal for a vacation, but it would suit some folks fine. You have to decide what you want. I live in a pretty highly immigrant neighborhood in Washington DC (more immigrants than non), and I would not recommend it as a place for typical tourists to Wash DC to stay for any reason. Just wouldn't see the point.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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If these responses about the neighborhood around Pere La Chaise seem confusing, it's because the surrounds of the cemetery vary greatly, from bourgeoise to working class, and from overhelmingly "ethnic" French to majority "other" neighborhoods. One thing the whole area is not: boring.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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So much appreciate your insights. We'll probably play it safe this time and stick closer to the tried and true when it comes to lodging. We can walk through the Gambetta area and soak up the atmosphere. Prefer to improve our street-smarts gradually and at less expense than during a Paris stay. Thanks!
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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While you're in that most-Parisian neck of the woods, aside from the cemetery and the great food shopping just off Place Gambetta, near here's a fun spot to consider: http://www.le-vieux-belleville.com/
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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Do they play accordian and harmonica, etc, these days? My husband, a jazzy songwriter, would love that.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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Definitely the accordian but click on the program to be sure it's on.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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Loved Le Vieux Belleville. There's a woman who plays the accordian and a fellow who sings along with her who is also one of the waiters. He may even be one of the owners. They pass out the lyrics to the song they're about to preform and everyone sings along. We the only non-French people in the room. A true French experience!
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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We will go at all costs. Now that everyone's made me skeptical about the neighborhood, what's a good way to get there? Metro, and then walk?
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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We once had a tour guide refer to the area as "working class". Read Cara Black's novel "Murder in Belleville". she gives a good description of the area.
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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ira
 
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Hi S,

Go to www.ratp.fr for how to get there.

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