Ourcq area in Paris- Paging Kerouac

Old Mar 7th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Ourcq area in Paris- Paging Kerouac

My adult daughter is staying in a colleague's flat for a conference at ParisX-Nanterre next week. I don't know the street address, but I do know that it's closest to the Ourcq metro. Does anyone have any info. about the area? The mom in me wants to know if the neighborhood is safe; the Francophile in me wants to know what to see, where to eat; the traveler in me wants to know how best to navigate the city from this vantage point. Many thanks for any advice. EJ
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 09:37 PM
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Is your daughter aware that she will need to cross nearly the entire width of Paris and then some to get from Ourcq metro to Nanterre? By metro (line 5, changing to line 2 at Jaurès to Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile) and RER (A1 to Nanterre Universit&eacute I think it would be about 40 minutes and involve 2 changes. Obviously lots of people do it everyday, but it is a long way. On the other hand, if it's free...

I don't know much about the area other than it's about halfway between Parc des Buttes Chaumont and the Parc de la Villette with its Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and Cité de la Musique. As to safety, I can't think of a neighborhood within the Péripherique that isn't safe for anyone used to navigating a major city.
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Yes, Shellio, it is free, and that's why she'll be at such a distance. Thanks for your metro info. which seems more direct than the RATP suggested route that takes her through Chatelet-Les Halles. Also, your take on safety is much appreciated. Thanks again, EJ
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 06:09 AM
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Kerouac lives about a mile or so away so he will respond

but i recently walked thru the area and took the metro from Ourcq and it seemed totally fine to me - a changing area i believe that is becoming upscale

and you have the old canal running thru it

and La Villette is a lovely unique sprawling park along the canal

No it's not where many tourists would stay but i really like the area the times i've been in it

riding the metro 40 minutes - to me that's a neat way to be like a local
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Merci, PalenQ. I thought Kerouac lived nearby. Looks like he might be away from his computer today. Hopefully I'll hear from him soon. Thanks again for your thoughts. EJ
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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ttt
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Well, kerouac, I'm pushing this ttt again. Any help is much appreciated. Merci, EJ
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Here I am.

Yes, the Ourcq metro area is just fine, just a few blocks away from the fantastic Villette park, close to the canal de l'Ourcq (obviously) which has become totally gentrified in recent years, and also an easy walk to the MK2 cinema complex at Stalingrad, which is in my opinion perhaps the most pleasant cinema in Paris, with a free ferry boat connecting the six screens on each side of the canal.

Metro line 5 will never be elected as the most convenient metro line in Paris, but it does cross the entire city, which connects it with just about all of the other metro lines -- so getting around is no problem.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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Fodorites to the rescue once again! Thanks very much for your suggestions which I'll pass on to my daughter. EJ
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:00 AM
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elsiejune,
The reason the RATP website suggested going through Chatelet-Les Halles is because that indeed would be the fastest way.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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I would pay good money to avoid Chatelet-Les Halles, fastest or not. A personal choice but based on painful experience. ;-)
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Switching RER lines is pretty painless.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Haven't I read that Chatelet-Les Halles can be difficult to navigate, as well as to be avoided at night?
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Some to find Chatelet-Les Halles difficult to navigate or try to avoid it due to the shear size of the station. Personally I've never minded either of these things. That being said, all of the RER platforms are at the same location. It is an easy switch from the RER line B to Line A, which is what your daughter would have to do. It's a quicker route, because there are much less stops than taking the metro across the city.

As for safety, Chatelet-Les Halles is just as safe as any other metro station at night. There are more likely to be more people there and a police presence than at a smaller station.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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If it is of any interest, one of the largest Monoprix stores of Paris is at metro Ourcq.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 12:30 PM
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Bien sur, it's of interest. Merci beaucoup.
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