Paris safety inquiry

Old Jul 31st, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #1  
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Paris safety inquiry

While I am searching for apt in Paris, I am more concerned about safety of the neighborhoods. However, I am not sure how to define "safe" in a place like Paris. I am familar with New York city, and I know there are some places where one should not set a foot in. So, I want to open a topic to hear your experieces on this subject, hope it may be useful for others who also have such concerns.

And by the way, I found a nice apt at Rue Saint-Maur, the part which is close to Hopital Saint-Louis. My friend told me that is not a safe neighborhood from what she felt. Is it true?
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:00 PM
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ira
 
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Hi M,

You can enter your address at www.pagesjaunes.fr and take a virtual walk through the neighborhood.



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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:04 PM
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Thanks! I did, but I couldn't tell by looking at those still pictures.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:16 PM
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I think you'd define safety in Paris the same as any big city. There are parts with a higher crime rate than others, and that can include muggings (meaning forceful robbery which can include hurting you in some way). And there can be local crime not directed at you, but you don't want to be around it so much (like gangs or whatever). And a lot of crime may be more likely to occur in the dark, in later hours, and in closer proximity to where people who commit it live, or where there is less overt police presence, and if you are alone and an easier target.

It's the same as anywhere, but no one can name every street or block where they think that risk is heightened. I live in a big city now, and have lived in several others (LA, NY and Wash DC) and am used to being cautious and not walking around areas in the dark, always going into metro cars with other people, immediately moving metro cars if I sense unpleasantness (which may be just fights between others), etc. But when on Fodors tourists want you to name every street or area where they shouldn't go in DC, it's ridiculous. YOu can't do it, and it's a waste of time as most tourists aren't going to go to the bad areas anyway.

Since you are there a year, you are more than a tourist, but if you want me to tell you that area is fine and your friend is wrong, I can't. I haven't spent a lot of time in it, and some of my knowledge comes second-hand (but not just from reading things on forums like Fodors, I mean second-hand from reading articles in local Parisian newspapers). I wouldn't ever want to live in that area, that's for sure. I've only been around it a little as the Belleville metro stop is only a couple blocks away, but it just isn't the kind of area I find attractive or comfortable. Living around hospitals usually isn't that great, either, actually. Belleville is your closest metro stop, I guess -- well, Goncourt is about the same. It isn't the matter of saying you shouldn't step foot in them, nothing is that clearcut -- it's a matter of risk and whether you want to live in an area even if you didn't think you would be the victim of a crime.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:17 PM
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You need "Dave in Paris", who lives in the 11th!

In case it will help someone recognize the address...this is the area between the bend in the Canal St Martin (quai de Valmy), Colonel Fabian (metro), Belleville (metro) and rue du Faubourg du Temple (Goncourt metro) in the 11th...

Who is the friend - does she live in Paris, or has ever lived in Paris?
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:19 PM
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hi Christina!
musiclover, what about that apt in the 13th? not as nice as the Saint Maur address?
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Thanks! Christina and Travelnut. You are right! I like both apts.on Rue Paul Bert and Glaciere, but one does not have a clear bedroom area, the latter has a too small kithen. Only the one at Rue Saint-Maur is perfect as for the apt itself. But, the location makes me upset.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:59 PM
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You say "But, the location makes me upset" - why - based on what?
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:33 PM
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uh, wally, you gotta keep up! did you read the original post above..?
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:10 PM
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< My friend told me that is not a safe neighborhood from what she felt >

Is kinda vague - covers everything from friedn staying in the area to friend holding a seance
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 02:40 AM
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Saint Maur is a more interesting neighborhood than Glacière. Perfectly safe.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 05:26 AM
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I agree with kerouac. I spent a weekend in Paris staying at a hotel in rue St-Maur last year and was very happy. It's a great neighbourhood and I felt very safe there.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 09:36 AM
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kerouac, could you please tell me why you think it is perfectly safe and more interesting? I like an apt in that area, but can't decide because of the safety concern. Also, I know rue St-Maur is very long. The part I mentioned is close to Hopital Saint-Louis, I think it is 209 rue St-Maur. Keren, did you stay around the same area? Thanks!
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Though I don't know precisely this part of the street, I wouldn't have any problem living in this area. It's indeed close to the popular (but IMO certainly not dangerous) Belleville and Boulevard de la Villette, but equally as close to the pleasant "Canal Saint-Martin".

Hmmm... You know what... I'm going to go out for a walk there (I live not very long away), from the canal to the "Faubourg du Temple" and I'll tell you what I think later.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 09:53 AM
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clairobscur, thank you! I believe the address is 209 Rue Saint-Maur.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 09:57 AM
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One of the hippest new areas in Paris (undiscovered by tourists yet) is the rue and place Sainte Marthe, right next to the Hôpital Saint Louis. It is also just a few blocks from the Belleville Chinese/Kurdish/Jewish/Muslim melting pot area. Generally, people who talk about safety concerns in Paris never set foot in the areas of which they are afraid, and are therefore an unreliable source of information about such places. It is not impossible that your friend may have a fear of immigrants, of which, yes, there are many in the Belleville area.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 11:05 AM
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I have set foot in that general area, and I read the Parisian papers and know the crime statistics for the various quartiers. I don't care for it, but people have wide differences in opinions on areas. I don't like St Germain that well, either, for example, nor the 7th arr. I doubt if this is some irrational fear of immigrants by the friends in question, either, as I believe they are immigrants themselves.

May be hard to decide, I sure wouldn't want to pick an apt. sight unseen in a city where I'd never lived and make a commitment for a year. Actually, because you said you could stay in that studio at Cite Universitaire, couldn't you move there first and then look around locally to have a better idea what you want? I just thought there might not be a longterm commitment at Cite Universitaire, Of course, a year isn't forever, so maybe that's overkill, and it's hard to say without knowing what you expect or are used to. LIke where do you live in NYC?

I remembered a prior post about this same general area (around Goncourt metro), so maybe you might want to read that for some other opinions. It was about someone wanting a vacation apt. rental, but the location info is about the same, regardless. A local Parisian also comments on the rent he pays in that area, and I thought the rent on that apt. you were considering was on the high side for the area, but it's really not bad for Paris or big European city standards.

To see the full thread, just search on goncourt in the box. the full thread was titled something like question on an apt. on lodgis.com

<<Author: Matt
Date: 05/15/2005, 04:20 pm
I used to live on Rue du Faubourg du Temple. I posted a reply to your post but I don't see it anymore. In my opinion for that money you can find an apartment in nicer areas. I paid 700 Euros a month for a furnished apt bigger than that one, which was not considered cheap for that area.

-----------------------------------

Author: mijols3
Date: 04/11/2006, 02:13 pm
paid 700 Euros a month for a furnished apt bigger than that one, which was not considered cheap for that area.

Matt, can you give me the details on the apartment?
--------------------------------------
Author: Dave_in_Paris
Date: 04/11/2006, 03:05 pm
Hi Dylan,

Rue du Faubourg du Temple is a very busy shopping street - food shops, small dry goods stores, a few restaurants and a theater among other businesses. The street has an ethnic flavor. That is Metro Goncourt, on a line that shoots you down to the Seine
---------------------------------------

Author: Dave_in_Paris
Date: 04/11/2006, 03:36 pm
Hi Dylan,

Rue du Faubourg du Temple is a very medium width busy shopping street - various food shops, small dry goods stores, a few restaurants and a theater among other businesses. The street has an ethnic flavor. That is indeed the Goncourt Metro stop, on a line that shoots you down near the Seine, to the Hotel de Ville Metro, very quickly. Rambuteau (an intermediate stop) is at the site of the Beaubourg modern art museum. Rue Faubourg du Temple would not be for everyone. On the shabby side, but not unsafe. The photos show a narrow passageway, and my hunch is that the apartment is off the street in a courtyard. Sometimes courtyards are higher than street level, and that may account for the reference to the "1st floor." In that case, there could be foot traffic past the apartment windows.

-------------------------------------

Author: Dave_in_Paris
Date: 04/11/2006, 03:38 pm
Read that "medium width, very busy shopping street."
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 12:10 PM
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So, I went there.

It's a popular, working-class street, with a very mixed population (many immigrants of various origins). Some building have known better days. Yours is nice (actually, from the outside, it's one of the nicest in this part of the street, though I couldn't enter it). There are a lot of shops. Nothing fancy : the local francprix, hairdresser, bakery, etc... It's lively, thee were a lot of people in the street, and it doesn't appear unsafe to me.

I ate in a nearby bar/restaurant and asked the friendly barman and a patron who said he had been living there for 30 years. They told me there were no particular problems. That some nearby areas were more agitated, but others more "bobos" (I don't know if the word exists in english. If it doesn't, I'll let someone more familiar than me with english translate it). The patron told me "there are sometimes accidents, sometimes noise, sometimes agitated kids, but nothing to worry about. It's nor better nor worse than everywhere else in Paris". He told me there are a lot of people from everywhere (indeed true), a lot of kids (I had noticed that too), and that newcomers adapted easily to the neighborhood. He also told me transports were convenient in particular since there was a bus going right to the "Hotel de Ville" in Paris center, and metro stations not long away.

So, to sum up, it's not the "Champs-Elysees", but on the basis of this short visit, I personnally wouldn't mind living there. It's simply a popular street.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Something I thought I would add. You mentionned there are in New-York "places where one should not set a foot in".

Though I know that some parisians won't go to some neighborhoods at night, I personnally can't think of anywhere in Paris proper where "I wouldn't set a foot in". Maybe it's worth mentionning that in Paris, and more generally in france and even in Europe, really disfranchised neighborhood aren't to be found in cities downtowns, but rather in the subburbs. If there are places where "one shouldn't set a foot in", they are probably situated in housing projects in some Paris subburbs.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Clair covered it, but I've walked quite a few times through the neighborhood you're looking at and I felt totally safe (female at night). It is working class, not "tourist paris", lots of kids hanging out, but can't be compared to "unsafe" neigborhoods in NYC like areas in the Bronx.
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