Every weekend I try to explore the other side of Paris; the non-touristic districts. I live in the 20th district of Paris, and I am amazed of the contrasts, multi-culturalism, art and life of this area. I’ve been living here since October 2018, and I couldn’t have found a better neighbourhood. Of course, not everything is perfect here, but at least I feel home, I can go out, I feel safe and I eat very well.
The first time I discovered Belleville was in the summer of 2017. I was walking through the Rue Oberkampf and I entered a whole new world. I never expected to live here.
Belleville was not Paris before; it was a working class and communist suburb. There is a huge Chinese community here (after the 13th district), North African, Sub-Saharan Africans, German-Jewish and Polish (who settled down during the first half of the 20th century, mostly to escape the third reich).
The 20th district is known for its street art and art life. Many artists decided to move here because of the low rent prices and to take over abandoned factories or warehouses to turning them into studios.
Also, let’s not forget that Edith Piaf lived and was born here !