Faubourg St. Denis, Côté Porte

23 05 2011

Well.  Now that it’s been… let’s see… five weeks (!) since we moved, I am finally feeling settled enough to sit down and go through all those photos I took one sunny Saturday a week before moving day.  Our new neighborhood is vastly different from the old one, but wonderful in many other ways.  The former apartment was located on the rue du Faubourg St. Denis in the heart of the 10th arrondissement.  I loved its central location, multiple and cheap vegetable sellers, the fact that I could get Indian, Turkish, French, African, Chinese, and Portuguese products without straying more than a couple blocks, and living across the street from a cheese shop.

The view from outside my door

Oh, and there was the really cool landmark at the end of the street, too.

Porte St. Denis

This is the Porte St. Denis, which at one time marked the edge of the city.  (Porte means door, in case you don’t speak French.)  It was built in 1672, by order of Louis XIV, aka The Sun King, or, as it is inscribed at the top of the monument, Ludovico Magno – Louis the Great.  Apparently he had plans to construct showpiece gates like this all around the city, but only got two (this one, and the smaller Porte St. Martin a few blocks away) completed.  At any rate, it marks the point where the rue St. Denis becomes the rue du Faubourg St. Denis, “Faubourg” being a word that indicated any road outside the city walls.

Wilco!

This has very little to do with anything, but it's right by the Porte and happens to bear the name of my favorite band.

Faubourg St. Denis is a relatively long street by Parisian standards, running the entire length of the 10th, hence the designation, “Côté Porte.”  I often refer to it myself as the “lower” part of the street, which leads uphill.  While the “upper” part is known for being a hotbed of Indian restaurants and shops, the lower bit has quite a few as well, most of which are concentrated in the Passage Brady.

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