The rue du Faubourg du Temple cuts through lower Belleville and its cultural cross sections: Chinese dim-sum palaces to halal butchers, French pastry shops to bric-a-brac stores serving a variety of ethnic communities.
Erwan advises that Paris’s finest architecture can be found in its train stations—such as the Gare de Lyon pictured here. “I love all those 19th-century buildings created by engineers who worked in metal,” he adds.
The most famous flea market, beyond Porte de Clignancourt on the north edge of the city, is a treasure trove for antique hunters, with specialist stands chock-full of items from every decade—from Art Deco on up.
“I think people see Paris as a ville-musée because it has such an extreme sense of
time about it,” Erwan tells us. “It keeps the trace of things that existed a thousand years earlier. It’s a city with depth—the more you hunt and dig, the more clues you discover.”