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Parsing Paris

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Critics call Paris a "living museum." If so, designer Erwan Bouroullec curates a must-see list from a compelling collection.

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    Photo by Jessica Antola.
    Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  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.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    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. Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  People-watching at the casual hang-out L’Autre Café.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    People-watching at the casual hang-out L’Autre Café. Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  The venerable Crillon, a “palace hotel” of gilt trimmings and privilege overlooking the Place de la Concorde.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    The venerable Crillon, a “palace hotel” of gilt trimmings and privilege overlooking the Place de la Concorde. Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  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.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    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. Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  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.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    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. Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  “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.”  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    “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.” Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  The ToolsGalerie in the Marais district spotlights the work of young French designers.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    The ToolsGalerie in the Marais district spotlights the work of young French designers. Photo by Jessica Antola.
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  The Eiffel Tower, which raised more than one eyebrow in 1889.  Photo by Jessica Antola.
    The Eiffel Tower, which raised more than one eyebrow in 1889. Photo by Jessica Antola.

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