“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.”
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.
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 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.