Rue Crémieux

 
 

I wrote a post on Rue Crémieux last year, but deleted it because I thought, minimalism is my wheelhouse, lots of people write about it anyway, it's overdone, etc. Every now and then, I get an email asking, "Where did this post go?" or "What was that street with all the colorful buildings and cats?" It's here, à deux pas de Coulée verte (Promenade Plantée). Turns out, some of my French friends didn't know this street existed. Often compared to Portobello Road and Notting Hill, the homes- constructed for workers in 1865- remind me of Belle's xenophobic  Disney village in Beauty and the Beast, except the residents couldn't be nicer or more welcoming. 

 
 

In 1910, the street was flooded, with waters rising up to six feet. A typical day on Rue Crémieux might find the rare tourist (usually a guest of Hotel Mignon) snapping photos, residents applying makeup to each other's faces in the street, and neighborhood cats strolling in and out of houses, rubbing their pheromones on anyone and everything. The street's oldest resident, a professor, said he bought their home for cheap (3500€, or something crazy like that) in the 60s. He told me about the woman who spearheaded a campaign to make it a pedestrian road- formerly, both sides were covered in cars- and how once, he and his wife were having dinner when they heard a lady stop outside. "This used to be my home," she explained. "We lived above the grocery store my father had downstairs." People sit outside for hours eating lunch, and on sunny days, residents fling their doors and windows open to enjoy a bucolic piece of countryside in Paris. Once a group of neighbors invited me to join them for a glass of wine.

 
 

If you won the genetic lottery that is celiac disease, a lifelong bête noire which engenders fervor akin to the Frozen craze, you can eat gluten-free bagels around the corner at Sain Bio'z. After, take a boat ride under Bastille at Port de l'Arsenal, or visit one of my favorite museums, La Maison Rouge, which has a new surrealist exhibition, "My Buenos Aires."  I take very few visitors to Rue Crémieux, because not all of them understand why I like it. I feel the air is a little fresher (it's not), I smile a little more, and the cheery colors and cobblestones are a nice break from Haussmann besides.

Paris to Go

8 comments:

  1. I need to go here next time!

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    1. There is one cat that looks just like Snowball. It's not nice, either. It just marks you as it's territory and then ignores you. And some of the girls on the street say they find it in their beds, curled up on their rugs, etc.

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  2. Doesn't sound crazy at all. In 1960, the average price of a home in Britain was £2700. 3500€ sounds about right to me. That guy must be completely tickled at the appreciation value. I bet those houses cost a fortune now. would love to live on such a lovely street.

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    1. Wow! I can't imagine property in London ever being so cheap! Yea, I guess it does make sense. My grandpa told me he bought his house in the US for $1500 in the 1950s. It was from the Sears catalog, of all places, and he dug the foundation for it himself, with some help from my aunt Debbie :) Anyway, on Rue Crémieux the price per square meter is apparently upwards of 7000-9000€, which is more reasonable than I expected for how beautiful the houses are. It's not much higher than the median for the neighborhood.

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  3. I'm curious (I hope I'm not being too nose), what's the average price per square meter for an apartment in your area? I know Invalides rent is really expensive already, but with Eiffel Tower views it must be even higher. Our friends bought an apartment in the Rodin district when the market crashed, fixed it up, and sold for a tidy profit,b ut it wasn't on the top floor like yours. Do you rent or own?

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    1. We rent- it's not too nosy! I covered a little bit of that stuff here:

      http://www.paris-to-go.com/2014/12/how-much-does-it-cost-to-live-in-paris.html

      Prices can range anywhere from 7500-21000 per square meter here- seriously! I just saw an apartment at Daniel Feau that was 157 square meters, NOT the top floor, right by us with a terrace and it was 3.3 million. There's another one across the street, single family home, that's roughly the same size and listed for 46,000,000. It has a huge garden though.

      Your friends were smart. I bet they worked super hard on fixing it up, good for them.

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  4. this is why i love your blog, ariana....i've seen pictures on other blogs, the same pictures every time, the same notting hill comparisons. it's beautiful, but i always wondered the story behind it and who lived behind those brightly painted doors. you seem to have such a rapport with other people and friends everywhere to draw stories and experiences from. finally this street really comes alive with your descriptions!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Sara! I've read very few Paris blogs but the ones I like best are the ones that tell stories about the people they meet and the incidents that happen along the way. They really flesh out and enliven the photos.

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