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Anybody Can Go See The Beautiful Parts Of Paris: Amy Alkon’s Accidental Paris Slum Tour

November 26, 2012
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Anybody Can Go See The Beautiful Parts Of Paris: Amy Alkon’s Accidental Paris Slum Tour
Pretty much everywhere you turn in central Paris, there’s something beautiful or at least very interesting to see.

Only *I* can manage to travel to a neighborhood devoid of beauty, although there’s a certain ruin-porn allure to this decaying, graffitied building on the Canal d’Ourcq.

ParisRuins.jpg(There are quaint parts of the Canal d’Ourcq, apparently, but I did not take us to them.)

Because it was a beautiful, sunny Sunday, and I thought it would be romantic, I’d wanted to go with Gregg to the quaint, houseboat-lined Canal St. Martin.

Because I know Paris well, I knew pretty much to get off at the République Métro stop and walk in the direction of Place de la Bastille — toward the Seine.

Well, dumb me, I second-guessed myself, and as we were leaving, paid heed to something I looked up on the Internet saying to start at the Eglise de Pantin Métro station, which turned out to be in a terrible neighborhood. (Apparently, this is the route you take if you are interesting in hiking past a lot of unattractive modernish buildings on a canal.)

Even worse, we were probably a few miles from Canal St. Martin, and then Gregg stepped in a space where some cobblestones were missing and turned his ankle, which meant we missed Jim Haynes’ annual Sunday night fete.

Gregg’s ankle is now not quite as colorful as that building, but veering in that direction. And now, I will be teased for days by our American and Frog friends for taking him for a romantic sightseeing tour of some water-adjacent Paris slum.

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