I am having so much fun with my San Francisco Profiles series (and there are more of them to come!) that I decided to create a slightly different version for Paris. With the help of some my very favorite (and all incredibly talented and beautiful) friends in Paris, I will be exploring the various arrondissements of Paris, the little neighborhoods my friends live in and explore every day.
First up is the 10th arrondissement where my friend Daisy lives. This area of Paris centers on the Canal St. Martin and is sometimes called the “Next Left Bank.” Daisy is vivacious and charismatic and quite the entrepreneur. She works a full-time job and continues to launch her THATeverything empire.
Last year while visiting Paris I did a THATLou treasure hunt with my dear friend Kasia of Love in the City of Lights and Mr. Misadventures and I tried out THATRue on our latest trip in May (yes, I went to Paris in May, and yes I know I have not posted about it yet! Getting to it, I promise) which are treasure hunts in the streets of the Latin Quarter of Paris – such a unique way to visit the city!
Now she has launched THATd’Or in my favorite Paris museum, the Orsay. I WILL be doing that my next trip to Paris (and you should too!).
Daisy is a native New Yorker but has been living in Paris for the past decade and is passionate about it, warts and all. Her knowledge of history is outstanding and breath-taking! I could not be more pleased to have her kick off this inaugural Paris Profiles series sharing her favorite spots in the 10th.
Meet Daisy (and Storsh).
 Favorite thing about your neighborhood.
There are two things that I love most about my Ventre de Paris Faubourg St Denis hood: its history as well as the life & liveliness of the still functioning Market Street. Hearing fruit vendors scream their strawberry sales pleases me no end.
The word Faubourg means “False Berg” or “Sham Town”, pointing to the fact that any street which bears this ‘Fbg’ prefix was on the outside of the city walls at one point. There are two “Portes” (arches or literally doors to town) within 50 meters of one another on the Grands Boulevards (the Grands Boulevards themselves having once been the walls, stitching in Louis XIV’s 17th Century Paris).
The Arch of St Denis (built in 1671-74) bookends Fbg St Denis in the 10th Arrt from rue St Denis, the red-light district in the 2nd Arrt. Likewise, the Arch of St Martin (1674) distinguishes rue du Fbg St Martin in the 10th Arrt from rue St Martin down in the 3rd Arrt. My 3-year-old Storsh knows the Arch of St Denis with its fearsome lion as His Arch and the arch of St Martin as his Auntie Kasia’s arch (she lives 7 minutes away, in her NoMa). That this basic history of Paris is so ingrained in my toddler brings me joy, and by pure default of being here makes me appreciates his upbringing.
Both arches commemorate Louis XIV’s military victories and were far grander replacements of Charles V’s medieval toll-entrances. The street of St Denis is ancient, leading directly to the Basilica of St Denis (which is outside the current walls of Paris, the “Péripherique”). The patron saint of France and first bishop of Paris, St Denis was beheaded in 250 AD and buried in a Gallo-Roman cemetery which is where the Gothic basilica now lies.
If you’re interested in French history the Basilica of St Denis is the single most important place in France for you to visit, as nearly every monarch was interred there since Dagobert in the 7th Century. It’s also of tremendous importance art historically, because it heralded the difference between Romanesque and Gothic architecture under the supervision of the Abbot Suger, 1081-1151 (Incidentally Suger surfaces in one of my THATRue hunts down on the streets of the Latin Quarter).
 Least favorite thing about your neighborhood.
There’s so much the French just loathe about America that I suppose I should be celebrating any Yank appreciation…. That said, the one thing that ticks me off about my hood is how inescapable the Bobo (Bourgeois bohemian) appreciation of all things NY or Brooklyn are. Around the corner, on rue Fbg Poissionniere there are two very prettily designed “Ferdinands”, one a hotdog spot another a hamburger joint. Bagel places abound as do other burger and hotdog boites.
On my own FSD street we have the hyped-up hotdog hotspot that doubles as a juice bar, and just opposite my door is a hamburger joint that’s signature is a line, rain or shine called Paris-New York (and yes, this is me being a total hypocrite, because those hamburgers at Paris-New York are scrumptious – the only burgers I’ve had in the city and they are good, plus the ambiance has adorable references to Hollywood) – but I just wish the French appreciation for Americana weren’t quite so in my face.
Because I’m a loyal New Yorker, I have never had a hotdog other than at Grays Papaya. Not in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and certainly not in France! Were I from California I’d probably boycott Paris-NY, in lieu of In-and-Out burgers.
 What differentiates your neighborhood from all the other parts of the city?
There are several ethnic hoods in the city – the 13th Arrt with Chinatown, the 2nd Arrt with Little Japan, Goute d’Or with mini Africa, La Chapelle has a wonderful few block radius of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, colors and spices, the 17th Arrt around Porte Maillot has a somewhat frightening Slavic contingent who prowl the streets of neighboring affluent Neuilly for car jackings and the lot, etc. There are also a handful of bi-ethnic ‘hoods such as Belleville which balances as many Chinese as Arabs probably.
These pockets are great, but what sets the FSD area apart from the rest of the city is the extent of its multi-cultural, multi-class (though god forbid “class” be mentioned in egalitarian France, it very much exists here) is complete. A total balance of cultures, races, religions, education, money, professions, etc. The 30-something upper middle class French who wish so much to be seen as “down with the people” have their graphic design and architecture offices here as well as their 200 meter squared loft spaces where they’re raising their kids. The poor African hotels and boarding houses line Chateau d’Eau above the African hair salon after hair salon. The regular old fashioned French family have their perfectly middle-class flats alone the gentrified passage des Petites Ecuries.
This span of demographics is, of course, is reflected in the myriad of whiskey lounges, uber-minimalist restaurants, Williamsburg-like brick oven pizza place Lucky Lucianos, a great wide absinthe counter where you have to have tapas to dull the buzz, etc. All of these are nestled amongst the numerous Pakistani, Turkish Baklavaci, Kurdish place (Urfa Durum), Daily Syrien falafel place, Chinese grocery store on rue de l’Echequier, etc.
 Favorite coffee spot in your neighborhood
Le Daily Syrien (55, rue du Fbg St Denis) newspaper shop is a favourite, because they have deliciously strong coffee and I find it pleasant and neighborhoodly to sit for at least a few articles at their communal table, sometimes with a falafel. Storsh loves to accompany me as Hassim always gives him a delicious baklava treat. The love with which they designed the place, laying lovely tile floors, makes me hope they make a success of it! The lunchtime lines imply they already are.
 Favorite spot for drinks.
I have several fave places, l’Inconnu and Aux Xieme just opposite each other are both great for an after-work drink – and which the suits from a nearby BNP Paribas frequent through till the wee hours often. I’m always delighted for a crisp glass of Chablis at Monsieur Baba, to catch the afternoon sun (Though I’m not fond of the kitschy interior, or the burger menu the staff are darlings and very accommodating), or a late night-cap at the stylish low bar of Bistro Bellet is great, too. Facing a rich turquoise tile wall and elegantly designed restaurant interior at this wide wood bar never fails to please. There’s a new Whiskey + Cocktail lounge on rue d’Enghein that I haven’t tried yet but looks lovely.
 Favorite local hangout.
Having a toddler at home means that I can’t get a lot of THATLou work done unless I do so outside (I’m writing this interview for instance from my local hangout). I have a special corner seat next to a radiator which the waiters refer to as my office, and where I prune their plants when writer’s block hits. It is my little patch of heaven, with a peaceful view of the cobble-stoned, tree-lined passage to linger on while my fingertips are fluttering over the keyboard. Right now I’m appreciating the lovely line of bollards and how they angle into my large window. Here’s a photo of my peace:
I am most intensely productive in this seat both because of these plants and view, as well as because I have no internet access (I’m horribly addicted to Instagram). The pressure of productivity attached to this divine space is furthered still by a need to complete my self-assigned tasks within the life-cycle of both my computer battery and often more urgently, my bladder. It’s a seedy Tabac where though I can go to the lav (by giving my retinue of adored waiters my computer to hold behind the bar) I’d honestly much rather go upstairs to the cleanliness of my own flat, than to the Clorox-reeking tiles of this old fashioned (read: Turkish toilet!) toilet which requires a gettone to open the door.
Whoosh, that’s a lot of information – perhaps too much! I guess a question about ones’ most sacred place is bound to evoke personal details, but the toilet might be going a bit far… Apologies to those who’ve been offended!
 Favorite breakfast spot.
I don’t actually eat breakfast, but a wonderful snack place that I frequent is l’Epicerie , on the above mentioned tree-lined, traffic-less passage des Petites Ecuries. It’s a great place that doubles as a Bio Farmer’s Cooperative, where you inscribe monthly or annually and then every Tuesday night from 5.30 to 7.30 PM you can go and get your box of fresh veggies that the Farmers have brought in. And attached to the space is a divine florist, appropriate to the farm-feel.
But apart from that l’Epicerie also happens to have its outdoor tables – both communal picnic benches as well as individual tables with sunken green chairs – at the widest juncture of the sidewalk. For this reason, it’s particularly popular among the young parents of the hood, serving usefully as a social hot spot for the toddlers playing tag or racing their scooters up and down the safe-haven tree-lined passage while the parents catch up. It’s also one of the few places in the hood that’s actually open early, catching the morning crowd with homemade tartes, cakes and the lot.
 Favorite lunch spot.
Well before we lived in the FSD district my husband and I would go to 19th-Century Brasserie Flo for long romantic lunches. Just thinking of the interior makes me relish their foie gras starter or scrumptious oysters before a proper Choucroute for El Argentino, my husband and Sole Meunière for me – of course with equally scrumptious wines to match.
The starched tablecloths and portly old waiters add a formality to this classic Alsatian brasserie, as do the turn of the century gnome murals, stained glass windows, and grand flower arrangements.
They do serve dinner, and we have gone as parents, but the lovely wood-lined feel makes me reserve -it in my mind) for a good 3-hour lunch sans enfants and only speaking of adult worldly events, literature and ideas… All laundry talk must be tabled here.
 Favorite dinner spot.
The restaurant PAN (12, rue Martel 75010) is hands-down my favorite spot for dinner in the hood. The menu changes daily, so I can’t recommend any one thing in particular, but whenever I’m there I manage to clock in several hours of dish after dish of immaculately presented, mouth quenching delights. Likewise, the wine list is perfectly matched to each days’ monch.
In terms of ambiance, it’s one of the few places in Paris that balances the fashionista haughtily heeled crowd without being pretentious, which I very much appreciate. There’s a mix of styles that takes “interior design” to a new level; clean lines of Danish Modern furniture are coupled with exposed raw walls and lighting cracking of East Berlin. A glossy shellacked ceiling adds depth and the zebra zig zags of varying wood floors provide a polish which the walls have stripped.
This former Chandelier factory is not to be missed, nor is the tiny café by the same owner just opposite, Le Look. Pan also has a back room for an intimate dinner party. And if you’re among Argentines (because isn’t everyone?), en route be sure to show them the plaque of where Cortázar lived, on the same side of rue Martel!
 One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
Actually, I just wrote about this recently for a Franco File Friday interview on Lindsey Traumuta’s Lost in Cheeseland. The one most useful place I stop by with guests is Atelier de Pablo, at 34, rue d’Hauteville. It’s a brocante or polished flea market without having to go out of town to the Puces, and as a store was a pioneer in the gentrification of the hood.
Guests never fail to find “So French” gifts of wonderfully handmade objects ranging from funky slippers and shoes, to bags, children’s clothes, and stuffed animals, bric-a-brac, great lamps, lights, furniture, mirrors, anything that happens to be there at the time. There’s no real rhyme or reason to what they have, but it’s all fun to look at and a great gift shop for visitors. I must see if they’d be interested in including the Bay Area handmade kid-line Common Thread Kids as it’s just up their alley.
Rue d’Hauteville was originally a furrier’s quartier (there are still several wholesale fur shops on the street), so when Véro and Ben (the two ladies who own the shop) bought the space back in 2006 apparently the upstairs was one huge bank vault where the former fur shop kept its wares overnight. Véro said it was a tough decision to remove (because it was so quaint), but the steel wall lining was thick enough that the space was worth it. Then the actual renovation was apparently a real nightmare, too!
Here are other great spots in the 10th (the majority of which were provided by Daisy!):
RESTOS, BARS + CAFES
> Pan (12, rue Martel) tél: +33 9 52 51 63 70, best resto in hood. (L’Express article)
> Le Look (17, rue Martel) tél: +33 9 50 10 20 31, tiny cafe, opened daytime only.
> Le Daily Syrien (55, rue du Fbg St Denis) fabulously fresh falafels with your newspaper.
> Brasserie Flo (7, cour des Petites Écuries) tél: +33 1 47 70 13 59, turn of century brasserie.
> Epicerie de la Cour (6, cour des Petites Écuries) coffee, cake, farmer’s coop.
> Aux Xème (25 rue Mazagran) which just means « The 10th »
> L’Iconnu (17-19 rue Mazagran) trendy, hipster bar.
> Chez Jeannette (47, rue du Fbg St Denis) tél: 01 47 70 30 89, grandfather of trendy bars.
> Lucky Luciano (1, cour des Petites Écuries) tél: +33 9 51 55 73 41, great pizzas.
> Paris-New York (50, rue du Fbg St Denis) Yank Burgers.
> Nanashi (31, rue de Paradis) tél: +33 1 40 22 05 55, Asian fusion bento food.
> Chez Julien (16, rue du Fbg St Denis) tél: +33 1 47 70 12 06, turn of century brasserie.
> Urfa Dürüm (56, rue du Faubourg St Denis) Kurdish cuisine.
> l’Ile aux Cerfs (8-10, passage du Prado) tél: 01 44 83 98 20, Mauricien take away.
> Baklavaci Riza (5, passage des Petits Écuries) tél: +33 6 25 91 37 55, old school baklava shop.
> Bistrot Bellet (84 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis) great seafood dishes.
> Monsieur Baba (69 rue du Faubourg-St-Denis) nice for brunch.
> Residence Kann (28 rue des Vinaigriers) design-forward coffee spot.
PARKS + PASSAGES
> Square Montholon – rue Montholon, off of rue La Fayette in the 9th (10 min by foot to the heart of FSD)
> Square Villemin – rue Recollets, btwn Canal St Martin and Gare de l’Est (two diff ages of playgrounds)
> Square du Temple – rue Bretagne and du Temple in the northern 3rd (15 min by foot to the heart of FSD)
> Passage Brady – Indian Restos + delicious spice shops
> Passage du Prado – don’t miss the recently renovated and painted ceiling finials, apparently it used to host ballroom dances – you wouldn’t guess from the Pakistani hair salons and internet cafes
> Marche St Martin – rue Château d’Eau (Covered market, has fun Fireman’s ride for kiddies)
> Hotel Paradis (41, rue des Petites Écuries) tél: +33 01 45 23 08 22, boutique hotel, great attention to design, small, modestly priced; less than 5 minutes walk to FSD.
> Hotel de Nell (7-9, rue du Conservatoire) tel +33 01 44 83 83 60, a recently renovated 5 star, uber-polished design hotel – if you want to pamper yourself reserve a room with a Japanese Bath; rooms range from 250 – 1200 euros a night. Ten minutes by foot from the heart of FSD.
> New Morning (7-9, rue des Petites Écuries) tél: 01 45 23 51 41, famous music venue on par with NY’s Blue Note. New Morning’s had the likes of Chet Baker, Dizzie Gillespie, Nina Simone, etc. Apart from Jazz + Blues it also has a big World Music scene.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
> Written by Daisy for Sasha Romary’s Up Close and Personal: Neighborhood Guide Faubourg St. Denis
> Written by Daisy for Edna Zhao’s Expat Edna: I love my neighborhood, Paris Faubourg St. Denis
> Written by Daisy for the Radisson Blu Blog: Ex-pats guide to Paris
> New York Times: Brunch on a Budget in Paris’s 10th Arrondissement (written by pal Lindsey Tramuta)
> Highlights from the 10th Arrondissement from My Parisian Life
> Girls Guide to Paris 10th Arrondissement Restaurants
> Paris by Mouth 10th Arrondissement Restaurants
How about you? Do you have any 10th Arrondissement additions? Have you been to this area of Paris? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?