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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Hang With Hipsters in Paris

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3. What to Do


Wander through Parc de la Villette's architectural features (left) and let loose at a concert at nightlife destination La Bellevilloise (right).  

Explore the 165-acre Parc de la Villette, architect Bernard Tschumi’s amazing configuration of playgrounds, grasslands, and cultural/educational spaces in the up-and-coming 19th Arrondissement. Then walk alongside the Canal de l'Ourcq on Quai de la Loire until you spot Bar Ourcq, a comfy-sofa-filled café on the corner of rue Euryale-Dehaynin. If it’s nice out, buy a demi (half-pint of beer) and take it out along the canal to watch the pétanque players.

Lose yourself at 104, the massive former state funeral parlor that was transformed into an expansive complex of galleries, performance spaces, eateries, and shops in 2008. Among the stores in the back of the complex, Emmaüs (Wed–Fri 3–6 p.m., Sat noon–6 p.m.) is a standout: The beautifully arranged nonprofit thrift store sells charming vintage furniture, quilts, and clothes for remarkably low prices (most items under $50).

Drink martinis ($13 each) on a hill overlooking the city and dance to live music at La Bellevilloise, a cavernous former indoor food market that’s now a restaurant-club hybrid filled with olive trees. You can dine on steak frites ($30) there, or just have a beer while taking in a performance by Le Cabaret des Filles de Joie, a saucy local burlesque troupe.


Published on Nov 18, 2010 as a web exclusive.

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