Header image by Natalie Rapoport. Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia. Barcelona.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

16th Arrondissement

The highlight attractions are frequented and besieged by tourists as if their main purpose is to deliver the instant image, to remind the visitors put a check mark in a guide book: what can you do if you have 1,2,3 days in Paris...
Then comes the question: what would you like to do if you have….as much or  as little time in Paris?
This time I’ve decided definitely to avoid long lines, navigate away from crowds, take it slooooowly, waaaaalk, enjoy and take the lunch time seriously.
That means keep in mind an itinerary as a mere suggestion. With pausing, shooting, stopping and taking ice cream breaks it’s only an outline, a slight gesture towards a certain direction. Let’s say 16-e arrondissement.

The Art Nouveau treasures by Hector Guimard are mainly scattered throughout this elite residential neighborhood that’s what I wanted mostly to see but couldn’t help  to admire all this grandeur and leafy perspectives proudly stretched out. Wrought iron balconies, excessive ornamenting, rotondes and coupoles, Art Nouveau fluid lines and Art Deco geometry, elaborate gates and fences, creamy cakes over the roof tops and beautiful edifices. Architecturally delicious if only sometimes too sweet.
So Guimard series are coming in next posts and this is just a pretext, a glimpse to surroundings.
One of many interesting things I love about Paris is that all arrondissments are very distinctive in character. The 16-th is very aristocratic and displays probably the most expensive and sought after property dated mostly fin de siècle.

What a beautiful triangle formed by Avenue Mozart and Avenue de La Fontaine. Far from high season frenzy, quiet, with very mild traffic, lush green with the parade of  well maintained elegant buildings, hidden gems and gated villas for wealthy. Seems like a natural habitat for haute couture clientele.
In fact there were very few pedestrians at all and occasional residents looked at me and where I was aiming camera with curiosity. Of course, they used to surroundings to the point of not noticing.
This part of the city between Trocadero and Bois de Boulogne is often referred as Parisian Upper East Side: straight-laced, uptight, buttoned up – polished and impeccable. But not as imperial as Avenue Foch.
No big stores just  a few exquisite boutiques (closed for August), beauty salons, traditional  patisseries, few cafes,  wonderful Marmottan museum underrated and overlooked by tourists, parks and hidden green corners.

Sparkling golden plates on buzz panels at ornate entrances inform you of businesses inside: lawyers and gynecologists the most common tandems, the buttons of latter are shined better. Therapists and physicians are ranked below. The ratio of doctors and lawyers is amazing.

My son was very excited about these toys on wheels and mastered a collection of these cute puppy cars.

And just  as I promised to my small team not to miss lunch and remembering that one won’t get any  after 2-3pm we stopped at the corner of Avenue  Mozart and Rue de l’Assomption at Bo Zinc. A very nice place as you can see. 

The meal was delicious and portions generous. Prices were very reasonable and the staff welcoming which was a bonus. The waitress wasn’t tired of tourists and even smiled back and service was fast and friendly. Not to mention a delicious dessert. Definitely would recommend it as a lunch stop if you happen to be in a neighborhood.

The happy and adorable residents of the 16th arrondissement.

See you soon my friends.

*All images Copyright Natalie Rapoport


  1. Hmmm...yes, I love that you took your time to explore off the beaten track. And do you know, in the four years that I lived in Paris, I only ever went to the 16th a handful of times? Fun to discover it through your eyes--more please!

  2. Gorgeous photos. The architectural details are delicious. And you're so right - each quartier has its own style.

    You make me feel as though I'm back there! (*sigh*)

  3. Oh you have taken me there with every step. And stepping off the well-worn tourist trek is always the most wonderfully engaging way to experience a city, I agree. Love the photograph of the photographer! Looking forward to the rest of the series. x


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