0379 Pleasantly surprised by Nanterre (Fra 004—new)

Nanterre Travel Blog

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After wandering for several hours around the various districts of Reuil, I was finally ready to explore Suburb Number 4:  Nanterre. 


Nanterre is really a city of it’s own.  It’s the seat of the “Prefacture” sort of like the county--  another step in France’s extremely complicated division, sub division, and sub sub division…


From the northeast edge of Reuil, I head up to what looks like a hilltop park and veer off towards the west until I enter Nanterre… From there I get another view of Paris--  but not nearly as good as the one in St Germain.

  I head down a long stretch past small, cramped houses and rather dreary streets… At a huge, multistreet intersection, I couldn’t figure out which way to the city center, so I just made a lucky guess…


Soon I was back in another typical pedestrian only area with fountains and quaint outdoor cafes.  I found a beautiful little park where it seems folks like to come for their lunch breaks, or just to drink beer.  Here I pulled out my guitar, but once again, was unable to connect with anybody.


I continued on my way through middle class neighborhoods to Nanterre’s Mairie—which, unlike the others is actually a modern skyscraper.  Hey, somebody’s got to break the routine… I figure this Mairie is still worth a video clip…


I continue on, to another vast park around a lake with a beautiful view of  “La Defense”, Paris’s proud high rise business district (although it’s not actually in Paris)… from there I continued on to yet another high rise--  this one being the “Prefacture Building”… Damn… how many beaurocrat jobs can one little city support?


One thing that I do find very interesting as I wander around Nanterre is the racial mix of the city.

  Whites, blacks and Arabs seem to be living side by side, going to school together, working together…  It doesn’t have the “ghettoization” feel that the Paris region is so notorious for.   There’s a very friendly vibe to this place.

Afterwards I ask some of the locals about this.  I’m told that the fact that there’s a huge university here might contribute to that--  since students come from all over Africa to study here.   Only time will tell if  Nanterre will stay this way or will become a ghetto in the future. 


I’m quite intrigued by the whole immigrant situation here in France.  I’ll be keeping my eyes open over the next couple of days to see what more I can observe. 

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City Hall
City Hall
photo by: nathanphil