September 7th, 2009 – by: nathanphil
You might notice that I jumped straight from September 4th to September 7th-- but thatâ€™s definitely not because I was slacking during that timeâ€¦ quite to the contraryâ€¦ On September 5th I arrived back in London and spent another whole day exploring the city-- and pasted that to my London entryâ€¦ Then on September 6th I arrived back in Paris and spent a whole nother day exploring that city-- pasting it to my Paris entry (entry 044) â€¦
Now is my second day in Paris and I feel Iâ€™ve fully explored the city and am ready to try to squeeze in a few more suburbsâ€¦
Since my hostel is in the north side of Paris and the bus station is on the east side, I figure Iâ€™ll just head north and then loop my way around to Bagnolet in the east.
I exit Paris at a huge, tangled overpass junction to the suburb of St Denis. But I see that downtown St Denis is a long ways to the north so I decide to leave it for another time and head straight east. I soon find myself in an urban no manâ€™s land that canâ€™t quite decide if itâ€™s residential, industrial or just empty, abandoned lotsâ€¦
Finally I reach Aubervilliers and the the town comes back to life. Iâ€™m in a commercial district, but not your cobblestone streets lined by chic botiquesâ€¦ These are big, boxy Chinese run wholesale shops that sell you shoes practically straight off the truckâ€¦
Finally I cross a canal and into the heart of Aubervilliers where it takes on a more traditional French character with a mix of sort of run down old building and new ones. Itâ€™s a predominantly immigrant suburb with a little bit of charm in its downtown cafĂ© lined plazaâ€¦
I continued on east, past a rather bizarre approach to preserving history. What looks like an old university building actually has a modern steel and glass structure built over the top of it!
â€¦And that was Aubervilliersâ€¦