In the north of France, out of the Paris traffic and its stereotypes, in those suburbs ignored by everyone, a vital and sparkling neighborhood is putting itself in the spotlight: Batignolle, XVII arrondissement, the core of Parisian (and not only) hipster life.
Looking at the history, this neighborhood in the Northwest of the city was one of the most beloved by impressionists, so much that in 1860 some of them founded the Group of Batignolle. They would meet in Cafè Guerbois, on Avenue de Clichy, to drink and debate art and their projects.
Manet chose this place because it was near Hennequin’s art store, where the artist bought material for their paintings.
It still has an old-time charm, but in spite of its historical places and pedestrian streets, it is chic and never pretentious. It is full of shops, cloisters, traditional delis, small ateliers and parks, but it is seen as the most “bobo” neighborhood of Paris.
What does “bobo” mean? It comes from of the shrinking of Bourgeois-Boheme, characterized by a radical chic and condescending connotation, but here is where you can find the most interesting places.
You can start from Parc Monceau, which is probably one of the fanciest parks of the city: its weeping willows and the colors mixing in the water reflection will for sure remind you of Monet’s paintings. In fact, this is where Monet got inspiration for his paintings.
If you are nearby on a Saturday, you can go to the fully stocked biological market of Batignolle Batignolle (96 bis rue Lemercier 75017, Paris Métro 13 Brochant) to buy croissants, fruit and delicious natural jam to eat with the very typical baguette. Una “déjeneur sur l’herbe” is certainly the best way to enjoy an amazing day at the park.
A nice walk will lead you to discover the most interesting places: here you can find a very special rue. The passage Geoffroy-Didelot, created in the 1843, is a small coloured street, that preserves the characteristic of an out-of-time village, where you can happily discover how the artists of the Atellier du Passage enjoyed painting the faces of shopkeepers and old inhabitants of the village.
Not too far, just out of the Passage, you can have a look at the famous Hébertot, previously known as “Theatre des Arts”, a fascinating corner of art and culture, still living on since 1830.
Do you love shopping? In that case you should check out The Rue des Dames, the Rue Legendre, the Rue de Levis, The Place du Docteur Félix Lobligeois and the Square de Batignolles: here you can find hipster and peculiar shops among informal restaurants and café serving food from all over the word.
If you want high-level cuisine at affordable prices, try La Fabrique de Bouchons (17 Rue Brochant, 75017 Paris), a small restaurant founded in an old cork factory. A seasonal, creative and of course, delicious cuisine.