With Parisians allowed to go out for only an hour a day, one Belleville resident uses the time to learn the history of her suddenly peaceful neighbourhood
Since the beginning of France’s total lockdown on 17 March, the weather has been unusually and brilliantly sunny in Paris. But well into our fifth week of confinement, we are only allowed to go out with a dated permission slip and to travel within a 1km radius of our home, once a day, and for a maximum of one hour. Most Parisians have logged their address and arrondissement (district) number into a handy site that calculates the circumference around their home.
In my case, this includes the northern reaches of the Belleville neighbourhood, whose inhabitants are historically known for their penchant for rebellion and fights for social justice. It’s also a cultural melting pot and remains boisterously mixed, ethnically and socially, despite the gentrification that has been inching forward for the past 15 years.