An Adventure Along the Rue de Mouzaïa (19th arr.)

Hello All!

I have given the blog a little makeover to go along with my shorter hair and started using the ever-popular “Mistylook” theme here on WordPress. While it seems that *everyone* is using it, I like its clean lines, fonts, and links, and it was just time for a little change here as well. The color scheme is very similar to the one before, though, so not all is completely different.

I’d meant to keep my original header photo so that my blog would not look too different, but now I can’t find the photo I used for it. Eh, it’s somewhere. Instead, out of laziness at not wanting to hunt it down, I picked another photo which is of the belvedère from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and which was also a part of the original header photo I used.

Like Living in a Children’s Book…

Photo Collage 2009-12-14 rue de Mouzaia

This week, I read another post by one of my most favorite “Mom Bloggers” in the world, Betsy Shaw. She posts on not only her personal blog Numbmum, but is also a long-time writer for the BabyCenter MOMformation website, posting under the blogname “Babe’s Blog.” A couple of the reasons I like Betsy’s blogs is that we are about the same age, have a youngest child born in the same week (early November 2005), and both live in France — Betsy and her family have been in rural Burgundy for about a year now (maybe just over that…).

Because of something she wrote on her most recent post “Arranged Marriages and Angry Bedtime Stories,” I got inspired to write about something I have been meaning to for about three months now: An Adventure Along the Rue de Mouzaïa.

In the post, she describes the clarinet playing of neighbor boy Oliver. Using lovely imagery, Betsy captured the moment and made me feel like I was there. It was this couple of sentences that inspired me the most:

It [Oliver’s playing the clarinet next door] makes life feel as rich and quirky and full of color as a children’s book. The way life should feel.

“YES!” I thought, reading those lines. That IS the way life should feel! I also realized that the simile captured how I felt about the Rue de Mouzaïa and meeting Peter Olson of Peter’s Paris — like I was living in a children’s book, where life is rich, quirky, and full of color.

So, I bring to you An Adventure Along the…

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa

Tucked away in the middle of the 19th arrondissement, nestled in the center of Métro line 7 bis, is an area of streets containing charming late-19th Century row houses, designed (mostly) by French architect Paul Casimir Fouquiau. On a very chilly December 14 (2009)  Monday morning, Peter Olson of Peter’s Paris and I met to check out this off-the-beaten-path area of the 19th in Paris and see what we could trouver.

I like the French verb “trouver,” to find; it makes me think of treasure troves, mysteries solved, and discoveries made. Peter and I found some unique things on our journey that day, including the discovery of common interests and friendship. Keep reading to trouver for yourself about what we found.

Where is the Rue de Mouzaïa?

The Rue de Mouzaïa is in the southeast of the 19th arrondissement. This is the Métro Line 7 bis (bis meaning “second” or “additional.” Line 7 bis is an addition to Line 7).


Line 7bis - ratp02

(Source: RATP site)

Here is the map from Google Maps to show the general area of the 19th where the Rue de Mouzaïa is located. You can see Métro stations Botzaris, Place des Fêtes, Pré Saint-Gervais, and Danube forming a circle around the Rue de Mouzaïa at the center.

19th arrondissement

This one shows the specifics of the street location, just to the east of Rue de Crimée and the Métro Botzaris at the top of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont (click on the picture to see a larger version, then hit your browser’s “Back” button to return to the post):

rue de Mouzaia - google maps

Along the Rue de Mouzaïa, there is what has been described as

a herringbone of semi-streets, aligned on either side of the Rue Mouzaïa, between the Rue de Bellevue and the Place de Rhin-et-Danube.

(Metropole Paris dot com)

Before I get to all that we saw on the walk on the rue, however, I wanted to share another hidden treasure unearthed by Peter some months before off the Rue de Crimée: the Eglise Saint Serge de Radonège.

Eglise Saint Serge de Radonège

Saint Serge de Radonège
When I met Peter at the Métro Jaurès and said we’d be walking up towards the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, he suggested we go up the Rue de Crimée to see the Eglise Saint Serge de Radonège on the way.

Located at 93 Rue de Crimée, writer Michel (Mikhail) Ossorguine  (1887-1950) has recounted the process by which the church was purchased in July 1924. The history appears on the Eglise Saint Serge de Radonège website. Even though my French still sucks, Google is amazing, and through its translation page Google Translate, I was able to read the entirety of the history of how a little German church that had been started to help the German working-class  poor in the late 19th Century became a Russian Orthodox one. Even if you don’t read French, go copy it into Google Translate and have a look. It is a good read (if you are into such historical things, that is. There are also some nice little personal touches in the story which I found delightful to read).

I got really curious about who Michel Ossorguine was, and I found this article online (which I also translated, thanks to my Chrome web browser), and discovered the following at the blog Bibliophilie Russe.

Ossorguine was a Russian journalist and a writer. He was affiliated with the Socialist Revolutionaries at the beginning of the 20th century [Ed. note: it says at this site – the Bulletin des Biblioteques de France – that he was a follower of Bakunin] . It was because of this affiliation that he took refuge in Italy for a time between 1906 and 1916. In both 1919 and 1921, he was arrested by Soviet authorities. In 1922, Lenin expelled Ossorguine from Russia along with 150 other intellectuals. He then moved to Paris [in 1923] but kept his Soviet passport until 1937. He saw great success in the U.S. in translations during this time. During the Nazi occupation, he lived in the free zone and boldly sent articles hostile to Nazism and Communism to the American press, who published the writings under his real name. Mr. Ossorguine published twenty books including five novels. He was a Freemason and is known for his novel “The Freemason” describing the Masonic lodges of the Russian emigration.
(Taken from the Bibliophile Russe blog, translated by Google, and edited by me.)

In the history that Ossorguine wrote, I appreciated this description:

Once on the property [at 93 Rue de Crimée], I was amazed. Imagine a large area uninhabited for ten years, located on a hill. At its foot, houses, trees, and grasses surround the yard, separated from the street by the rear facades of nearby houses. The vegetation of  ten years’ growth gave the whole a very picturesque charm.

(Taken from the church website history, translated by Google, and edited by me.)

You can see for yourself how picturesque the area is.

Saint Serge de Radonège

Saint Serge de Radonège

Saint Serge de Radonège

As rich and colorful and quirky as a children’s book, no?

For more on the Eglise Saint Serge de Radonège, see Peter’s Paris post here, and Paris-Bise-Art’s post here. They have some lovely photos in their posts, including ones of the interior, which Peter and I were not able to see that day. I noted on the church website that you can call  to make an appointment to visit the inside. Guests are welcome freely to see the exterior, though. Here is another informational site from the Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge.

The following photo is what the entry gate to the property looks like. It’s on the right hand side of the street as you walk south and up the hill towards the Buttes Chaumont. It really is a very nondescript entrance, so keep your eyes open if you choose to try to trouver it!

93 rue de Crimee

Continuing the Journey

Peter and I walked up the Rue de Crimée and up to the corner of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont at Rue Botzaris.  We crossed the Rue de Crimée to continue on Rue du Général Brunet, crossing Rue Compans. We then turned right onto the Rue de Mouzaïa.

Very quickly we noted small side streets where row houses climbed the inclined passages.
19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Looking south up the hill towards the Place des Fêtes on Villa d’Alsace Architectural Walks article describes the architecture of the Mouzaïa this way:

Owners of building lots had to comply with a exact specifications: the houses were to include a ground floor and up to only one floor above ground level, due to the instability of the ground (no basements could be constructed). The homes were to have been built from one of four standard plans comprising a front garden and courtyard at the rear…

The houses are linked together along narrow streets with the steep north-south direction to provide an overall very strong unit. The architecture is very simple. The main facades of the houses were originally in red brick. Today, most are covered with a white or tan stucco [Ed Note: we saw lots of colorful homes as well]. The ground floor almost always includes two elements: the entrance, very close, which is enhanced by a small wrought iron marquise and a window or door-window overlooking the garden located at the front of the house. As for the ground level, it is often pierced with two openings, one large enough for the main room and another smaller one for the lighting of the water closet. These windows are often embellished with decorative geometric patterns, slightly raised.

(Taken from the site, translated by Google, and edited by me.)
19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

This photo shows the uniformity of the homes

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Here is a home showing the original red brick (on Villa d’Alsace).

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

A home with a stone façade and showing the wrought iron marquise and the windows as described (on the side street Villa Eugène Leblanc)

Why the ground instability?

According to the article, one of the oldest and largest gypsum quarries was in operation in this area until the 1870s. The ground instability is due to the fact that there are giant holes/caves from quarrying several meters under the earth where the houses are built.

The website (French) says that:

The area of Mouzaïa, whose name is taken from a locale in Algeria, is located on a former gypsum quarry which had operated since the Middle Ages. The material extracted was even used to build the Statue of Liberty and the White House in Washington!

The thirty “workers’ houses” from the street Mouzaïa were built in 1890 by Paul Casimir Fouquiau. They are both a reflection of site constraints because of the ground instability due to the presence of the quarries and a first public effort to improve housing and sanitation for poor workers living in Paris.

Here are some other photos capturing the quaint, colorful, and quirky storybook feel of the neighborhood:

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Walking past the homes, I cannot help but wonder what they are like inside. (On the Villa de Bellevue.)

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

I liked the rustic wooden look of the shutters on this one. I think that the smaller window on the right must be the one for the W.C.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Even on a cold December day there were lots of colorful flowers. It must be even prettier in spring and summer!

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Pretty blooms…

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

While the sky was shining brightly, some of the homes were in the shade, leading to somewhat darkened photos. Here’s another home with the tiny W.C. window.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

This yard was very quirky! Peter got an even better shot of the yard, hopping up on the ledge of the fence to get a picture of the yard from over the fence.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

More quirkiness. These yards reminded me of some of the ones I saw once-upon-a-time in the formerly hippie Boulder, Colorado.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Here is another photo showing the wrought iron work on the fences and gates around each home.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

A pretty address placard.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Another row of the cobbled pedestrian “villa” streets, this one looking up towards the Place des Fêtes. (Villa Emile Loubet, I think.)

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Many of the houses are painted in bright colors. (Villa Sadi Camot)
19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

Looking down the Rue de l’Egalité towards the banlieues (suburbs) north of Paris.

19th arr Rue de Mouzaïa Neighborhood

The Rue de Lilas, overlooking the Boulevard Sérurier.

When I walk through neighborhoods such as these, I can’t help but wonder at what it looks like inside the homes, who lives in them, and what each of their stories are. Am I nosy? I suppose. I think it is more of the reader and writer in me, however, that craves to know the answers to the questions, “Who, What? Where? Why? When? How?”

I suppose I should have become a journalist instead of an English teacher. 😉

After the Mouzaïa

After walking the stretch of the Rue de Mouzaïa, Peter and I walked further to the east to what we discovered was the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge (and this link in English), which is on the very edge of Paris just inside the Périphérique, the ring road around Paris. Walking down the Rue de Alphonse Aulard to where it connects with the Boulevard d’Algérie, we entered the park.
Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge

It was chilly being up on this butte in the cold weather. My camera battery started to fail from the cold, but I did get some shots of the views and an interesting sculpture while there.

Here is some information about this park, from the site in English about Paris’ parks, squares and gardens:

The Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge gets its name from an old tavern in the area. The park covers 46,880 square meters and is situated on the slope of a hill, offering an excellent view of eastern Paris. It was designed in 1939 by Léon Azéma in the neo-classic style typical of the 1930s and it was Léon Azéma, along with two other architects, Jacques Carlu and Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, who designed the Palais de Chaillot two years earlier, in 1937. The Parc de la Butte Chapeau Rouge is on the eastern edge of the city and bordered by a large auto-route so it’s not often frequented by Parisiens or tourists.

There are three notable sculptures in the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge:

  • At the main entrance the stone sculpture “Eve” created by Raymond Couvègnes in 1938 stands in a fountain.
  • “Deux Femmes et un Enfant” (“Two Women and a Child”) created by Pierre Traveres also in 1938.
  • A marble sculpture called “Both” created by the Belgian sculptor Eugene Dodeigne in 1990.

In the 19th century, the Parc de la Butte Chapeau Rouge was part of a large network of gypsum quarries in the 19th arrondissement, as was the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The quarries had the nick-name of “the quarries of America” because these quarries shipped gypsum (plaster) to America hence the name “Plaster of Paris.”

Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge

A view to the east.

Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge

A view to the north.

Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge

Check this “view on black” for a more detailed view of this picture. It really shows the wonderful view from the park of the northeast of the suburbs surrounding Paris.

Parc de la Butte du Chapeau-Rouge

This, I am assuming based on what information I can find online, is the sculpture “Deux Femmes et un Enfant” (1938) by Pierre Traveres, mentioned above (I saw photos online of the other two sculptures in the park in the linked articles, but Peter and I did not see them that day).

I learned something about the design of the park from the Paris Walking Tours site (part of the same information quoted earlier):

The park was designed in 1939 by Léon Azéma in the neo-classic style typical of the 1930s. It was Léon Azéma, along with two other architects, Jacques Carlu and Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, who designed the Palais de Chaillot two years earlier, in 1937.

The park really does have a late 1930s  feel about it. Maybe it is getting picky, but I kept thinking the Palais de Chaillot was more Art Deco, so I looked up about the architectural style of the Palais. It says on Essential Architecture dot com that the Palais de Chaillot is something called “stripped classical” which appears in public and institutional buildings from 1900-1945. The site also says this is a style where, “columns, entablatures and pediments have been peeled off or … a starkly functional, symmetrical building to which the classical orders could easily be added. Rarely, however, was ornament completely eschewed, and a few touches of Art Deco were not uncommon.”

So there you go – why some neo-classical buildings from the 1930s often have an Art Deco look and feel.  The statue reminded me a little of the paintings done by Diego Rivera, who also created works in this same period.

Where next?

I think we must have exited the west side of the park around Boulevard Sérurier. While I don’t really remember exactly, I think we may have continued down the Rue David d’Angers. I for certain remember seeing the statue at the Place de Rhin et Danube.  I also know for certain that we eventually connected with the Rue Manin because I have a photo to prove it:

Lycée Georges Brassens

We passed by this colorful brick school which I later learned from researching is Lycée George Brassens, at 40, Rue Manin.

Lycée Georges Brassens

Some of the history of the school can be found at the school’s website. Here is a little bit of it:

Under the Third Republic, in response to a growing population and the aspirations of creating a secular school, the City of Paris built around the 1890s, along the rue Manin, a series of school buildings: a middle school, primary school, and kindergarten occupying 30, 40, 40a and 40b of the street.

Our old building at 40a, was first a middle-school girls boarding school. It became a co-ed middle school serving nearly 450 students during the 1970s, and the boarding school was abandoned. In 1981 the school was named “Georges Brassens” in honor of the singer/songwriter who died that year.

(English translation by Google Translate, with editing by me.)

The history goes on to explain that student population growth in the 1990s led to a newer middle school being opened nearby in 1993, and that now the school buildings serve the students enrolled at the nearby Paris Conservatoire.

Here’s an interesting thing — I discovered from this post that I live just up the street, not two minutes by foot away, from the main Paris Conservatoire. Founded in 1795, it used to be located in the 9th arrondissment, but is now on Avenue Jean Jaurès in the 19th. I have walked past the building a bajillion times, and even photographed it, knowing that it had something to do with the arts, but not knowing it is the headquarters of one of Europe’s preeminent conservatories of music and dance.

Apparently, the Lycée Georges Brassens is an extension of the conservatory where classes are offered on a flexible schedule so that the budding artists can practice their arts outside of regular schooling.

Lycée Georges Brassens

The former entrance of the school for girls.

Lycée Georges Brassens

Lycée Georges Brassens

The former entrance for the boys.

The Cimetière de la Villette

The last and final discovery that Peter and I made was the Cimetière de la Villette. It is located at 46 Rue d’Hautpoul, off of Rue Manin. Interestingly, the middle school that was opened in 1993 to replace the Georges Brassens school is visible from the cemetery.

Near the Cimitière de la Vilette

This is a corner of the modern middle school (called a collège in French) outside the entrance to the cemetery.

Here are some other photos of the cemetery.

Cimitière de la Vilette

It is not a very large cemetery.

Cimitière de la Vilette

It’s still populated, though.

Cimitière de la Vilette

Modern buildings surround the cemetery, which the site says has been in existence since 1828. However, it also mentions that

The original cemetery was beside the old village church, which had been raised in the fifteenth century on the Rue de Flandre. In 1770, a second cemetery was established at the gate of that church. Both cemeteries were still in business until 1806… [There was] a third field of rest … which itself closed in 1831, three years after the creation of the cemetery on street Hautpoul.

Google Translate kind of let me down with interpreting exactly what was meant in this history, so I am not sure I interpreted correctly what is on the original French site, but I think the gist of it is that all of the cemeteries were apparently combined into the Cimetière de la Villette by 1828. The also covers some of the notable dead in the cemetery, including “the aptly named Just Mougeot (1846-1864), pupil of the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, who drowned in the age of 18 years, trying to save a young man.

Something is missing in the translation for I don’t understand the aptness of the boy named “Just.” (Was it justice that he was drowned saving another? Is a “Mougeot” another name for a hero? I don’t get it…)

Cimitière de la Vilette

Another view of the collège from the cemetery gates. I have a feeling it is a lot prettier with leaves on the trees and other foliage in bloom; still, it is no Père Lachaise. From a historical perspective of working class Paris in the 19th Century, it does hold some interest. It’s not crowded with tourists, either!

Lunch and Conversation

In need of warmth and sustenance, Peter and I followed Rue Manin back to Rue Crimèe just at the northeast lower corner of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. We stopped to lunch in a restaurant near the Place Armand Carrel and the Mairie for the 19th. I think it might have been La Kaskad’ Café, but honestly, I don’t remember for sure. I know I found something I could eat on the menu (a Salade Niçoise), I had a warming coffee, and it felt really good to sit and thaw out after being in the chill air outside. Peter and I enjoyed a very good conversation during lunch about life, the universe, and everything. After lunch, I walked with Peter to the Métro Colonel Fabien, where I learned one thing more from him as we said goodbye at the Métro.

From late October to the end of December, Métro Line 2 at Jaurès was closed for repairs, so we were using the stop at Colonel Fabien a lot. Each time I went to the Métro there, I saw this building and wondered what it was:

Communist Party Headquarters (Parti Communiste Français)

Peter told me that it is the French Communist Party Headquarters. The building was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer — famous for designing the public buildings in Brasilia, Brazil as well as the United Nations buildings in New York City. The UK online publication of Building Design has an excellent article on the structure, with photos of the interior here: “Edgar Gonzalez visits Niemeyer’s French Communist Party HQ.”

The End

All good stories must come to an end, and this is where this one does. I hope you enjoyed Peter’s and my adventure along the Rue de Mouzaïa and that you have gotten a satisfactory taste of Paris off-the-beaten-path from this post. To read a couple of other good posts about the Rue de Mouzaïa see the following:

Until next time (which will be soon — I am meeting Peter again next week, fingers crossed!), I am your

alien parisienne

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33 thoughts on “An Adventure Along the Rue de Mouzaïa (19th arr.)

  1. Thanks for introducing us to Betsy’s blog…I enjoyed it! It seems like Peter has all the fun..LOL! He is out there exploring and having a fab time with all of his blogging buddies. The man is a walking guide book 😉 Love the village and all its colors. I might need to do a quick visit! I can see my children having fun on those streets. And I have definitely not seen such beautiful well taken care of schools or cemeteries in the States. Thanks for the great post….I feel like I did have a tour 🙂

    • Hi Corine! Isn’t Betsy’s blog great? I am glad you checked it out. Peter really does get out there and meet his fellow bloggers. It’s wonderful how he is so active with meeting others the way he does.

      It is an interesting neighborhood — it does involve a lot of walking and I don’t know if the kids would like it much, but the park does have a playground. Even better, though, would be to take them to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. They would LOVE that, I know!

      Hope the snow in Denver is finally melting!

  2. “As for the ground level, it is often pierced with two openings, one large enough for the main room and another smaller one for the lighting of the water closet”

    non-google translation: and on the ground floor, two windows, a larger one for the livingroom and a smaller one so you can see yourself in the shower.

    “Why the ground instability?
    According to the article, one of the oldest and largest gypsum quarries was in operation in this area until the 1870s. The ground instability is due to the fact that there are giant holes/caves from quarrying several meters under the earth where the houses are built.”

    Now you know cavers like my friends and myself would love to buy one of these houses, tear out the flooring in a closet or the corner of one room, dig down and try to connect with these passages, to have our own “in-house” caves (great for caving parties, training sessions, developement of new techniques, ect)

    It is so interesting to see the juxtaposition between those lovely pieces of presurved history and the modern architecture just beyond.

    “When I walk through neighborhoods such as these, I can’t help but wonder at what it looks like inside the homes”

    One of the interesting things when I moved to Merced, the first house I lived in had little in the way of changes since the turn of the century. This was due more to having a series of cheap landlords than presurving, but we ended up wit art-deco fixtures and a wooden bin that swung out under the sink of potato peels and eggshells (I said “cool” and my gf wrinkled her nose and said “eww”). The reality of this was that our wiring was way out of code and the sockets had seen so much use that plugs literally fell back out and would not stay plugged into the wall without aid. We did not live there long enough to find the other quirks as we soon moved into a huge, newer house, but that short time made quite an impression.(I wish I had taken pictures)

    “Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge” sign (well the first line of don’ts anyway) no dogs, skateboarding, jogging, soccer, really can’t see the rest, but is there anything you can do in this park?? The the Cimetière de la Villette has a very striking architecture.

    • “Now you know cavers like my friends and myself would love to buy one of these houses, tear out the flooring in a closet or the corner of one room, dig down and try to connect with these passages, to have our own “in-house” caves (great for caving parties, training sessions, developement of new techniques, ect)”

      Yeah, might be some issues with the city on that one, BUT you could go on underground tours of the city, sanctioned and not! There are lots of clubs for that here.

      “The reality of this was that our wiring was way out of code and the sockets had seen so much use that plugs literally fell back out and would not stay plugged into the wall without aid.”

      True, older homes have their quirks, huh. I think this makes them interesting, if a pain in the ass, lol.

      Yeahhhhh, there are signs at every park like that, well, except for a few where jogging is allowed. I think you can walk there, and play on the playground. LOL. They close parks here in snowy weather, too. Don’t want people hurting themselves, but then the kids have nowhere to play in the snow… I’m not sure about why all the “Don’ts,” though. Too much wear and tear with those other activities?

  3. Interesting! The only time i’ve been up that way was to visit the park, and it lasted all of five minutes as a mob of young immigrant boys started following me and cat calling and I didn’t feel very safe so I got back on the metro. We’ve got a good friend living on Crimée and I just don’t feel good walking there alone. Perhaps that’s why i’m so surprised to see your photos of such quaint and cute little houses in that area!
    really nice and informative post. Perhaps i’ll have to give it a second try if I find myself in that area again.

    • Hi Amber! I am glad you came by. 🙂

      Crimée is “interesting,” for sure. I feel pretty safe there, in general, but it is true that I was not on my own this time. It’s not as rough a place as Barbès or the suburbs, IMHO, but it is true that it feels a little less-protected than the touristy areas in Paris. You can find yourself in that area again with me, if you like! I would like to go back in May or June when the trees and flowers are all in bloom and it is WARM. Let me know. 🙂

  4. “Juste” was used as a surname before, so his full name must have been “Juste Mougeot”. Mougeot as far as I know does not mean anything.

    Your lovely walk in the Mouzïa, makes me regret even more that we did not buy the appartment we wanted in that neighborhood.

    • Thank you Cynthia! Oh wow! You had a chance to buy a place there, eh? I really think I would like living in one of those homes. They seem really interesting! Maybe, like Ken points out, they may have some problems with being older, and needing new wiring and so on. I would be so curious to see the interior of one, though.

      I’m so glad you stopped by, and thanks to Google Translate, I got to read a little at your blog, too! 🙂

      Take care.

  5. Always interesting to see corners of the city that aren’t as touristy! Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Paul

    Beautifully written and the pictures are Gorgeous! How is it you can take such awesome photos of street signs!? We’re gonna have to take one of these walks one day.

    Love you, Angel


    • Hey, PJ —

      Thank you & yes, I would love to walk with you to one of these places!

      Love back atcha.

  7. Oh, I miss my old neighborhood! I lived in the 19th on Rue de Lorraine and the corner of Rue de Crimee. If not everyone likes the area that’s fine – let’s keep the secret! Between the Buttes Chaumont, the Canal, and the Villette, I felt spoiled for riches.

    You have introduced me to many new things in this post, though. How did I miss that church when I practically lived on Crimee?

    This makes me want to go exploring again. You know I love non-touristy Paris. Thanks for sharing such great off-the-beaten-track places!

    • Hi Sion!

      Oh heyyyy! You were right next to the Nice Monoprix (lol — that one is huge compared to the one on Rue Sécrétan, which is where I usually go)! Spoiled for riches is just it… it is a really nice place (shhhh. I’m whispering now! ;-))

      I would not have known about the church, either, if not for Peter. I am so glad he showed me where it is. It is so true that non-touristy Paris has these little treasures, and I love looking for them! Thank you for reading. 🙂

  8. Hello Karin. First of all, please, do not apologize for not visiting my blog, Karin. What is a blog except a recreation, and commenting is not an obligation (according me ! I know, I know….some see it differently). My life doesn’t depend on how many numbers of comments a day I get ! Otherwise, I would post each day surveying my “comment-box”, and I would became pathetic…

    It seems you found Karin one of the secrets of our capital that can make you see it differently and appreciate it even more, no ? (I refer to your previous post about Versailles and our exchanges of comments). Not in its pretencious appearences but in its hidden charm.

    There are many places in Paris where one can find these little houses with a feeling of a provincial atmosphere. So peaceful and calm, discret, simple……( and maybe expensive, nowadays ).

    I imagine your pleasure to discover this Orthodox church, hidden behind this impersonal gate. I imagine, because I’ve found myself one orthodox church in the 15th arrondissement wandering the streets, a wooden one, with fabulous blue cupola. “Yours” and “mine” are like little treasures of peace. I like also the story or the History that links to the building. So many people ignore this. Living since ever in Paris, I even didn’t know the one you discovered.

    And who says that you couldn’t be at the time a journalist AND an English professor ? No need to make a choice….Live it, Karin !

    • Hi Catherine!

      I appreciate your gesture of not needing to apologize for not visiting your blog more. It’s true, blogging is just a recreation when it comes right down to it. I do tend to feel a bit like it is a neighborhood, though, and I feel a little rude if I do not at least offer up a “bonjour” now and again! I don’t live and breathe by the comments either, but I do appreciate them very much for what they are: people taking time out of their busy day to read and respond to things. So I will also say “merci beaucoup” to your doing the same for me. 🙂

      You are right, there is hidden charm to be found everywhere. Here is the kind of funny thing: this walk was taken just two days after my visit to Versailles — I just took so long to process the event and then get to posting it with first the holidays last Christmas, and then general life plus the desire to post about Versailles. I got a bit backed up, lol.

      Your adjectives are perfect to describe the atmosphere at Mouzaïa. I really hope to see what it is like in warm weather, too.

      Thank you for the link to the orthodox church you found. You are so correct: treasures of peace! I’m glad that you could learn more about Paris from this post, too.

      You are correct — maybe I don’t have to choose, I can be Wonder Woman and have it all, lol! We’ll see. 😉

      Be well and thank you again for your dialogue here!

  9. Carole

    I must find a way to move to Paris so that I can join you on your walks! 🙂

    • There you go, Carole! How about a visit, first and then we’ll see what to do from there, eh? 🙂 I’d love to play your guide!

  10. Thanks, once again, for all the props. You are a loyal bloggy friend. How can you stand all the possibilities for adventure and discovery in Paris? I don’t think I would be able to sleep at night if I lived there. Keep the stories coming. I need them.

    We’ve got some friends coming from Vermont next week and we’re hoping to go to Monet’s Gardens. My little artiste Esther has been dying to go since we first moved here. Have you been there? Any tips?

  11. Hi Karin,

    I’m having a good ole time over here reading the blogs of my posse. Love yours. You have indeed seen some cool things and met some cool people in this, our adopted city.

    Congratulations on your engagement! Yee haw!
    Bye for now,

    • Hi MJ, most fun American Mom in Paris! So glad that you could catch up here. 🙂 I was having fun checking out back posts and photos and so on on your blog, too, hee hee! It’s so fun to learn about people and places, I think, which is probably why blogging has such an attraction for me.

      Thanks for the congrats, and I’ll see you around the BlogHood, mmkay? 😉

  12. Sorry coming a bit late here; my PC was out of order for a few days.

    So nice to revive our nice (but cold) day together! I thought I gave rather complete info in my posts, but you beat me easily! Not surprising that it takes you some time produce them! I really look forward to a new walk with you … and some time later I will learn a lot about what we saw!

    Now, I believe a new visit during the spring with trees in blossom and flowers all around, would make the area look even more attractice, although you managed to hide the coldness very well!

    Anyhow, a great BRAVO for the “job” you have done here … and soon, hopefully, new adventures, lunches, talks…!

    • Peter — so sorry to hear the computer has not been working! It’s so frustrating when that happens, especially when so much of a person’s life (like yours and mine) is spent online creating and visiting others’ creations, too. I hope everything is well again soon.

      I really look forward to a new walk with you … and some time later I will learn a lot about what we saw!

      Me, too, but this time I hope I don’t procrastinate three months!! That was TOO long! Still, I really wanted to do everything justice and am glad to know you think I did so. I loved learning about everything, and having the chance to get to know you better. Absolutement, we’ll experience more soon. I’m looking forward to it.

      Be well, Peter!

  13. Peter gets everywhere! He is the blogger’s blogger!

    Nice photos here and so much research and information! What I find quite funny about these houses is that they were originally built for the quarry workers in the area, but are now worth about a million Euros!

    • Hi Adam! Thanks for stopping by and reading, and thanks for the props on the post. 🙂 Peter is incredible, isn’t he? I love his work so much and he is such a nice guy to boot. I hope that folks will make it to your site, too. I have lurked there a long time and have only commented maybe twice at the most, but I really enjoy your off-the-beaten-path approach there, too. I hope anyone reading this comment will go and check it out: Invisible Paris. In fact, I am just starting another post in which one of the things I need to work on is updating my blogroll. Adding your link is one of those things I need to accomplish!

      …they were originally built for the quarry workers in the area, but are now worth about a million Euros!

      I knew about the quarry workers (but forgot to write about that! Thanks for saying something about it! I also read that butchers and meat market workers lived there, too, as the slaughterhouses, which are now the Parc de la Villette and surrounding area, were so close), but had no idea that the homes now are about a million Euros! No sh*t! Whoah, that’s *incredible.* Guess I won’t be moving into that neighborhood any time soon, lol.

      Thanks again and be well, Adam.

  14. Thanks for the guidebook. Very comprehensive. Should I be surprised?

    • You betcha. 🙂 Like I wrote, now I wanna go! There was lots of good reading there! I hope you have a smooth trip to Giverny. Pictures later, please!! 🙂

  15. LOVE the Quartier Mouzaïa. Big Cheese and I used to stroll around those streets, cut through the park, and then head to the best Thai food in town on rue de Belleville.

    This, of course, was in around 2000-2003 B.C. (Before Children) and the naptime/bedtime routines totally knocked us for a loop…

    La Mom
    An American Mom in Paris

    • Hi La Mom! How fun to see you here! Thank you for visiting. 🙂 Sorry it took me a couple of days to reply to you here. We’ve been busy with kids and Easter and blah blah blah. 😉 How fun that you used to walk through the area, too, and YUM. Thai food! I’m thinking of pad thai now. Yes, kids have a way of knocking folks for a loop, a big loop — like to the moon or some new planet or something! I’m sure that the time B.C. feels like a totally different universe. Cool thing is, they grow and then you can do things like take them for long walks and Thai restaurants. 🙂

      Thanks again for popping in and hope to see you again soon.

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