Walking Around Les Halles

Uploaded by Mxsmanic on 13.07.2012

This is just a quick stroll around the Forum des Halles.
A key fixture in the neighborhood is the Pompidou Center, a modern-art museum.
The building was designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Gianfranco Franchini.
This is the Georges Pompidou (Beaubourg) Plaza, in front of the museum.
It’s unique in that street performers on the plaza are not usually inconvenienced by the police.
This building always reminds me of Beverly Center (which was built slightly later, in 1982).
This is the Igor Stravinsky Plaza, just south of the museum, with its sculpture pond.
It has some cafés and restaurants along its east side.
This street artist is creating an optical illusion in chalk on the sidewalk of the plaza.
That’s the church of Saint Merri in the background.
And this is a couple that chose to dance the tango with an audience on the plaza.
The south end of the museum from the Stravinsky Plaza.
This was filmed on a weekday. On weekends, the neighborhood is a lot more crowded.
This building used to hold public baths, before it became a police station.
Two of many street musicians and performers in the area.
A man creating metal wire sculptures.
I’m told this is capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. They were only there a minute or so.
These two musicians were pretty good.
A handy snack bar facing them offers slushies, crêpes, waffles, ice cream …
A colorful balloon sculptor waits for customers.
Let’s walk west a bit. The clarinet and guitar players are playing again.
The green truck is city sanitation.
This is the (pedestrian) Saint Merri Street.
Crossing Saint Martin Street (also pedestrian).
We can continue west on Aubry Le Boucher Street.
A 1970s-style newsstand.
And the latest generation of sanisette (self-cleaning toilet).
Various restaurants around this plaza (Edmond Michelet Plaza).
Another street artist spray-painting images. Some of them are very nice.
Walking towards the very busy, very noisy Sebastopol Boulevard.
Lots of independent shops and international chains along the way.
Too windy for a hat today, I’m afraid.
These bikes allow you to take a self-guided tour of Paris on two wheels.
And here’s a Vélib station right next to them, if you just want transportation.
This little street is Quincampoix Street (say that three times, quickly!).
Some international chain stores.
Citadium was originally mostly sportswear.
Yes, the boulevard really is this noisy!
And I shot this in July, when many Parisians are on vacation!
There’s a KFC on the corner on the right, one of a handful in Paris.
Now we’re on Berger Street, with more shops and restaurants.
A big café on the corner of Saint Denis Street.
Saint Denis Street transitions into a kind of red-light district further north.
At this point it’s trendy shops and restaurants, however. Looking south here.
And looking north.
This is the Fountain of the Innocents. It’s the oldest big fountain in Paris (1550).
It has actually been moved several times, however.
More shops and restaurants surround this plaza.
Pizza Hut is a much nicer restaurant chain in France than in the U.S.
And of course there’s the obligatory McDonald’s.
This is—or was—the Forum des Halles. It’s being rebuilt and remodeled at the moment.
It will take several years (just as it did the last time, around 1974).
This is how it’s supposed to look when it’s done.
The construction site is vast.
Berger Street, looking back east towards the Pompidou Center.
And Lescot Street, looking north, on the east side of the Forum des Halles.
Is anybody writing this down?
Walking north on Lescot Street.
There’s still a shopping center under the Forum des Halles.
As well as one of the world’s biggest subway stations, Châtelet_Les Halles.
The construction site is behind the wall on the left.
This shop has a huge selection of posters, cards, photos, etc.
Its name—“The Image Bank”—is quite appropriate.
This café/restaurant is also very well known.
Another café on Lescot Street.
Now we are walking west on Rambuteau Street, north side of Forum des Halles.
Looking back the other way.
The Les Halles Métro station, part of the vast Châtelet_Les Halles underground complex.
Montorgueil Street, a very trendy and popular street. I have a separate video on this.
Walking west again.
The Porte du Jour entrance to the Forum (this part is still open).
The restaurant on the right is the Pied de Cochon.
Pig’s feet are one of its specialties, as its name implies.
There are several other restaurants down this way, at the west end of Les Halles.
This is the street for cars that runs parallel to the sidewalk.
This restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This is Dehillerin, a world-famous paradise for lovers of (professional) kitchen equipment.
The window displays aren’t fancy, but the merchandise is the best of the best.
And it’s not cheap!
This is the Paris commodities exchange, the Bourse de Commerce, from the front.
And from the back (east side).
This is part of the as-yet-unrenovated Forum des Halles park (south side).
And one of the existing entrances (the shopping center is underground).
This is the temporary location of the kids’ playground in the park.
This is Saint Eustache Church, the largest in Paris after Notre-Dame.
Moving east again along Rambuteau Street.
Quincampoix Street again. We crossed the southern part a few minutes ago.
A quaint café on the opposite corner.
Walking east on Rambuteau Street, back towards the Pompidou Center.
This area’s a bit seedy in the wee hours, but it’s okay the rest of the time.
The Pompidou Center, northwest corner, and its plaza.
Across the plaza, you can see the spot where we started our walk.
The Clock Quarter (Quartier de l’Horloge) is a charming enclave north of the museum.
It has shops at ground level and apartments above.
A big shoe store.
Walking west along the pedestrian Bernard de Clairvaux Street.
There’s a huge home-improvement store off to the left (Leroy-Merlin).
Looking back the other way, up at the apartment buildings.
Looking north at a former pedestrian passageway (now offices, I think).
An information office (closed, apparently) next to the home-improvement store.
Now we are walking south again, back towards the Pompidou Center.
A small pedestrian passage to the east.
A lot of the museum’s structure is on the outside.
This allows completely unencumbered exhibition spaces on the inside.
A view of the plaza from the museum entrance.
Looking west.
Only a few street artists on weekdays.
A moving marquee over the entrance, in English.
Looking south from Saint Martin Street, adjacent to the plaza.
Restrictions applied to street performers and musicians marked on a sign.
A gelato store (part of a chain) on Saint Martin Street.
I don’t much care for this chain, but a lot of people like it.
The museum and plaza, and Saint Martin Street (looking south).
Lots of souvenir shops on this street, thanks to the museum’s proximity.
Not all shops are tourist-oriented, though.
Already 2013 calendars in July 2012. And they are expensive!
More touristy stuff, including the ubiquitous Eiffel Tower keychains and such.
Portrait artists awaiting customers under the trees.
About 66° F, just before 7 PM.
There’s more than this to the neighborhood, but I have to stop somewhere.
Thank you for watching my video!