With nothing better to do, Understanding Frenchman and I decided that it was time for me to discover a new corner of Paris and, as I have something of a penchant for climbing hills, we took the metro to La Butte aux Cailles in the 13th.
La Butte aux Cailles has a bit of a Montmartresque feel to it, but without the tourists, the bracelet sellers and the Amelie Poulain overkill. It's an arty area which looks a bit scruffy and rough around the edges but, like everywhere in Paris, it's an expensive kind of rough around the edges. (Out of sheer curiosity, I was browsing the Parisian property websites the other night. 180 000 euros for a 17-square metre studio anyone?)If you like altitude, the Butte itself is also a little disappointing - unlike the Butte de Montmartre and the Buttes Chaumont, it has almost no view.
Before I start sounding too negative though, there was one thing about the Butte aux Cailles that I found very cool, and that was the street art that was peeling in an expensively scruffy way off many of the walls. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the photos:
The writing on this one translates as, "With love, time passes by quickly. With time, love passes by less often."
And finally, there was this surrealist optician's sign with shades of The Great Gatsby:
Someone is watching you!