In the Quinze-Vingts neighbourhood not far from Gare de Lyon, an eternally cheerful street spiders off rue de Lyon.
During the colder months, I like to wrap up warm and walk around Paris instead of getting the metro (there are fewer people on the streets!), and the painted terraced houses lining the relatively recently cobbled rue Crémieux are one of my preferred detours. Reminiscent of Hanover in Brighton or Portobello Road in London, there’s something magical about strolling down here that allows you to briefly detach from the busy traffic, frustrated pedestrians and the familiar Haussmannian architecture.
As you can see in the photo, the houses feature trompe l’oeil paintings of animals, and further down, windows, birds and climber plants. Look out for the painted plaque on no. 8 marking the rise of the water levels during the Great Flood of Paris in 1910. Flooding is taken very seriously in Paris – flat contracts will state whether you’re in the flood zone for the Great Flood!
Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away. With every visit you might just notice one extra detail that had never caught your eye before, and half the fun is discovering the street’s little secrets for yourself…