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Ah, almost summer ! As the days here in Paris finally begin stretching out easily to ten p.m., on the sunniest early evenings, people everywhere are lounging on outdoor café patios or terrasses. In my ‘hood, we’re catching up on local
gossip news, and just watching people go by as they leave the Père Lachaise cemetery. But some of us are taking advantage of what used to be called l’heure verte, or the green hour.
At the crossroads of four different arrondissements, Belleville is known among Parisians as a miniature Chinatown and for its rowdy bars. But who knew that the area’s history was so rich in entertainment ? Even before it was a part of Paris, Belleville was already the city’s most talked-about party district, beginning with the construction of a wall in 1785.