In Paris’ 17th Arrondissement, a neighborhood called Batignolles, there is a small plaza, Place De Levis, that knocked me out.
It’s in a bourgeois neighborhood that’s well off the tourist path. It’s small; I’m guessing about 200’ by 500’, ringed by a hodgepodge of stores and dotted with street furniture. Nothing fancy at all, really modest.
But I think it’s the perfect small urban open space.
The surrounding buildings frame it well, even curving at the corner.
It’s got a fountain, benches, a news kiosk, handsome Parisian street lights, and boxes of trees. There’s a bike rack.
An allée of trees frames a zone for dedicated pedestrians. The pavement is a little different there.
Around the corner is a car-free street of food markets, bakeries, produce, fish, cheese, all the stuff a Parisian needs.
Benches face two directions.They can double as play equipment.
At one end it’s anchored by a café and a fruit and vegetable stall.
There are fliers.
Plus there’s a newsstand and the poster kiosk, so there are plenty of ways to get the news.
There are a lot of reasons to be there: a pharmacy, a daycare center, a bank with an outside ATM, a driving school, a café, a small storefront for electrolysis (“Body Minute”), a real estate office. I saw two motorcyclists kissing while a few feet away a group of school kids admired a pet rabbit.
There’s a stand where this woman sells hats and socks.
I bought a really nice wool cap for 20 euros (about $24).
There’s even a condom vending machine.
Of course there’s street art…
including the PacMan variety found all over Paris.
On weekends dads bring their kids to practice soccer.
That’s the one thing that’s prohibited:
Thank you !