I live in the 10th arrondissement (district), a trendy but not touristy area near République and the Canal St. Martin. The other night, I was rushing out to meet a friend for dinner. I was a bit behind schedule, and was worried that I’d be late, when I remembered a shortcut that’d get me there faster: I’d take the passages.
Paris has dozens of covered passages that date from the 19th century. These early walkways, which cut straight through the heart of a city block, were like early shopping malls, filled with boutiques, art galleries, and other intriguing little shops. Some, like the ultra-glamorous Galerie Vivienne, are well-known to the world. Others fly under the radar of almost everyone except locals. They’re not necessarily covered nor necessarily elegant. In fact, they can be a little gritty. But, for me, they exemplify “real” Paris [ . . . ] More: On the Town in the “Real” Neighborhoods of Paris – International Living