Rue Denoyez is one of the most colourful streets in Paris with its ever-changing walls of street art and graffiti. Everything is coated in layers of spray paints and hand-drawn illustrations as artists work on their craft every day in the streets.Every time I walk along Rue Denoyez, I feel particularly uplifted and jolly. Perhaps it’s the bright splashes of colour and creativity that surrounds me : )Invader had made his mark on Rue Denoyez, however someone had removed the Rubik Space Invader, together with the tile on which it was plastered! He returned after this happened and, I believe, took the precaution of carving a niche in the wall tile before mounting another Space Invader – this time, one made of regular mosaic tiles – directly onto the wall, a few spots beneath its predecessor. It has since been sprayed over but you can see what it used to look like here.I noticed when I was editing this photo that the Chinese man was carrying two inflatable floats and I suppose that he must have been leaving from the public swimming pool further down the street. The author of the blog Graffiti du Monde pointed out the irony of this new pool being located at Rue Denoyez as the street’s name sounds like “some drowned people” in French (“des noyés“)!Here are some street artists at work while a little boy peered at the face of a gorilla through a fence. By the way, the tiled purple character wearing a helmet in the image above is called “Mettaur”. When I first noticed it in AB’s neighbourhood in summer 2011, I wasn’t sure if it was something by Invader as the style was quite different, yet whoever had put it up had chosen mosaic as his/her medium. It was only late last year that I chanced upon a blog that revealed the name of this mysterious mosaic character which I had in the meantime named “helmet head”. You can also see more of them here. Whoever is putting them up seems to favour places that have already been invaded by Invader!
For friends who are visiting Paris and are interested to see a more ‘local’ side of the city, instead of the usual touristy sights, I’d always recommend that they pop by Belleville as it is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in the city. Aside from Rue Denoyez and Parc de Belleville, I’d suggest that they stop for a drink or coffee at Aux Folies @ 8 rue de Belleville, which is right at the end of Rue Denoyez. Open from early morning (0600 on weekdays, 0700 on weekends) until past midnight every day, Aux Folies is always busy and the seats on the terrace are great for people watching in this multi-ethnic working class neighbourhood.Aux Folies was one of the bars/cafes that I visited with AB during my trip to Paris in December 2008 and I remember that I had a Picon bière as we stood at the counter, beneath the crumbling ceiling which looked like the result of a fire mishap. The ceiling has since been patched up. Edith Piaf used to perform next door – when it was still the Folie-Belleville cabaret hall. Today, a nondescript supermarket stands in its place.
To end this post, here’s a shot of a Space Invader sticker at Aux Folies on a warm summer evening : )Note: The first two photos were taken with a Lomo LC-A using a roll of expired Fuji Sensia 200 slide film.