Favorite Streets in 12 European Cities
Cobbled lanes, broad avenues, streets for gallery-hoppers, food-lovers, shoppers and flâneurs: Contributors in 12 cities describe the byways (including one river) they love; and readers share their favorite walks on Facebook. APRIL 16, 2015
From the neon lights and sex shops of Boulevard de Clichy to the bucolic cobbled paths of Rue Georges Lardennois, Paris has a street for every mood and mission.
You can enjoy a walkable feast amid the fine food shops of Rue de Bretagne, stagger between bars on Rue de Lappe and then rejuvenate with a run on the Promenade Plantée, a disused elevated railway line blooming with gardens.
But if you are looking for one street where you will find outfits for every occasion, then head to Rue de Charonne.
It is a meandering one-lane thoroughfare of mostly unremarkable 20th-century buildings whose street-level hangouts — cool-kid cafes, homey small bars, vintage stores — and ever-evolving selection of French indie fashion labels draw Paris’s bourgeois bohemians.
Footwear from La Botte Gardiane, at No. 25, will help you pound the pavement in style.
Based in rural southern France, the family-owned business spent decades manufacturing rugged leather boots for French ranchers (which were sold mainly by mail order) before opening its first boutique in 2012.
“I’ve tried to develop the brand and make it more refined and more urban,” said Fanny Agulhon, who designs much of the company’s output.
The collection, which encompasses everything from sparkly rock ’n’ roll ankle boots (245 euros, or about $257 at $1.05 to the euro) to strappy sandals with ankle bands (€120), can be spotted on the feet of celebrities like Jean Dujardin.
Shimmery sand-colored socks (€25) set the tone for Emma François’s ethno-chic threads at Sessùn, No. 34. A sleeveless knee-length floral dress from the Libertad collection costs €125, while a translucent indigo jumpsuit is 165.
At No. 30, add skinny jeans (€160) from FrenchTrotters, courtesy of the designers Clarent and Carole Dehlouz.
A collegiate look suffuses the men's wear, like checkered button-down shirts with slim pen pockets (€155). Ladies can go formal with a sober waist-length blue trench coat (€330) or haute hippie in floral-print pajama pants (€180).
The street’s most original accessories lurk inside the black-painted confines of L’Adorable Cabinet de Curiosités de Monsieur Honoré, also at No. 30.
Animal skulls, exotic butterflies and a stuffed black bird decorate the space, which seems conceived by a debauched 19th-century zoologist. Witness the scorpions in a clear resin block (€13) — with a chain for keys — or black umbrellas with handles resembling a death’s head (€159).
By night, slumber awaits at No. 10-12 in the brand-new Hôtel L’Antoine, designed by Christian Lacroix.
Each floor’s decorative theme pays homage to the artists and artisans who have historically occupied the neighborhood.