Square de Clignancourt is an upper-class enclave right by the 18e’s municipal hall. It’s accessible through only two short openings, which I’m surprised aren’t gated (like a lot of Villa entrances around the neighborhood): on Rue Joseph Dijon, to the north, and Rue Ordener, to the south.
Day or night, it’s a pretty stunning circle of towering, high-class haussmannian residences, with the actual square, the place’s green heart and lung, ensuring that those curved, cast-iron balconies have some room to breathe in an unparalleled view of the sky and trees. It feels like being in the 16e. Past 8, when the square closes like all Parisian green spaces, it gets very quiet; the residents and police probably wouldn’t let too many people congregate past dinnertime anyway. If you don’t mind a discreet climb, though, it’s (literally) a fantastic place to enjoy a late-hour kebab on a warm summer night.
Day-time, I guess it can be fun if you like the company of screeching toddlers and leaning patriarchs and yuppie couples on week-end afternoons. I think one summer we also used an empty parking space around the Square at 6 in the morning on our way back from a festival; had to stay awake two extra hours to get a parking-payment card (a complicated system if you ask me) from an open Tabac store. Apart from that, there’s really no reason to be in Square Clignancourt (there are no commercial spaces of any sort).
Le1f, if you haven’t seen his name around the blogs, is a young (and queer) NYC rapper/producer whom we’ll be talking some more about soon. In the meantime, his exciting mixtape Dark York is available for free download via Fader mag.
Le1f – “Uptown” (Greedhead 2012)