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Can you tell me how to get to Clichy-Sous-Bois?

by Ocho Ha!

2005-11-15 02:55:26

Journalists arriving in the heart of the French Capital find quiet streets and life pretty much as normal. So how does one get the big story and some good fire footage? The PigDog Journal's European Coörespondant helps out.

It's rough, you know, one minute you're sipping a beer in a plaza in Prague or Berlin and the next minute you get a phone call from the boss ordering you to Paris to cover the riots. Riots! OMG, Paris is burning!

Trouble is when you actually get into Paris all you can find is some people shopping and drinking wine on the terraces. What's the big deal?

Paris, 6 Nov 2005.
By Feuillu, CC by-nc-sa.

Never fear, Pigdog Journal is here to help out: These directions can get you to the very scene of youthful mayhem in less than 2 hours of driving time!

Now, we don't know which hotel you prefer, so let's start from the U.S. Embassy on Place de la Concorde. You should know it from the last time you covered Lance Armstrong.

So, here we go: From Place de la Concorde you should see a street going directly north toward a big greek-looking temple. This is Rue Royal. Take it until you get to afforementioned temple. You are on Place de la Madeleine. Go around clockwise, and exit at Blvd. de la Madeline. Continue about a quarter mile, after which the name of the street changes to Blvd. des Capucines (yes the street names change sometime). After about a mile turn left onto Place de l'Opera. This could take 5 minutes or so if traffic is heavy.

Now you're going to want to exit the place onto Rue Halévy and then look out because you'll need to make a soft right onto Rue LaFayette. Now continue about 3 miles to Avenue Jean Jaurès and make another soft right. Unless you are in a hurry perhaps it would be a good idea to stop for a drink at one of the many brasseries along either side of the Avenue (we assume your photographer is driving: leave him/her in the van).

After about another mile Avenue Jean Jaurès becomes Place de la Porte de Pantin. Shortly thereafter you'll find a roundabout. Take the third exit onto Avenue de la Porte de Pantin. This will become the N3 highway. Settle in for a bit because you've got 10 miles or so on this road, which will take quite a while if there's any traffic at all. You're next turn is a right onto the N403 highway. Go about a mile and then turn left onto Allée Maurice Audan. You're almost there! Make a left onto Allée Salvadore Allende, and shortly you should find yourself on Place de 11 Novembre 1918. The City hall is on one side, and you should notice a little Brasserie not far away.

The locals inside will be able to tell you where the actual riots are on a given night, but you probably want to buy them a few rounds before asking since they are a little sensitive about this question. Oddly enough they seem to have the idea that the press are partly to blame for providing the kids with a "number of burned cars" scorecard. Go figure!

When you actually get to the riots do try not to leave you vehicle unattended, and try to avoid taking any position between the Police and the kids. Get your images, and head back. Since you'll be returning to Paris at night you should be able to make it back in just over half an hour.

Good Luck!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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