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Paris, as told by the locals
Menilmontant is the Parisian equivalent of Hackney in London - a rich immigrant population (in terms of diversity), and a 'poor' artist population. Which basically translates to much colour, little snobbery and not a gawking tourist in site to push up the prices.
You´ll find the Ateliers d’Artistes in this Eastern Parisian suburb, near the soon to be too-cool-for-school Belleville. Basically, it´s exactly what you should be looking for; a small gallery displaying the wares of local artists, www.Ateliersd'Artistes.
More than likely, if said artistes aren´t to be found lounging around the gallery awaiting your praise, they´ll be in the nearby Café Cherie smoking a Gitantes and trying their best not to look too much like a Parisian cliché – which is hard since this is where the ‘bobos’ (bourgeois bohemians) hang out.
For sleeps and nightmares as to why you´re not a hip Parisian artiste the best you can do is the Hotel Eldorado near the Place de Clichy, with a cosy bar on the ground floor, smiling receptionists, and a decent size room with stripped wooden floors and antique furniture.
Then you can go be insulted, as you deserve to be since you´re most assuredly neither a hipster nor a bobo, more a booboo, at Chartier, a truly magnificent eatery that´s dripping in Belle Epoque grandeur.
Order a Norvegienne tartine, it´ll make you seem less a tourist git than usual.