News at Le Parc de Belleville
The Parc de Belleville is a success. It is located on the heights of the twentieth arrondissement of Paris, in the heart of a popular district that has hosted various waves of immigration for decades. It is one of the densest neighborhoods in Paris, a mix of people of all origins, in perpetual motion.
When the weather is nice, it welcomes those who want a drink in the sun, take a seat on the lawn, very busy on beautiful summer days, enjoy the cool with the long fountain cascading … On the Belvedere square or in the outdoor amphitheater, parties or meetings with artists or associations of the district are organized.
In this ecological garden, very well maintained by the good care of a benevolent gardener with the plants and the visitors, there is place for the lovers … of Paris, in stroll, the solitaires who seek a bench to dream, the lovers of reading, dancing or tai chi-chuan or tourists who come for the view of Paris. For young children, a wooden village awaits them where they can climb, hide, slide … Young and old have at their disposal hard tennis tables.
With the cold and the snow, the press spoke of too many people sleeping outside in Paris. Especially young, isolated exiles in eastern Paris. There is night, the cold. There is also hunger.
The Parc de Belleville is in eastern Paris. And in this park, since the spring, isolated young people, exiles, come to have a hot meal. Thursdays and Fridays at noon, they are one hundred to one hundred and fifty, many after a French class they follow in the neighborhood. For some time, Saturday and Sunday, a little less numerous.
They do not serve Ramponneau’s piquette but a meal, with a hot dish, a dessert made of cakes, fruits, sometimes treats and drinks, water, fruit juice or hot tea. Teams take turns to ensure, every day at least a hot dish, supplemented by what can bring people from the neighborhood. The park is beautiful under the snow. A little less in the rain and when it’s cold.
Ping-pong tables, hard, unexpected use by garden architects, are a moment diverted from their primary purpose. They become distribution tables and picnic partially sheltered by a temporary canvas …
Will the Parc de Belleville, the ping-pong tables, the people who bring a little food to these young people be pursued for misappropriation of public good, crime of solidarity?