The south way to climb Paris Montagne sainte-Geneviève is to go up rue Mouffetard, starting at Saint Médard square.
It was former – long ago – a working class district, and the whole area was called “la Mouff‘”. All the lower part of rue Mouffetard and its crossing little streets was an outdoor food market. It still has beautiful remains.
Facing Saint-Médard, a completely tattooed old house – a pork and poultry shop, as we can see, shows this area’s historical tradition. Nowadays, you find there “Androuet“, which is one of the best cheese stores in Paris, and a fine Italian products shop.
Going all the way up, you’ll get to place de la Contrescarpe. There you have several options.
You can sit at one of the numerous cafés around. You can go down rue du Cardinal Lemoine and pay a visit to hotel des Grandes Ecoles courtyard and garden. You can go straight ahead on rue Descartes, and and pass Pierre Alechinsky‘s poetic “street tree”.
At rue Clovis corner stands Henri IV high-school, which is one of the “grandes écoles” left in the neighborhood, and at the end of this street, you have a glimpse on place du Panthéon.
From the Contrescarpe, you can also climb higher, taking on the left rue Blainville and rue de l’Estrapade. It goes through a nice little square:
Next to it, a former coffee roasting plant
has become a town house.
At rue des Irlandais’ corner, meet a shooting soccer player by FKDL
You can also stop for a drink place de l’Estrapade at the Café de la Nouvelle Mairie
Though it is rather chilly, many people sit outdoor, under heating devices : the smoking costumers. This is part of a recent phenomena.
Since the beginning of this year, it’s forbidden to smoke in all public places. So smoking has become a significant outdoor activity. You’ll notice people smoking outside offices and stores – where large outdoors ashtrays have been set on the ground. There are more people outside cafés than inside – when outdoor is heated. And even at home, rain or snow, you’ll see people smoking on their balcony. What’s more dangerous for your health, smoking or catching a bad cold?
You can get to rue Mouffetard by metro station Monge or Censier-Daubenton.