Let me introduce myself; my name is Liz and I live with Lou and our son Flip (2014). We live in Amsterdam but love to travel around the world. We are always looking for new local hotspots, young designers and trendy gadgets. Cities we’ve been to we re-discover with the little one and a pram ;-)
Situated in the 19th district is CENTQUATRE (104). A cultural centre for local residents, artists in all their forms and regular people like us. For this tip we take the subway from downtown Paris. Flip loves it. He’s being carried around like a prince on and off the stairs in his bugaboo. Because there are no elevators in the Parisian Underground and only if you’re lucky you come across an escalator. Still it’s very doable since we’re used to some stairs every day at home ;-)
Centquatre, art center
Once arrived at Subway stop Stalingrad (lines 2, 5 and 7) we walk through the clearly less developed – and because of that less tourist – neighbourhood of Paris compared to the lower districts. Soon we arrive at the former slaughterhouse and city morgue (nice ;-)) The beautiful building has been completely restored and is arranged as a true art center.
Dance moves and headspins everywhere
Walking into the extraordinary building your spirit lifts. Everywhere you look youngsters are busy. They impress each other and the audience with the coolest dance moves. All dance styles and backgrounds join on the metres long dancefloor. The creative gathering puts a smile on your face. Next to the dancefloor there are beach chairs so you can – very relaxed – watch the headspins of the people in front of you. But the chairs are also used by Parisian parents to go through the week with their kids or to read for them.
In the art centre it’s truly about kids. Everywhere you look you see kids (with or without parents) discovering or express their creativity. A very special experience in the chic Paris.
They also thought about the littlest
For kids from 0-5 years old they have: La Maison des Petits. This space was designed by the artist Matali Crasset. It’s arranged in a way the kids can easily tickle their creativity and experiment with all kinds of arty objects. Admission is free but unfortunately there’s only room for 30 kids (and their parents). When we were there, there was a line and since Flip is too little to really enjoy it all we thought it was a better idea to walk around this art house.
From restaurant to bookshop
The building has all kinds of different (changing) expos, a restaurant, a café, a clothes store and an exchange bookhouse (give a book and take another). Apart from that there’s Le Merle Moquer (the bookstore) made for the younger readers. Apart from a wide collection of child- and adolescent books there are all kinds of activities like signing events.
In short: very worth paying a visit when it’s raining or when you’re looking for the urban edge of Paris.
The centre is open from Tuesday till Friday from 12 till 19 and in the weekend an hour earlier. Check for expositions and the latest opening hours of the other activities www.104.fr.