Rue du Ponceau

I called within minutes of getting this ad in my inbox, and made an appointment to see the apartment just a few hours later.

Sdntier. Rue Saint-Denis. Appartement 2 pièces 34 m², charmant, au 5e ascenseur. Salle de bains. Tommettes anciennes au sol. Double-vitrage. Très clair, calme. Refait en 2008. Immeuble en cours de ravalement extérieur (payé), ravalement intérieur prévu en 2011. Chauffage électrique. 310.000 €.

Highlights:  Near the Montorgueil pedestrian neighborhood in the 2nd, 350 sq ft one bedroom on US 6th floor with elevator.  Renovated in 2008.

We arrived about 20 minutes early and had some time to mosey around the neighborhood, which we didn’t know very well.  As soon as we turned round the corner onto the street where the apartment was located I noticed three older women with wigs and hot-tranny-mess makeup standing in the doorway.

“Umm, those are prostitutes. I don’t want to live on a street where there are prostitutes out on a Saturday afternoon on the coldest day of the year.*  Do you want to live on a street with prostitutes?”

“Those aren’t prostitutes,” my delightfully clueless companion replied. “They’re too old.”

Right then, out of the next building came an even older woman with very large breasts only barely covered by a strappy tank top.

“OK, now do you believe me?”

When we stopped giggling over that woman’s unintentionally perfect comic timing I called the owner to cancel the visit.  The owner is out of her mind to be asking 9100/m2 for that location.  In the 2nd prices range from 6k-9k/m2 depending on all the usual factors, and that location does not merit 9k/m2 even if the fixtures are platinum and the floors are paved with gold.

I guess I should have paid more attention to the google street view!

See those women clustered on the sidewalk on the left? Yep, prostitutes.

Later on I googled the street again and was surprised to find a few vacation rentals advertised there. I loved this euphemistic description from one of them:

This is “old Paris” and the centuries old tradition of “women of easy virtue” may shock the more sensitive eye, however it must be stressed that the 2nd remains one of the city’s safest areas.

That is some misleading advertising right there.


*Seriously, it was freeeeeezing Saturday.  and Friday.  and Thursday.  Which really puts a damper on my whole walking-around-to-meet-as-many-realtors-as-possible plan.


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7 Responses to “Rue du Ponceau”

  1. Struggler Says:

    Oooh, dear.
    I remember a weekend in Madrid where we stayed where the visitor bureau put us – right in the middle of the red light district. It seemed safe enough, and my boyfriend took delight at all the ‘helpful ladies’ ready to give us directions if we needed them.
    But I’m not sure I’d plonk all my money down for property in that kind of area, no…

  2. househuntinginparis Says:

    LOL I’ve never been to Madrid, but were you centrally located at least?
    I think my parents would DIE. My little cousins would not be allowed to visit me. and of course I would hate returning home…so yeah that’s not gonna work. But we did have a good laugh about it at least! =)
    We were talking about it again and the 2nd can be compared to the 18th in that it totally changes from one street to the next. Rue Montmartre and Rue Montorgeuil are lovely streets with cute boutiques, cafes, bars…and then you have Rue St-Denis a few streets over that is all sex shops and prostitutes, or this little one we got to experience Saturday, there are also a few places where you can see the drug dealers congregating at night! But the 2nd is the center of Paris so it could work for us…especially since the prices are comparatively cheaper than the rest of Paris (the Marais **averages** 10k/m2, the 6th 12k/m2, the 7th 10k/m2, depending on all the usual factors). Still looking, still hoping.

  3. Adam Says:

    Rue Saint Denis is a weird one because the buildings are identical to those in Rue Montorgeuil, but it’s almost as if the city council want to preserve a ‘romantic’ Irma la Douce location in the centre of the city. They could have cleared it all up years ago, but instead they chose to pedestrianise part of the Rue Montmartre. In reality, the city council are very good at making attractive areas even more attractive, and dumping problems on those areas that really don’t need any more.

  4. househuntinginparis Says:

    I know we were also wondering about Rue St-Denis’s future – it doesn’t seem like it is going to “clean up” in the ways that many of the surrounding areas have. A few years ago we lived near République and while the transformation of the Canal area (Rue Lancry etc) was and continues to be astonishing, Strasbourg St-Denis is still as ghetto as ever. I was there a few weeks ago around lunch time and there was a whole line of asian marcheurs propping themselves up against the closed down MacDos.
    I am also still surprised by the comparatively cheap prices of the 2nd – yesterday I met with a few more realtors who stuck to the 6k-7k average. Why is the 2nd so cheap? There are obviously many undesirable roads (Rue d’aboukir, rue de la lune, in addition to all the sex/drug/prostitute ones etc) but there are just as many desirable ones. What are the downsides of this neighborhood? What am I missing?

  5. vacationing Says:

    If you were vacationing, and renting an apt in Paris, would the 2nd Arrondissement be ok near Montorgueil Street market?

  6. househuntinginparis Says:

    Hi Vacationing, the 2nd district is a tricky one because so much depends on the street itself. I’m not aware of any Montorgueil Street market, but Rue de Montorgueil is fine if a bit like “walt disney world” in the words of one snobby Parisian realtor…I must shamlessly plug my own neighborhood, Montparnasse (nearest metros would be Vavin, Edgar Quinet, Notre Dame Des Champs, Saint Placide, or Rennes) – it’s centrally located, near good shopping (rue de rennes, bon marche) parks (luxembourg) fresh markets, cinema, and more, and it’s not too touristy. Wherever you stay, enjoy your vacation in Paris!

  7. salle de bains Says:

    salle de bains…

    […]Rue du Ponceau « House Hunting in Paris[…]…

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