Notes on the Geography of France: Paris 3: Modern: Photo 20
A block away, we're on Rue Jean Jaurès. That may not ring a bell right away. Suppose I say that a block to the north is Rue Auguste Blanqui. Nothing? How about the Boulevard de la Commune de Paris? Now we're getting warm. In 1896 St. Denis elected France's first socialist municipal government. By the 1920s it was called the "Red City." In the 1930s the journalist Augustus Gillot wrote, in the Communist newspaper Humanitè, that "poverty is high in the city of the kings of France." (The newspaper is still based in Saint-Denis.) All of which circles back to poverty, rundown neighborhoods, and a prime spot for urban renwal. With flower boxes, of course.
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