Why is the 16th arrondissement so sweet?

If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you know that the Parisian section of Le Futiloscope lives in the 16th arrondissement of this town. This doesn’t give us a lot of street cred when we talk about trends! That is, it didn’t use to. Because Le Futiloscope is in the midst of going from totally square to “early adopter”… In Paris, you can’t have ignored that the rehab of this area, of which, until now, the simple mention provoked commiseration (“You’re going to live in Auteuil, poor you!”), is now the main topic of talk. It started very discretely, in 2016, with, for example, this photo homage, a bit overdone, “Village Boileau”, on the web page of a chic publicity agency.

And then the rumor grew. Last October, our colleagues at ELLE offered “It’s hopping in the 16th” completely euphoric on the subject, listing all the new “in” addresses of the area. The natives in the 16th are without a doubt delighted that between Les Grands Verres, Radio Eat, Comice or Poule de Luxe, there is (finally) an upswing on the restaurant front. The new bar at the Maison de la Radio, the Belair, is really nifty. Not to mention the new Musée Saint Laurent, that they’ll go see once the tourist influx has calmed … But Sarah Lavoine and her over-priced home decoration store amongst them, thanks but no thanks!

The touted opening of La Grande Epicerie Rive Droite has squared the circle: the week of its inauguration -- its vernissage! – hoards of instagirls came on safari to the rue de Passy. And came away open-mouthed at having crossed the frontier without a problem ! What they didn’t know, these poor ignoramuses, is that, around the corner,  in the open market on the rue Gros, is a young farmer, the spitting image of porn star Rocco Siffredi, and very well stocked with sexy veggies, much more exciting than a very chic supermarket.
Last weekend, a big story titled “Paris 16e: le luxe cool” (Paris 16th, cool luxury) in the supplement to Les Echos, added the final touch – at least we hope so! We learned, among other stupefying revelations, that “SoAu” (for South Auteuil) was the new “Brooklyn on the Seine”! As an insider, Le Futiloscope knows that ever since, in intra-area dinners, the joke is to congratulate one another, as we sit under the decorated moldings: “So, how do you like your Williamsburg loft?” Because, after all, there are limits!

Clearly the Parisian 16th is cool for lots of reasons, as a dedicated site explains poetically (and conceived by a true immigrant). But it isn’t because a snob with a beard holds court behind the counter of (the almost always closed) Holiday Café, so touted by the fashionistas, that it’s wildly trendy towards the Boulevard Exelmans…The ladies of Maison Pos, Avenue Mozart, who have tried to import the concept of fruits and veggies in crates from the rue de Charonne, will tell you the same thing :  its still a tough sell to flog roasted nuts from Piedmont to the bourgeoisie base. And  if you’re looking for a coffee shop with an avocado on toast in the perimeter, Good Luck! It seems that the proclaimed gentrification has not yet totally arrived. Thank heavens, “in”ness has already taken over the 10th and the 11th; it’s not going to grab the One Six (as we locals like to call it). Really!

Photo:  le Bonbon