|Hip Hop dancers in Paris|
Amanda and the 4
8 crew land in the French capital, Paris.
The city is celebrated throughout the world for its culture, architecture, romance, and gastronomy. But we have got no time to sip espressos on the Champs Elysees. We are discovering underground Paris - literally.
With local guides Karine Barzegar and Laurent Prieur we have been given passports to the world of the cataphiles – the catacomb enthusiasts. We spend our first night exploring the Roman-built 2,000 year old network with the help of the cataphiles' secret map, and navigate through the complex network that stretches 300 kilometres below the city. Catacombs have been used as burial chambers and as bunkers by the Germans and French resistance during World War Two.
|Amanda Palmer with fashion|
designer Stéphanie Coudert
We discover the multicultural and artistic east side of Paris, an area which boasts ethnic diversity (it has two Chinatowns, not just one) and a vibrant artistic community. The cheaper rent acts as a magnet too.
We meet Nemo, one of the pioneer street artists, who has transformed his community's walls in the famous Belleville area with his iconic image of the red balloon. Nemo's elegant graffiti – which is illegal - has won the hearts of locals and inspired a new generation of guerilla artists.
In east Paris we also meet fashion designer Stéphanie Coudert, who was mentored by Haute Couture design house Christian Dior, and who draws inspiration from her upbringing in the Middle East.
We find out about how Paris's chronic youth unemployment is threatening the traditional French bakery. And thanks to guide Karine, we see the other side to Bastille Day.
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