Who Decides What Character A Street Should Have?

Residents of a Paris district rally to preserve their sense of community.
April 8, 2004, 12pm PDT | Zvi Leve
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A beautification plan for a commercial artery in Paris is meeting with staunch resistance from local residents of the "Pletzl", a thriving jewish neighborhood. Local merchants worry about "soaring real estate prices and the invasion of bourgeois bohemians, whose upscale shops, motorbikes and nightclubs have invaded their space and will eventually drive them out." "We don't eat nightclubs. We don't eat clothes," said a customer. The city wants the neighborhood to become "an even nicer place", but for many of the area's longtime merchants, it is the beginning of a conspiracy to rob the neighborhood of its heritage and its soul, to make it a "Jewish Disneyland."

Thanks to Zvi Leve

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Published on Monday, April 5, 2004 in The New York Times
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