For instance, a favorite restaurant among neighborhood locals, Le Cambodge, recently shed its tired old décor for something new and modern, and La Marine, a staple café along the Canal, has been gutted and redesigned. Everything seems a bit spiffier, as well-clad locals head north from the once-trendy Marais to sip their mochas at Craft Cafe, wait in line for pancakes at HolyBelly, or line up to photograph the pastries at Du Pain et des Idées.
Rising prices and changing times
Now the Canal of yesteryear is gone. Is it for the better? For the families and hipsters who inhabit the district, the changes are great... as long as they can afford it. Real estate prices have more than tripled since the 1990s, jumping to their highest in only the last 5 years. As McAllister said, "I don’t know how I would do it if I were moving now into this neighborhood." The hipsters and artists who made the neighborhood so cool are being priced out of the neighborhood, and the bobos who made the Canal chic will be replaced by the simply bourgeois.
Such is progress, but I don’t feel as though I can whine about the neighborhood gentrifying -- after all, I like good coffee, Portuguese pastries, and cute shops, and arguably helped change this place from its previous incarnation, as well. Still, I am a bit indignant at having to wait that much longer for bread at Du Pain et Des Idées; living through change is frustrating, and nostalgia sets in until we move on to the next cool thing. The only problem is that Paris is running out of spots that can sustain cool -- that is to say, spots where hipsters, artists, students, and other creative types on a budget can congregate affordably.