Welcome to Gangs of Paris, my attempt at urban ethnology in a city renown for the world’s largest concentration of French people, but lesser known for its spicy potpourri of cultures. This blog will document all sorts of exotica found here: ethnic enclaves, sordid counterculture, cryptozoology, historial oddities and all sorts of things that make this a vibrant and fascinating metropolis.
Whether from North and West Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, South America or the Indian Ocean, Paris’s ethnic communities for the most part reflect France’s colonial past. While you might see the whole world in New York or London, in Paris you’ll more likely find the far-flung remnants of empire. Stuff all of that in a city more or less contained its its 18th century administrative boundaries, add in those good ol’ French traditions of culture, cuisine and social unrest, and you get a heady mix.