Eat, Read, Paint, and Stretch at La REcyclerie

I’ve noticed a recent trend of calling things “spaces.” The word gets bandied about a lot, instead of the (antiquated, I suppose?) restaurant or café or even bookshop. But La REcyclerie is one spot where I understand the term – nothing else quite seems to fit.

I hadn’t been up to Porte de Clignancourt in a very long time. For years, I had to make an annual pilgrimage to the police prefecture in the 18th to renew my carte de séjour, but when I graduated (quite literally) from the student card, I was moved to the much cushier prefecture in the 4th, and the trek to the 18th became a distant memory.

But on a recent trip to the flea market in Saint-Ouen, we decided to stop by this relatively new locale in Paris, and I finally understood what a “space” really is.

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The Recyclerie is a café, park, lending library, art gallery, urban farm, and more, depending on the day. The best comparison I have is a student center for adults. There are different pop-up events all the time, and several different areas – both indoors and outdoors – where people can sit and read, eat, chat, or work.

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On the day we visited, in addition to the regular offerings, there was also a yoga class, an organized tour of the REcyclerie, and an artists’ market with live painting to discover.

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In the center of the main room is a bar, where you can get tea, coffee, cakes, and assorted juices. We tried grapefruit, homemade cinnamon lemonade, and hibiscus juice, as well as a little almond tart.

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Out the back of the space is an abandoned railroad track, which has been improved with the addition of picnic tables, a small garden, and even a flock of chickens in a coop.

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This is also where the urban farm is located, featuring a number of herbs and plants. The REcyclerie is currently raising money to add an aquaponic growing structure as well.

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The eco-friendly theme of returning to nature can be found throughout the space, both inside and out. (And yep, I’m using the word now, too – it seems only appropriate.)

The 18th is a bit of a trek for me, but I’m keeping my eye on upcoming events at the REcyclerie, especially as the weather gets nicer. Maybe I’ll see you there!

La REcyclerie – 83 Boulevard Ornano, 75018