Paris is a city where all the great hang outs are almost always clustered at a small section of a street. No reason, really. It’s just like that. Take rue de Charonne: it’s trendy – but trendy in a Parisian sort of way, by which we mean not all of it. The part of the street that’s cool runs from No. 1 to 50, from Faubourg Saint-Antoine to avenue Ledru-Rollin. Why? Anybody’s guess. But before we start our walk, let’s step back in time for a moment. Rue de Charonne is one of the oldest streets in Paris. At the beginning of the 17th century it led to Charonne, a village of vineyards and farmers, swallowed up by the city in 1860. When you understand the importance of vineyards and wine to the city’s economy, it’s not surprising that life took root here, with its workshops and craftsmen, and its reputation for hard work and fast living. Some houses, but especially its passageways, are a living record of past glories.