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When you say 104


titul.jpgThe history of the place called „Centquatre“ (104) is more than curious. The building which reminds an old train station, was constructed in 1873 and from the year 1905 there was a funeral office here. In 1905 the Church was separated from the State and everybody had the right to have a funeral ceremony, whatever the religion, the marital status (before divorced women had to be burried at night), or the death circumstances (before those who committed the suicide did not have funerals). The city monopoly was handling the coffins, funeral cars, "carriers" and cemeteries. The „Sueur“ law from January 8th 1993 meant the end of the monopoly and so the funeral service on the street d’Aubervilliers started to be on the decline till the departure of the last employee in 1997. In 2001 the reconstruction works begin and in 2008 the place is open to the public under the name „Cenquatre“ (104).

„104“ is a place of creation, experimenting, innovation, permanently enriched by vibra2.jpgtions of a modern world, it is a place of a friendly exchange between artists and the public, a place where various concerts, performances, exhibitions, modern art, sport and dance shows are held. People freely join various exercices, performances, dancing variations or steps. Young people, little children or older peole without any shame try the hip-hop movements.

In the dark corrider sits a group of young people watching their friends practising floor dance, or talking to each other in a rap song. In the corner, under the high ceiling with a great acoustics, about 20-year old girl shouts at her partner, angrily rolling eyes at him, it takes you couple of seconds before realizing that they are practising some drama play. On the dancing floor sits a girl and a boy sharing a huge pizza.

Since here the time flies, we have to mention some nice places to get rid of y3.jpgour hunger. Charismatic coffee-restaurant place called „Café Caché“ (Hidden Coffee) with the inside decoration of 1950‘ is the result of the imagination of the designer Sebastien Wierinck. The restaurant offers a choice of original drinks, from cold beer, foamy cappucino to milk-shakes of different flavours and as meals you can enjoy the culinary creations. An interesting choice of the menu is the „3 salés, sucrés“. From the choice of about 15 salt and sweet specialties (for example cottage cheese with pesto sauce and sardines, crevettes, smoked salmon, salami from the Ardèche region, eggs with celeri salad, paté with home-made bread, apple crumble, chocolate cake, or Italian panacotta with red jelly) you choose three most attractive ones and the pleasure is guaranteed. Children enjoy the big portions of home-made french fries and steaks.4.jpg

Other possibility of a tasty lunch is a black truck parked in the Aubervilliers hall, selling the pizza made in the traditional owen. Besides pizza the truck is a good place to taste „gauffres“ (wafres) and a hot wine.

On March 4th ended several months exhibition called „In Perceptions“, the hit of which was the work of Leondre Erlich – a mirror reflection of Parisian building prototype. People in various original positions were laying on the ground and their reflection in the mirror was quite scary, they were suspended by legs, or by scarfs from the balconies, walls, or under the roof and were making impression that any moment they would fall down. In this case fortunately the g5.jpgravitation did not work.

From March 7 till 18. 2012 the Centquatre will have the spirit of the culinary arts during the festival „A Voir et à manger“ (To See and to Eat). If you are interested in connecting the meal on the plate or in the fridge with art, dance, theater, or to get enriched with new recipes, go to „104“.  Cenquatre is a place which lives with culture, it has a youth energy, it is open to the world, to the public, it is a lovely sample of the life of Parisians. 

Metro: lines 2, 5, 7 stops Stalingrad, Riquet or Crimée. 
Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep
(source of the information on the history of Centquatre www.104.fr)





Photo NotreDame