"J'suis l'poinçonneur des Lilas, le gars qu'on croise et qu'on n' regarde pas" sang Serge Gainsbourg, so it seems particularly appropriate that a new park at the Porte des Lilas should take his name. In several ways this park represents the new spirit of Paris city planning. During the opening of this eco-friendly park, Gainsbourg's ex-companion, Jane Birkin, pointed out that visitors would be able to picnic on the grass like in England, but it is more for its position that it is of interest.
The park has been built on top of land reclaimed from the périphérique motorway, and stretches from Paris across to the neighbouring town of Les Lilas. It is an example of Paris urbanisation that at last breaks through the physical and psychological barriers of the Thiers fortifications.
Is the park itself of any interest though? It covers a small area, but through intelligent landscaping it creates the illusion of being much larger. The features presently are not of the natural variety, with just a small pond and a few sapling trees currently in place, and it is more the winding concrete passageways and games of mirrors that catch the eye.
Where do the passageways lead? Climb up to the pinnacle of the park to find the answer - a viewing platform over the périphérique motorway. It's a post-modern joke that Serge Gainsbourg himself would have probably appreciated!