I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ll be moving in a bit, to a neighborhood not far from where I’ve been staying. I thought this might be a good time to give you all a photo tour of my soon-to-be old neighborhood. Palmier is not as well known as some adjacent neighborhoods, because it’s smaller and basically a part of Maarif, as you can see by this sign.
When you look at a map of a city you can often learn something about a neighborhood based on how the streets are laid out. The street pattern in Palmier (dead center, though it’s not labeled) reminds me of some high-end, residential suburban communities in the U.S. Notice the winding streets, compared to the gridded pattern of neighboring Maarif.
The neighborhood is quiet and residential, although cars pass through and park on all streets, even the very narrow ones. There are a few apartment buildings, but for the most part Palmier is made up of homes and a few businesses in buildings that look like they could be fancy homes. From the street you see mostly walls topped with bushes, in varying levels of upkeep, which prevent the passerby from peering into private residences. An open house or garage door presents the opportunity to sneak a peak, which I do as often as I can.
This is not to say that only wealthy people live in Palmier. Actually the beauty of the villa-and-surrounding-wall-topped-with-bushes architecture is that you often can’t tell much about the wealth of the family who lives inside. This is also true of traditional Islamic architecture, but that’s another story for another post.
This is le Parc Mohammed Abdou–technically public, but the surrounding buildings are very swank so the place is correspondingly policed by guardians who put a stop to any walking on grass, littering, etc. This is actually very unusual, as most public parks are considered to be dirty, shady places to avoid at night and never visit alone.