Rue Oberkampf is the old path up to Ménilmontant, which was once a village on the outskirts of Paris. This solidly working-class neighborhood has become the "in" place to be in Paris over the last ten years. Jean Nouvel, the architect responsible for the new Musée de Quai Branly and the Institute Arab (among many other buildings), has his studios here. You can get a taste of the old Paris along the Rue Oberkampf during the day, and a close up, good look at the newest nightlife Paris has to offer. There are many restaurants, and most of them are quite good and very reasonable. A good bet is the Café Charbon (109 rue Oberkampf), a classic workingman's café that's been meticulously restored. It's crowded with neighborhood folks at noon, and at night, it's a mix of fashionistas, musicians, and a young hip crowd.