Beaubourg, the area near the Centre Pompidou, can get overwhelming with all the tourist tsotchke and overpriced cafes. But you may be surprised that just around the corner, the atmosphere reverts back to quaint Paris and there are delights to keep one entertained for hours.

First, stop for lunch at Cafe La Fusée for great food at a good price. This Italian salad was just 9 euros!

This is the Passage de L’Horloge, a housing complex and pedestrian walkway created during the development of Les Halles. Not only is the architecture strikingly different from much of central Paris, the construction is taller as well.

Inside the Passage de L’Horloge is this amazing fantasy clock:

Unfortunately, the clock isn’t working and won’t be for an “indefinite” time:

Across the street is Passage Moliere, whose shops the city has reserved for up and coming fashion designers and new businesses:

This is the shop 2CU, run by a Paris-trained designer from Taiwan:

Rings by 2CU:

Next door, handmade espadrilles are being woven right in the shop:

And finally don’t miss  Super Héros Librairie, a narrow shop of comic books at 175 Rue Saint-Martin:

So if you need a reprieve from the crowds around the Pompidou Centre, look no further than Rue Saint-Martin!