If New York has Chinatown and Little Italy, then Istanbul has "French Street" (Fransiz Sokagi). "Rue Francaise", with elegant two-three story buildings, street musicians, cafés, bars and art centers, opened in summer of 2004 in the Beyoglu district. It's become a 7-day-a-week live culture and entertainment destination, with street concerts and artists.
The street, known as Cezayir (Algeria) Street was completely renovated from head to toe within the scope of a two-year project. The buildings and sidewalks were improved and a special music system was established. The stones of the street were arranged by Parisian architects, and 100-year-old coal-gas street lamps from the Municipality of Paris were installed.
The French have a very important legacy in Beyoglu. Most of the establishments of Beyoglu, such as the first cafés and first movie theaters, were established by the French in the 19th century.
French Street encompasses a little over two acres and a capacity of 3000 people together with the open-air areas. The number of daily visitors is around 6500. The heaters on the streets allow the open areas to be used even on cold days.