PARIS — I’ve long ago stopped being surprised when I see things change when perhaps they should not change. I say that after spending an afternoon in “Little Africa,” a section of “The City of Lights” that Africans staked a claim to.

You visit this once-hidden gem, and you expect to lose yourself in its rich history, colorful African fashion and vibrant culture, supposedly spattered over each inch of its streets. Maybe in days past Little Africa did spread this taste of their homeland over the district.

No more.

The neighborhood has been taken offer, grabbed and shaken loose of its past — a past in which Little Africa didn’t used to mean “Little of Africa,” because that’s about what you found there — little of Africa.

On the day I spent there, the streets were filled with vendors and visitors. As sunlight started to give way to nighttime, bars were packed as well. But what the flavor of the day was had nothing to do with Little Africa; it had everything to do with gentrified Parisians, who have found the neighborhood a comfortable place to spend a night.

They have gentrified Little Africa, and you didn’t even have to look hard to notice it.

Of course, I had no way of knowing what the place used to be. I had never spent a minute there before this trip to France, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t have gotten its name were the place not a haven for the Africans who call Paris home.

The change probably was subtle, and I suspect what’s happened in Little Africa has been a steady drip of changes. I doubt a plumber can come in and fix the leak.

No one ought to feel any differently about it than I do. For when the price of housing or of opening a business becomes too high, people turn what once was an afterthought into the latest reclamation project, and it seems to be going swimmingly.

One could say the Africans have assimilated into the French life, although I don’t know if they see that as a bad bargain. What I do suspect, however, is that they couldn’t stop the euros from raining on their property. They’re being bought out of owning homes or priced out of home and storefront rentals.

I have no idea where they’ve gone, and maybe they’ve gone nowhere. Maybe the label put on the district was more than it should have been. Little Africa was no more a significant look at a world south of France than some of the streets that earned various nicknames in the United States. Gentrification has steamrolled them all.

As I ate in a Senegalese restaurant, I watched as white people strolled the streets in weekend bliss. They looked at home, as if this neighborhood had proved more welcoming than they used to think it might be.

I’m not trying to make a big to-do about what gentrification has done, if anything, to Little Africa. Destiny made its call, and people can’t slow its pace.

I can’t see anywhere else in Paris offering a place for the Africans, somewhere they can be themselves from housing to the foods they eat. Paris, I reckon, has other things on its mind these days, such as bringing the world to the city for the 2024 Summer Olympics.