Wednesday
May312006

Music and Poetry

Last week the Canadian Club organized an evening of poetry by Australian William La Ganza (seated in the photo) and music by Dushan di Concilio of Uruguay at the home of a Brazilian artist Sonia Daly.

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Abbey Bookshop owner Brian Spence (standing) -- and probably the only actual Canadian in the Canadian Club (which, we are told, is not really a club) -- introduces the evening in typically bilingual aplomb. The Canadian Club will be celebrating ten years of being neither a club nor strictly Canadian on June 22. Stay tuned for details...

 

Tuesday
May302006

Welcome to the Dark Side

Black Calavados, aka BC
40 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 8th
Tel 01 47 20 77 77

Back in the 1970s this place was the hotspot for French rockers like Serge Gainsbourg. It was reopened during Fashion Week in March and has become the coolest place to see and be seen by the fashion and music crowd. The address is right off the Avenue George V, and the €17 Gray Goose cocktails reflect the local real estate prices. But unlike most of the poseur bars in the 'hood, this place is actually very cool.

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It's very, very dark. Good thing the furniture is lit up!

There's a restaurant upstairs, and a bar downstairs (both have their own entrance on the street; the one with the bouncer is the bar). Both are decorated almost completely in black (like the clientele) and stainless steel. It's a wonder anyone can see each other! It got instant fashionista cred when John Galliano threw his post-catwalk party there, and instant street cred when everyone found out that Grunge legend Chris Cornell (originally of Sound Garden, now of Audioslave) is one of the owners.

I got there just before midnight on a Thursday. It does take a few minutes for the eyes to adjust. The staff were super friendly, which is almost suspicious in this part of town. I was told that Thursdays are "hard rock" nights, and they were indeed blasting Guns 'n' Roses, AC/DC, Marilyn Manson, and Nine Inch Nails. I was introduced to two "regulars" (they were at the launch party), Ginnie and Elodie, and we staked out a booth as the crowd started growing. Just after we ordered our second round of drinks, one of the servers told us we'd have to move to the next booth over because "that's the owner's seat, and he'll be here in a minute."

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With cool chicks, Elodie (left) and Ginnie (center), at BC.

I may be too old to scream and throw my panties at rock stars, but I'm not too old to drool (good thing it was dark). Monsieur Cornell was in fine shape, indeed (as was his wife, sigh). The crowd was made up of beautiful people sporting more fashionable piercings and tattoos than Chanel and Versace, and by 2am there was barely enough space to move at the bar.

Too bad this girly had to work in the morning, or I would have stayed for another Vodka-Apple. I left Ginnie, Elodie and their friend Edouard (aka Eddie Munster) plotting the rest of their night out.

If you go, don't arrive earlier than midnight...

 

 

Monday
May292006

From Belleville's Portes Ouvertes

Belleville has more artists than any other district of Paris, and every May they open their ateliers to the public. Many of them are in squatted or temporary buildings, often surrounded by greenery and graffiti that you wouldn't find elsewhere in Paris. Here's a peek:

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The entrance to La Forge on Rue Ramponeau, where a huge mural decorates the wall on the way to the building where over a dozen artists work.

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The Miroirterie on Rue Menilmontant (at the crossroads of Rue des Cascades) is still an illegal squat, but several well-known artists use the old garages as ateliers (here, a sign by KTÜ).

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Another view of La Miroirterie. On Sunday nights they've started hosting punk concerts. How long the neighbors will put up with that is anyone's guess...

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Despite the symbols carved into the walls, the gang at La Miroirterie are actually very friendly. ;)

 

Monday
May292006

Photos from the Flea Markets

Here are some photos I took this month while strolling around the Marché aux Puces on a particularly lovely Saturday.

I started out at the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves on the south side of the city because it's only open until lunchtime (and I'm a late riser). These are all temporary stands set up along the Avenue Marc Sangnier and Avenue Georges Lafenestre in the 14th. Great bargains and bric-abrac to sift through, as well as some very fine antiques and collectibles of small (ie portable) size. At the crossroads a man entertained the shoppers with a bit of jazz.

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Then I rode the metro all the way up to the north side of town to the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. This is the big one in the suburb of St-Ouen, just across the Paris ring road (périphérique) from the Porte de Clignancourt metro station. When you get out of the metro you're not yet "in" the Marché aux Puces. The temporary stands you see are selling new clothes, DVDs of dubious origin, incense and cheap jewelry. This is also know as the Theives Market because when you walk past on your way to the real Marché aux Puces you'll have more than one guy trying to sell you a Rolex or a Gucci bag. Move along, move along...

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The Thieves' Market

When you reach the St-Ouen Marché aux Puces (after the  overpass),  you'll see signs pointing to all of the individual markets within. It's like a flea market city with little neighborhoods specializing in different kings of antiques. zpuces1.jpg

When the weather is nice,many of the stall owners put their wares out on the sidewalk. 

 

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At the Marché Jules Vallès.

Garden fanatics will want to shop around the Marché Paul Bert. 

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In the Marché Paul Bert.

A note on the market: get your cash in Paris; there are few cash machines on site and they are usually empty or out of order. 



Saturday
May272006

Dining Reviews incoming....

The first of the Paris dining reviews are up...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May222006

Heather's in the Grande Pomme

Just in case y'all thought I've fallen off the planet, I'm actually in New York all week, hanging out with the agent, partying, shopping, eating far too much food from street carts. See you back in Paris soon!