Cheap Pho in Chinatown

Check out my recent Chinatown dining addition to the Resource Guide's Dining Reviews.



Argentinean Barbecue

The artistic cooperative know as the Theatre de la Verre has been around since March 2003. I remember when they used to squat a building at the end of a passage near the Place d'Aligre in the 12th. Then about two years ago, as often happens with squats, the artists were forced to move to a new location near M° Strasbourg-St Denis, in the 10th. Of course they're still not legal, so to help offset the cost of the €50/day fines, they open their doors every Sunday to the public for a Parrilla -- an Argentinean barbecue.

Under the glass skylights of the Theatre de Verre.

The BBQ begins at about 1pm and goes until 7pm. At the entrance newcomers are asked to buy a membership card for €2 (good for any of the other events besides the BBQ, like music concerts and theatre).

The Grill.

For lunch there's the basic "Asado" grilled meat dish (with potatoes and salad) for €10, and a few smaller dished like fajitas for €6 and chorizo for €3. There are also soft drinks, wine and beer.

My lunch.

I met up with friends at about 3pm. We managed to find a table free with a view of the amazing installment artwork hanging from the hangar ceilings (the building is actually an SERNAM storage warehouse of sorts). People of all ages were gathered, most who looked like they knew each other. 

Comrades in solidarity: Brenna, David and Miranda.

The atmosphere is generally casual, laid back, and very friendly. Behind us children were playing Chinese jump rope, others had set up a chess board. A band started playing at about 4pm. Later that evening a screening of film shorts was scheduled. Next weekend (June 8-10) is a circus-theatre performance of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in French, at 8pm (tickets €6).



Musical interlude by the World Music group AKIM.

Theatre de Verre
25-27 Rue de l'Echeiquier, 10th
M° Strasbourg-St Denis



Cabaret Theatre to the Music of Kurt Weill

You don't have to be a fan of cabaret or even be familiar with the music of Kurt Weill to enjoy Whiskey Bars, but it sure helps if you understand a bit of French. I had already seen Bremner Duthie perform the one-man-show in English about a year ago, just after he had toured the summer festival scene to much critical acclaim. On Saturday night I went to the opening of the French version of the show, and found it just as interesting, if not better because of the fabulously atmospheric venue (Espace La Comédia, 6 impasse Lamier, 11th, M° Philippe Auguste).


Slightly tweaked in its new incarnation, the story is basically about an aging English cabaret singer talking to an invisible French critic in his dressing room as he prepares for that evening's show -- his crucial comeback performance. He speaks in Franglais, his almost perfect French peppered with English when appropriate. The Kurt Weill songs are mostly in English, with one in French and another in German. It's a compelling story -- we find his character funny, sad, dramatic and tragic in turns. His haunting version of Mack the Knife is worth the admission price alone. Catch the show every Saturday night through July 5 at 10:30pm, reservations 01 58 39 39 15, tickets €13-15. Don't miss it!


A Day at the French Open


On June 2 the weather almost felt like spring, sunny and dry for a change. So I joined friends at the Roland Garros Stadium to catch some of the French Open action. Those who don't have tickets for the central courts (Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen) can see what's happening on the big screen set up in the Place des Mousquetaires.


Stadium cushions, daily programs, posters and big tennis balls (for the players to sign, if you can catch them) are for sale on every corner. Larger boutiques sell all sorts of accessories, Lacoste clothing, and Roland Garros souvenirs. There are even little packets of the famous red clay dirt.


The Tenniseum Tennis Museum is open year round at Roland Garros except during the French Open. Entrance is €7.50, For €15 you can visit the museum as well as a behind-the-secenes tour of the stadium's courts, press room, and lockers.  



Mon Bon Chien Anniversary Party

On Thursday I took the little monsters (Lena and Pedro) to the One Year Anniversary party of Mon Bon Chien. The doggies were fed freshly-baked pupcackes while the humans sipped Champagne and pretended they didn't see their charges squirting on the sofa.

Hat Sternstein and her fresh-baked dog biscuits.


She who passes out the snacks gets all of the attention.



French Doctors Make House Calls

A Secrets of Paris reader wrote in today about how after several years of living in Paris she's only just discovered that French doctors make house calls 24 hours, 7 days a week. Learn more about SOS Médecins and the ins and outs of doctor visits in the Paris Resource Guide (under Essentials: Health & Safety).