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Paris Nightlife


Le Balajo
9 rue de Lappe, 11th.
M° Bastille
Le Balajo has been around since 1936, a dance hall where Edith Piaf, Mistinguette, and the musicians played. Located on the”party central” cobbled street Rue de Lappe in the Bastille district, where the Parisian youth usually hang out, Le Balajo caters to a more “mature” (emotionally as well as generationally) crowd with its twice-weekly (Thursday and Sunday afternoons) and the Wednesday night swing-rock evenings with music from the 1940s.
Most of the men actually dress up — rare in dance clubs these days!
I went on a Wednesday night with Gentry, a huge fan of 40s music (and the wardrobe to match). I have no idea how to dance the Foxtrot and can only follow the Lindy Hop with a very experienced (and forgiving) partner, so I just hung out and watched. Most of the crowd were dressed for the evening, with more than a few pairs of real vintage jeans and men in caps and tiny ties. The setting is awesome, like an old New Orleans street scene (it’s actually part of the original decor), and the music definitely makes you want to dance.
Miss Lane strikes a pose.
Entry is €12, and the evening starts at 9pm (until 3am). They give informal lessons if you come a bit early.

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