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Newsletter #26: June 2002

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*** Secrets of Paris Newsletter #26: June 2, 2002 ***


* From the Home Office
* The French World of Showbiz
* Paris Nightlife Heats Up
* Supermodel Fast-food
* The Cheapest Sleeps in Paris
* Brunch Time!
* Stardust Show at La Villette
* Discover the Unknown in Paris
* Silent Movie Nights
* Heather at the Cannes Film Fest

* From the Home Office *
Sacré bleu! France lost the opening match of the 2002 World Cup to Senegal on Friday, proving to be a tad embarrassing for the reining football (soccer) champions of the world. But it’s not over yet. The World Cup tournament lasts all month, which is terribly exciting if you’re a football (soccer) fan like my Mancunian hubby, and not so enthralling if you’re American (me). Why is it that Americans don’t give a hoot about the world’s most popular sport? After all, most of us played soccer in school and on the playground (I was a great goalie, believe it or not). I read an article on the BBC Sport website that basically chalked it up to three reasons: first, the World Cup coincides with basketball and ice hockey championship games; second, the World Cup games take place between 2am and 7am US time; finally, in the last World Cup the US team lost all three games. I’m not sure if I’ll buy that reasoning myself. The reason I don’t like soccer particularly much is because I find it boring. And I find the whole hooliganism thing in England really juvenile, which puts me off the game even more. I’ll sit through a game or two when I have to, and once in awhile actually enjoy myself, but I like it more as a background activity as opposed to the main attraction. Anyhoo, to each their own, eh? The hubby is currently in Paris enjoying a fine and sunny weekend. He’s up at the Frog Pub in Bercy Village as I write this, marvelling at how much the Village has grown in popularity since its slow beginnings two years ago. If you’re looking for a sunny terrace in Paris, why not go check it out yourself? -H

* The French World of Showbiz *
Whether you want to participate or just watch, Accés Public is a great site for those who want to get inside the world of French show business. The site has two major sections, one for jobs in the TV/film and radio industry (including casting calls), and the other for free invitiations to be in the studio audience of shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Les Guignols de L’Info. The site is only in French, but worth a peek even if you’re a beginner:

* Paris Nightlife Heats Up *
If you find the Moulin Rouge a bit too touristy and Les Bains a bit too old hat, then perhaps you should reserve a table at one of the hottest new nightspots in town, the Pink Platinum. Sure, it’s a strip-tease bar, but it’s run by the former partners of Les Bains Douches, Cathy and David Guetta, ensuring an A-list clientele of stars, models and other Parisian nightlife royalty. The entrance is free, but you’ll have to pay €20 for a drink and €15 if you want a dance at your table (but no touching, this isn’t that kind of bar). On the same note, the Stringfellow’s British strip-tease empire has opened its first Paris club in the 17th arrondissement, the "Cabaret of Angels". Both clubs have Ladies’s nights (male strippers) as well. Clearly Parisian nightlife has taken a turn…
Pink Platinum: 49-51 rue de Ponthieu, 8th arr., tel. 01-58-36-19-20
Stringfellow’s: 27, ave des Ternes, 17th arr., tel. 01-47-66-45-00 (www.stringfellows.com)
Read the article comparing the two on the Fashion Avenue website:

* Supermodel Fast Food *
The latest French celebrity gossip is of a chic, new health food café on the Champs-Elysées called Deli’s Café. Like most of the new hotspots in Paris, it has a big name backing its launch, the Slovakian Wonderbra model Adriana Karembeu. I don’t know how popular she is the in the States, but in Europe she’s photographed at all of the right parties, hosts various TV programs and award shows, and is married to footballer (soccer player) Christian Karembeu (which apparently doesn’t hurt the career prospects in Europe). The café just opened in May (near Planet Hollywood), and rumour has it that Adriana herself will be at the official inauguration ceremony on July 10.
Deli’s Café: 76, ave des Champs-Elysées, 8th arr., tel. 01-45-61-10-01

* The Cheapest Sleeps in Paris *
Every once in awhile something really great happens on the world wide web — a website that does what it says it will do. EuroCheapo.com promises to find the cheapest hotel rooms in Paris (and a number of other European towns), and does so with flying colors. If you’re at the Ramen noodle budget level, you’ll appreciate the large selection of rooms for under 50€. There are even private rooms for under 30€ if you don’t mind using bathing and toilet facilities down the hall. Only one sneaky thing: normally you would book directly through the website, but when I called direct to a hotel that the site said was booked, I was told they still had room so I booked with the hotel myself. Still, without the website I wouldn’t have found the hotel. EuroCheapo is also great because they actually go to these places themselves, write reviews and take photos. Completely unbiased, they don’t work on a commission basis. So go have a peek and tell them I sent you!

* Brunch time! *
There’s nothing better than Sunday brunch when the sun is shining in Paris and you have nothing to do but laze the day away with a paper and some good jazz. There are quite a few places around the capital that do the "jazz Brunch", here are just a few to give you an idea. I’ve always liked the Frog & Rosbif brunch. It’s very English (baked beans, bacon, eggs, toast, and fresh OJ, among other selections), and they usually have a few English papers floating around. Last time I stopped in there was a small jazz ensemble playing some mellow tunes (nothing too jarring for the morning after, of course). The Viaduc Café in the 12th serves a more upscale jazz brunch, with salmon on the menu. I really like this location under the old stone arches of the Viaduc des Arts (near Bastille), if you reserve you can get a nice seat on the terrace. If the jazz is more important than background music to you, try brunch at the leading Ile-de-la-Cité jazz cave, Le Franc Pinot. If you’re in the 17th, check out the Hotel Méridian Etoile, a venue which has been perfecting its jazz brunch for years.
Frog & Rosbif: 116 rue St-Denis, 2nd arr., tel : (Brunch noon until 4pm), http://www.frogpubs.com
Viaduc Café: 43, Ave Daumesnil, 12th arr. Tel: 01-44-74-70-70 (Brunch noon until 4pm), http://www.viaduc-cafe.fr/
Le Franc Pinot: 1 quai de Bourbon, 4th arrtel: 01 46 33 60 64.
Hotel Méridien Etoile, 81, boulevard Gouvion-St-Cyr, 17th arr., Tel. 01-40-6834-34.

* Stardust Show at La Villette *
There’s a new show at the science museum up at La Villette, here’s the promo: "Inspired by the book by Hubert Reeves, Stardust is a sensory and artistic journey to the heart of the universe. The show uses giant image projection, massive sets, special smoke and laser effects, and spatialized sound. Created specially for the Cité des Sciences, the show interacts with its architecture, turning it into a theatre of the birth of the universe and of planet Earth." The show runs at 10pm during the summer, with tickets at €20 (€15 for those under 25). Check out the website for more information:

* Discover the Unknown in Paris *
Did you know there was an Alsatian village in the 13th? Little Alsace was built in 1912, with half-timbered houses all lined up in a little square. Find out all sorts of interesting things about Paris at the Parillusion site. There’s photos, descriptions, and a map to help you get there yourself. It takes a few minutes to figure out the navigation of the site, but just click on all of the little buttons and you’ll soon find the site very handy and informative. A great place to learn about unknown corners of your own Paris neighborhood, whether you’re a resident or just visiting:

* Silent Movie Nights *
Au Limonaire is a great little "Bistrot à Chansons" tucked into a little alley in the 9th arrondissement. Every night there’s a show, cabaret, singing, music, etc. And it’s such a tiny venue that you feel you’re almost part of the show! Every third Sunday is silent movie night, where they show old silent movies just like in the olden days, with live piano accompaniment! There’s no cover charge, but they do pass the hat (it’s customary to give at least what you’d pay to see a movie in a regular cinema). The next one is June 16th at 6pm. If you’d like to dine as well, take not that they don’t serve food during the shows, and you should reserve in advance:
Au Limonaire: 18, Cité Bérgère, 9th arr., tel: 01-45-23-33-33, http://limonaire.free.fr/

* Heather at the Cannes Film Fest *
Check out my latest Suite101.com article about how I got into the Cannes Film Fest (and how you can, too!):

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