We descended upon the city like sexual locusts
After exiles small, medium, and large, we swarmed the night in Paris, hungry, greedy, and ready.
Us. Survivors of plagues extraordinaire like Coronavirus and le SMIC (that’s the sexy French way to say, ‘Minimum Wage’), we chiseled the crust from the corners of our eyes and condemned les merry-go-round assortment de softpants we had been wearing to the netherlaundry worlds, never to be worn again.
Fuck you, Life! You crazy fuck. You nearly got us there! But here, in France, the stimulus checks were monthly, so we ground our stimmies to dust and snorted them in the form of more red lipstick from Rouje. And of course, we bought some actual groceries and cigarettes (Vive. La. France).
It’s sunny (today anyway) and it’s melted cheese wheel season, the most French of all seasons. Break out the requisite wines and let’s do this. I’m alive and somehow still nimble enough to limbo, limbo, limbo underneath the fuckability stick, for yet another raclette (and tinder, should it come to that) season.
I’ve got perhaps one last oeuvre left in me and what seems to be an immune system after all, have at me! Ok, I also got the vaccine… three times. I’m feeling invincible.
My first stop after this hibernation (mental, physical, emotional, and financial) would not be a sage and obvious choice for someone who spent the entire calendar year on the dole à la Française, like one of Paris’ gorgeous and soberly-priced ‘Bouillons’. Non, non, non, we have walked the line, razor’s edge and, like lucky fucks have for ten thousand generations, we are roaring it all back to life.
I go first to Le 17 to appreciate the new crop of never-closeted lesbians coming of age, and sip a Moscow Mule with all my usual frenemies.
The feeling of home; Paris’ 11th arrondissement. I’ve fought so hard to belong in this city. It is here at Le 17 that I am swallowed whole, nearly digested, and spat back out on my ass on the sidewalk at 2:13 am like a stunned cow. C’est moi, je suis La Vache qui Rit!
The thump missed the forehead and so I escape my abattoir for dinner on a rooftop. Sushi is more of a delivery thing for lowbrow types such as your dear and present author. Kebab (le taco de Paris) simply does not fit survivors like us (it’s a failing of the willpower and immediately regretted, like McDonald’s. Except for the good spots like Le Coeur du Liban).
Fuck this, I’m going to live balls-out. We are going to Freddy’s.
Take note anxious and controlling types , no reservations taken.
But first, Le Très Particulier for cocktails in the garden. I remember how I was introduced to this place.
Frederic, my casual legal adviser and George Clooney look-alike, invited me here for dinner. I observed how he always demanded a better table from the host, never accepting the first offer; an interesting fellow to have in one’s corner.
I met Frederic at Frenchie’s Bar à Vins. For several years, it was my birthday restaurant. Apparently, I told him I’m the next Simone de Beauvoir and pressed my number in his palm after a birthday’s‑worth of wine and girlfriends. The civilian casualty of the night was a Mexican guy whose number I cadged thinking he was Frederic’s friend (lo siento, Gabriel).
Frenchie Bar à Vins is carved out of a solid old stone building which creates an interesting scene on the wee little alleyway where it’s located as people step out to check phone messages. The alley is sort of like the lounge of the bar? Rue du Nil at night, oui.
I made sure to go there as a purifying ritual since I had been stood up in that same restaurant on my birthday by my own husband the previous year. Reason #467 we are no longer married. Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m in the process of being awarded a dizzyingly appropriate settlement. Have you ever been ghosted? By your spouse? Pull up a seat.
My therapist could be reading this, so let’s go back to now.
I’m going to live many lives tonight, it seems, as we make our way to Montmartre. At Hotel Particulier, Le Très Particulier is their bar. They make you ring an intercom at the beginning of a darkened garden pathway and ask to be let in. Per usual, I tell the voice in the intercom that I am a former president. Depending on my mood, I often go obscure with Nicolae Ceaușescu or Mobuto Sese Seko. Sometimes, I’m just Barack Obama. I want to show them I went to University, even if my general air of being from Indiana says otherwise.
And my accent, I’ll need all the help I can get if I’m aiming for highbrow.
But tonight I’m kicking up my heels so I keep it easy and claim to be Nicolas Sarkozy, imploring for one last drink before jail.
Paris is so worth it. She always gives you more than the bite she takes.
Freddy’s Popular hole-in-the-wall, wine bar with curated tasting plates, stone walls and barstool seating; 54 Rue de Seine, in the 6th arrondissement
Rouje The ultimate ‘French-fem-cool girl’ brand, knits, strappy dresses, jeans and red lipstick; 11 bis Rue Bachaumont, in the 2nd arrondissement
Bar Le 17 Unpretentiously eclectic, perfect for people watching, tabac, beer, café, cocktails; 17 Rue de la Folie-Méricourt, in the 11th arrondissement
Le Coeur du Liban Modest in looks but worldly in tastes, sandwiches galore (and much more to offer than just falafel), pistachio and orange flower treats, dine in or take away, open until 11 p.m.; 56 Rue de Lancry, in the 10th arrondissement
Frenchie Bar à Vins family style dishes, wine pairings, relaxed, warm and set in a building made from solid old stone; 6 Rue du Nil, in the 2nd arrondissement
Hotel Particulier — Le Très Particulier Somewhat hidden bar, signature cocktails (try ‘The Golden Ticket’ for a pick-me-up) and moody, velvet seating, garden views; 23 Avenue Junot Pavillion D, in the 18th arrondissement
Indecorous Culturevore and Polychrome Chow Virtuosa Kat Walker likes nice things.
She once went to a job interview for that was supposed to be for sales but was actually for prostitution (the high-class version, she hopes lol) at a fancy hotel in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower (article coming soon) and, another time interviewed for a position as a phone psychic.
She passed both with flying colors. However she declined the human trafficking position but stuck around longer than she should have to be able to write about it. (Are you not entertained?)
As for the telephone psychic gig, she only lasted one day, even though the pay was excellent. Wooooooo…..She sees you subscribing to our weekly PARIS RIGHT NOW dispatch and also our Patreon. There is also a man in your future.
Now she is settled in as your Editor-in-Mischief here, leading the charge to not take Paris so damn seriously…let’s frolic a bit, non?
When she’s not writing about croissants, love, culture, and lovable, sexy croissants, she is a gonzo performance artist whipping up a (usually) political ruckus. Her rabble rousing has provoked the attention of various public forums, like the time she appeared in the movie The Yes Men Fix the World as Russian journalist Laika Gagarina or was featured in RollCall’s Heard on the Hill for her mockery of the U.S. senate. Other efforts have landed her in the Le Nouvel Observateur, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Reader.
In other places and other lives, the actual live guy who played Ross on Friends came to see her show at a NYC gallery.
She has never had a weirder lunch than that one when an FBI informant offered to kill her business partner for her.
She declined (phew) and that’s why she’s here, freely- and un-jailed-ly writing about croissants and perverts and the Eiffel Tower (in that order, usually) for PARIS > DEFINED MAGAZINE.
Her perfectly impossible dinner in Paris would be at Pierre Sang on Gambey (the waiter chooses the wine) with Genesis P. Orridge, Napoleon Bonaparte (he picks up the tab and the waiter knows this in advance when picking wines), Christopher Hitchens, Anais Nin, and Ketamine in attendance. Drinks after at le17 but back in time, like 2017.
Her favorite French word is ‘bruit’ but only when a hot girl says it slowly.
In a bid for your attention and approval she writes things here and manages this unruly tribe of Parisians endeavoring to bring you what Parising is really about.
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If you are mashing out a message to warn her of her crimes against grammar and punctuation save your time because she knows, she knows.