When in Paris

11.2.2009

By OUTTraveler Contributer

The best gay bars, shops, and restaurants in the French capital.

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Apps.
Rick Steves? Historic Paris Walk ($4.99)
The veteran traveler?s guide to historic Paris is not only thorough but provides maps and points of interest with an old-world aesthetic de Tocqueville would approve of.

Paris 3D ($8.99)
Stunning 3-D models of Paris?s monuments and notable buildings mated to thousands of attraction listings and pedestrian planning tools.

Literature
Le Symbole Perdu (The Lost Symbol) by Dan Brown. No, seriously. French people love Dan Brown almost as much as they love Jerry Lewis. Cryptology is a national pastime and The Da Vinci Code is one of the best-selling books in the country?s history. Some things do translate.

Intake
Elevator to the Gallows
In this iconic 1958 French film noir, a destitute Jeanne Moreau wanders the streets of Paris on a night journey to oblivion. Improvised score by Miles Davis.

?Joe le taxi,? Stereo Total
Arch, giddy Franco-German pop duo Stereo Total cover the Vanessa Paradis classic about a meandering, all-knowing Parisian cabbie.

?Comme un Boomerang,? Serge Gainsbourg
One of France?s most iconic chanteurs spends an entire (rare) song rhyming words with ?boomerang,? the linguistic equivalent of ?orange.?

Bistro du Coin
In the U.S. the designations brasserie, bistro, and restaurant are mere marketing tools, but in Paris these identify distinct institutions. Here?s a cheat sheet (and must-eat examples of each).

Bistro: Similar to a caf?; coffee or beer cohabitate with newspapers and simple meals are served. Try: La Chaise au Plafond, a design-y twist on the traditional bistro, excellently placed for people-watching in the hustle and bustle of the Marais. 10 Rue du Tr?sor; +33-01-42-76-03-22; Cafeine.com

Brasserie: Often specializing in Alsatian food or seafood and typically open late into the night, these upscale eateries sometimes even brew their own beer. Try: Le Zeyer, a perennial favorite of Henry Miller?s known throughout the city for its fruits de mer, particularly fresh oysters. 62 Rue d?Alesia; +33-01-45-40-43-88

Restaurant: The highest in the dining trilogy, restaurants serve meals only and are typically open several hours at midday then in the evenings for dinner. Try: Le Septi?me Vin, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower but removed from the tourist bustle, for earnest French food served without arrogance. 68 Avenue Bosquet; +33-01-45-51-15-97; Septiemevin.com

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