Posted Dec 20, 2009 in Travel | 1 Comment

SKYwhores UNITE!!! 24 Hours in Paris!

Eiffel Tower

Who hasn’t thought about being in Paris, trying her out, walking through her, sampling her wares. No I’m not talking about the skunt!

Paris Hilton

I’m speaking of the real Paris, the beautiful one, not the used. Most people who have traveled through Europe have passed through this gleaming city of romance. I’ve been here several times in the past and continuously discover something new. Of course old habits die hard and you venture into known parts, but this time I decided to stray to the left instead of the right–to go downhill instead of uphill. I must say I had grown quite bored of this city until this trip and have now found a new respect for Paris. I’ll be giving instructions by subway (metro), as Paris’ system is second to none.

Bateau Bus

So much to do, and so much to see. If this is your first time in Paris, you have to walk along the Seine River. If you’re into boat rides, you can purchase an 11 Euro ticket for the Bateau-Bus. This is a boat that runs up and down the Seine River, leaving you at various destinations such as Notre-dame de Paris, Le Louvre, and Eiffel Tower etc. I found  it’s a fast and safe way of getting to the major sites of Paris without getting lost. Saves you time and energy, which I’m sure you’ll want to keep for the night. A good stop to get on is Hotel-de-Ville, which is located steps from Chatelet-LesHalles.

SHOPPING

Chatelet

If shopping is your kind of thing, loosen up your purse strings and head down to Les Halles. Located near Le Marais, this mall caters to all. From homeware to body wear you’ll find the typical Parisian flair. Just make sure you remember where you entered; it can get a little confusing at times.
If you’re hungry, walk a few blocks over to Le Marais, which the is gay focal center of Paris and search out the many terraces for the right menu. By the way, if you hunger for something a little less “edible”, just walk around; you’re bound to fancy something or someone.
If I were you, I would take a break after all the site seeing and shopping. But if you’re hardcore, then do what I did, and check out something different, like Le Musee des Egouts located near the Eiffel tower. In here, you’ll find what no one ever wants to visit: the sewer. Aren’t you the least curious as to how it looks or runs? How about going just to get that old warehouse party feel from back in the day. If you can hang out in half the gay clubs out there,  then the sewer shouldn’t be any different.
For the antique or vintage shopper Les Puces de Clignancourt is a gem. This flea market holds some of the best music, styles, and looks of Paris. Just beware of where you are going because the myriad of nooks and crannies can confuse the best of us. When I say looks, trust me when I say the men are HOT! Of course, only go for the shopping, though I have to say that the North African men were sights for sore eyes. Something about a rough exterior and a French accent… mmmm. I also managed to buy a leather bowler cap and leather shoes for 35 Euros. They weren’t the best quality but they were definitely different. Just take the Number 4 train line and get off at Porte de Clignancourt.
While there, jump on the train and transfer to the Number 2 and behold what many say is the beauty of Paris: Montmartre. I have time and again neglected to reach this neck of the woods and am so happy to have done so this time. Picture a wealthy area of Paris with cafés, squares, and tons of tourists acting as models for the numerous artists hawking portraits and caricatures. Though a little pricey, it’s well worth the trip to climb the hills and reach the lookout that was made famous in a scene from Amelie. To reach this area, get off at Montmartre.

NIGHTLIFE

Well, having shopped to death, you’ll be ready for nightlife? Paris is really no different then any gay bastion. There is tons to do for every flavour, and tons to meat–ooops, excuse the spelling. I did walk through the street of Le Marais and visited Le Raidd bar, which in my opinion is a smoke filled meat-market. I took a step into Le Depot and was nearly gang raped (which will surely be to some people’s tastes). There’s also just the cute little  resto/bars for those who like to drink and talk (that’s more my style). However, I discovered a little something closer to home. Outside of the gay area and near the little artist venue, Batofar, and walking distance to the Francois Mitterand Library, a nice little restaurant with a big heart. The restaurant is called Djoon and the night was called “Cheers”.

DJOON

Founded in 1994,”Cheers” is one of the oldest parties in Paris. This smoke free environment of probably the best dancers this side of the Atlantic had me moving till pure exhaustion. With DJs Greg Gauthier and Sven Love playing soulful house music, the floor was a huge mass of bodies writhing in musical pleasure. With one of the best sound systems in the city, Djoon’s clean and friendly crowd and bumping of the bass will definitely please the soul. DJ Amnaye  gleefully sings out every song dropped on the turntable, but he’s not alone. Though the songs are in English the crowd mimics every word and sound accent or no accent. This is a proof of love for the music, not just a night to “drop” and/or get laid. This spirit has evolved and has now taken over the resto Djoon. Pretty much all their events deal with soul, funk, or deep house. Its an international institution.
After a few hours of continuous dancing, I managed to summon some energy to leave the establishment. My friends wanted to go for a walk to cool off from this intense night, but I worried about their having to wake up early the day after for work. But then I changed my mind as I forgot it was only midnight! This heavenly night runs from 6pm till midnight on Sunday. Yes, it’s a tea dance! Who could ask for anything more?

Seine

After this, there’s no other way to end the night but with a stroll along the Seine.  Start anywhere you can along the Seine but keep your eye on the Eiffel Tower. At a certain time of the night it begins to blink with thousands of lights. This was created for the coming of the year 2000, but the inhabitants of Paris liked it so much that they demanded that the display of lights remain. Well, city hall wasn’t sure about drilling a thousand holes into an already past due landmark, so they held a referendum. A certain amount of money would be allocated for an orphanage or to the lighting of the Eiffel Tower.  Well the French and their quirky sense of humour chose the Eiffel Tower (who cares for a bunch of parentless kids, anyway).
This is an idyllic way to spend 24 hours, though, in Paris, you’ll want to linger for many more.

Louvres

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