American Girls in Paris

In I tried... on July 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Summer has arrived here in Paris, which means, so have the American girls.

For twenty-something Parisian boys, this is hunting season. American girls are numerous, they very much enjoy alcohol (as well as the no-age restriction) and they’re generally less intimidating than your average female Parisienne.

French women –who are well aware of this themselves– are generally complicated and slightly nutty creatures.

It is common knowledge amongst most Parisian men that American girls who come to Paris in the summer are searching for three simple things:

1) The Eiffel Tower– along with a miniature version of it, encased in a plastic snow globe.

2) The smelliest, least transportable traditional French food (that most French people indeed don’t even eat), which will not actually get past customs.


3) A summer love affair with a French boy who could read the small print off a can of peas and still make it sound sexy in his accent.

What’s funny is that the twenty-something French boy wants an American girlfriend for the summer just as much as the Abercrombie & Fitch-loving girl wants a whirlwind European romance. By the second date, she’s most likely to be declared his girlfriend (time is of the essence after all– summer is short and the concept of ‘dating’ is still an unfamiliar one over here). Sweet isn’t it ?

Now the thing is, there are allocated hunting territories for this particular sport. The Parisian boys know they won’t be finding many ex-cheerleaders at the newest, hardest-to-get-in nightspots in town. And as an American girl, you can’t just rock up to those kind of places either and not expect to get some pretty scathing glares from Parisian women all night.

Whether you’re an American girl on her first trip to Paris reading this blog…

… or a French boy who has just been slapped in the face one too many times by jealous lover ‘Marie-Louise’ and subsequently Googled ‘americaine girlz in Paris’

…OR just someone like me who enjoys occasionally witnessing this incredibly fascinating and time-honoured Franco-American tradition–

…here are a few places to go…

American Girls Meet French Boys Here: 


Le Long Hop
27, Rue Frédéric Sauton, 75005 Paris

Little Temple Bar
12, rue Princesse, 75006 Paris

Le Frog and Princess
9, rue Princesse, 75006 Paris

All year round:

Le Bottle Shop
5, Rue Trousseau, 75011 Paris
(Très pratique, car situé juste en face de l’auberge internationale des jeunes…)

Le Violon Dingue
46, rue Montagne Sainte Geneviève, 75005 Paris

Chez Georges
11, Rue des Cannettes, 75006 Paris

The Most Rock’n’Roll Bar in Paris

When I first moved to Paris, I went on a date with a guy who I pretty much had nothing in common with. Like really, nothing. But, to his credit, he had the whole rock’n’roll thing going on and so, off on a date we went (you’ll take anything when you’re new to a city). Sitting directly opposite him over a carafe of vin rouge, I quickly realized that he was more grunge (as in lack of shampoo) than rock god. I had just started to calculate an elaborate early escape plan when he began telling me about the most rock’n’roll bar in Paris I would apparently ever come across; Le Fanfaron.

He spoke of an authentic 60s vibe, the fiery co-owning Parisian couple that played out their lover’s tiffs at the bar, knocked back tequila shots with the customers and played Jimmy Hendrix vinyls all night if they wanted to. Needless to say, I took a mental note of the venue’s name, ended the date by informing him of my upcoming move to Yemen and headed sans the grease ball to Le Fanfaron the following weekend (note: not really moving to Yemen).

Lou Doillon at the Fanfaron

I had done my Googling and found that Le Fanfarron was in fact the favorite bar of none other than my girl crush du jour, Lou Doillon (a.k.a. daughter of Jane Birkin). In a very caché backstreet off Ledru-Rollin (near Bastille), my girlfriend and I found what seemed to be a bit of a local secret. Situated on a narrow residential street, Le Fanfaron is a place that could only be found by word of mouth.

The clientele is a fascinating mix of artists, musicians, writers, travelers young and old, using this intimate but psychedelic setting as if it was their own communal living room. It’s highly unusual to go to Le Fanfaron without meeting someone new, without witnessing one of the bartenders’ sensational alcohol- infused tantrums and certainly, without having something pretty rock’n’roll to tell your friends about.

6 Rue de la Main d’Or, 75011 Paris, Metro: Ledru-Rollin

P.S. It’s Independence Day for Americans on Monday, 4th July. Good theme for an outdoor party?!


Elegant Men on Bicycles!

I think more men should ride bicycles. I see a lot of well-dressed men in Paris, fresh from the office board room hopping on bikes rather than into flash cars.  I think it’s extremely refreshing and shows that it takes more than a pimped out ride to show you have style…


So How Did the Dogs Deal with the Heat this Week?!

On the hottest day of the year in Paris, at 37 degrees, I was walking down the street, wondering whether I would actually make it to the end without biting the dust when I stopped and noticed this black labrador sprawled out on the sidewalk. He had obviously been suffering in the heat with such a thick coat, but had cleverly figured out that these metal grills were in fact acting as a massive ventilator from underneath, Marilyn Monroe style. So while girls in skirts were staying clear of the vents, this dog certainly had the right idea and attracted many ‘awws’ and camera snaps from passer-byers.


Anyhoo, that’s all. A light Friday post for you!


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