Within few days, I got to enter the two hippest clubs of Paris that have made some noise in the trendy papers of the capital for more or less 3 years, le Paris, Paris and le Baron. In both cases, it was my first time. Considering they've opened for some time, one could say I wasn't in a hurry to discover those places. Maybe it's the blasé side of me or the i'm-tired-to-go-clubbing-and-see-the-same-people-hear-the-same-music spirit that I've had lately, but indeed I was rather indifferent to the buzz - after all, 14 years of clubbing is maybe enough and even if I'd love to befriend Sofia Coppola and could seek her out every night at le Baron, I don't think I'm that motivated.
Yet, I jumped this last week on two occasions that presented themselves one after the other by chance and I found it ironic enough to make the effort. Both clubs are former private hostess clubs, hence the space is small and intimate - which is probably why the concept of clubbing like if you were "at home" surrounded by your friends got so popular. The entrance in both places is logically free - you don't pay at a friends party - but you have to be on a guest-list - like when you're invited by your pal Joey. This somehow has the advantage of getting you in without queuing - provided you don't get there at 2am of course when even guests have to stand in line because the room inside is so full and you still want people to be able to breathe. So it's a bit like if you'd set a party in your studio flat or restrict it to the living-room and 150 people would show up and they'd feel so comfy, you'd have them around until dawn. How could the other 150 people you invited have a chance to join in?
So, I went early to the Paris, Paris with Claire and Yann last Friday to hear the dj set of my pal Leo. Honestly, the place was rather welcoming and the music was plainly good. People were in for the dancin' and that was good news to me. The pretty boys that flocked the place weren't a bad thing to have either. I drank far too much but all in all, I had a good time.
Disappointing was le Baron, where I went on Tuesday night with David and Alex: too young a crowd, a rather mediocre band showcase, and this nauseating feeling of looking at the high-society on display with a touch here and there of foreigners convinced that there was no other place they could be seen at. You can add to that that the boys and girls were not attractive: in short, a simple disaster. But I'm willing to think it wasn't the right night, the right music.
It could also be the difference between a place located in the 1st district (bourgeois but central, hence crossed by a very diverse crowd, especially coming from surrounding popular areas like les Halles, les Grands-Boulevards and further areas in the 9th direct in line with Pigalle/Clichy) and a place located in the 16th district (ex-centered, psychologically too far too reach for most parisians except for the ones who actually live in the 16th, and who constitute a very special crowd, a mix of drug-addicts wealthy teenagers, ugly old men and their mistresses, rock-band-members-wannabes aristocrats and soon-to-be Sarkozy voters). Make your choice!