Friday, July 17, 2009

Paris, Briefly

Above: Paris, Thursday July 16, 5:45am

While I was technically in (or, more accurately, under) Paris for about two hours on Monday as I transferred from Charles de Gaulle airport to the Montparnasse train station, I got a good dose of summer Parisian fun times on Wednesday night as I met up with DJ Comar and Grandpamini at La Lucha Libre, the crazy little Mexican wrestling-themed bar in the 5th arrondisement where we'll have our little August 8 shindig. Now, this place is super cool, but I was totally starving, and when my 17EUR ($24) appetizer platter featuring some chips and guac, fried cheese-stuffed jalapenos, and onion rings (?) arrived, along with my martini-sized margarita, I was a little sad. Nothing against Lucha Libre's snacks, which were fine, but seriously, a San Franciscan gets the best Mexican food possible from trucks on streetcorners at any time, so there's no possible way a Left Bank bar can compete. I was just reminded of one of my many curses: I have a lot of trouble geting good food in France (delicious seafood below notwithstanding). I've been to France now three times in the last 4 or so years, and if you know me, you know I like to eat, and eat well. Moreover, I'm a huge fan of French cuisine in general, and the ideal 3-hour multi-course dinner with big bottles of robust Bordeaux, finishing off with some stinky cheeses, is the stuff of dreams for me. But every time I'm in France, I'm always in such a hurry I never get the chance to live my fantasy: in 2005, I mostly ate les pommes frites from whatever kebab shop was on the way, as me and DJ Zebra were on the run from radio stations to club gigs at all hours. Those fries were, admittedly, delicious, but still. Then in 2007, as part of the tour with Moule and Zebra, I actually visited Bordeaux and Toulouse, in France's southern half, which is known for its exceptionally tasty food. But our schedule was so jammed we just had to eat whatever was backstage, as we'd generally arrive in town, drop stuff off at the hotel, then rush to the venue. The dreary, grayish-brown stew I got served backstage in Bordeaux was a definite low point.

I had forgotten all about this as I cabbed over the Pont Neuf bridge to meet up with the guys, but it all came rushing back to me as I forlornly chewed my onion rings. Comar, bless him, promises at least one good French meal when I return to Paris August 8, but we'll see; I bet a meteor hits the kitchen or something just as they're finishing up my Steak Frites.

No matter, though, because Lucha Libre (above) could not be more crazy and fun, with tons of Mexican wrestling memorabilia strewn about; they also gave me a frozen margarita on the house which was both larger and more delicious. The downstairs dance area is a miniscule cave with arched ceilings, in that only-in-Paris way, but the night we were there, notable Buenos Aires producer and DJ El Hijo de Cumbia was spinning, weirdly enough, a guy my buddy Disco Shawn clued me into when he was living in B.A., back when his currently-super-successful nightclub and record label were just glimmers in his and Oro11's eyes. While the attendees downstairs at Lucha Libre numbered, perhaps, in the teens, we danced around to the shimmying beats in the Paris summer heat, and I felt a weird and wonderful sense of international cultural convergence, or just wacky coincidence.

Since I had to catch an 8:00am flight back at good old Charles de Gaulle (perhaps my 2nd least favorite airport, after Heathrow, just ahead of Dulles), I had really made a valiant effort not to drink too much, but people kept giving me margaritas, and what's a guy to do. So as we tottered back to Marco's tiny St. Germain apartment, I spotted a crepe stand and, much to Marco's chagrin, I decided to get my breakfast early: a delicious Crepe Complete, that's with egg, cheese and ham. Plus about 17 pounds of butter. Take that, can't-get-no-good-food-in-Paris curse.


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