Dining Out in the City of Perpetual Light


The Dance Floor Awaits the Regulars at Chez Gégène, a Guinguette on the River Marne

Dining Out in the City of Perpetual Light

Parler Paris–your taste of life in Paris and France
/parlerparis/

Monday, June 13, 2005
Paris, France

===== Special Sponsored Message =====

Dreaming about having your own “petit pied-à-terre” in Paris? Or stone cottage in Provence?

With a little help from your friends in France, your dream can become a reality sooner than you think.

Let us help you explore how to make it happen — regardless of your situation, we have creative solutions to help guide you to success and find that dream home in France.

To learn more about our one-on-one consultation services, by phone or in person…or our property search services, complete with assistance to obtain financing in France…click here now:

/parlerparis/services/consultationservices.html

=====================================

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

The sun sets at 10 p.m. here in Paris these longest days of the year, tomorrow being the Summer Solstice and the official beginning of summer. (In New York City, it sets at 8:30 p.m. by comparison!) With warm weather like we’ve been having — today it will hit 90 degrees — everyone has taken to the “terrasses” and the great outdoors to dine and soak up the rays.

Under the arcade of the Place des Vosges is one of the most elegant and cool outdoor dining spots in the city. There are several restaurants to light in, including Ma Bourgogne (where you will find mostly tourists who don’t mind spending more to say they have been there) at number 19, Coconnas (for the affluent middle-aged French) at number 2Bis and Café Hugo (where the young, beautiful French land because it’s the least expensive, most casual and still chic) at number 22.

A friend whose family has owned a home all their lives in the Bois Bouleaux at Cognières in Yvelines, a fern-filled wood about one hour from Paris, annually gathers all family and friends for a massive all-day picnic under the tall trees in the back “yard” of many acres. Saturday, folding tables and chairs were placed around the expanse of mossy plain. Pot luck dishes and bottles of wine were brought in by all participating, musician and performer friends came dressed in costume, just to entertain and be entertained. An enormous canvas was stretched between two trees, with cans of paint and brushes set out for anyone who wanted to express himself in color. Bongo drums softly kept a rhythm most of the day. We circled the tables, filled our plates and our cups, played musical chairs as we met and mingled. By the end of the day, the canvas was filled, our bellies were sated and our skin rosy from the warm sunny rays filtering through the leafy trees.

Sunday afternoon, we headed for the Marne river to take a taste of the “joie de vivre” at an authentic “guinguette,” Chez Gégène, on the river’s edge in Joinville-le-Pont. The wait to get a table was a good 30 minutes…no surprise. The French in their Sunday finest were lapping up mediocre food at picnic tables covered in red check oilcloth with a view of the Marne on one side and the dance hall on the other, and loving every minute of it.

The guingettes have survived more than three centuries and three wars. Painters, musicians, writers, filmmakers, boaters and restaurateurs have immortalized them. The authentic ones are those along the edge of the Marne, which have kept their “girlish” figure by maintaining their ageless ambiance to perfection. They were the smaller dancing venues of the 19th-century — the word coming from “vin aigrete” or bad, cheap wine, signifying open-air café. These were times captured in such famous paintings as Renoir’s “Bal Moulin de la Galette” and were the perfect place for wealthy husbands to spend their Sunday afternoons amusing themselves with their mistresses.

The “regulars” started to file in about 2:45 p.m. and the dancing to a live band on the two interior dance floors started at 3 p.m. A couple in matching lavender outfits were one of the first to show off their fancy footwork. A tall black-haired woman wearing a flapper style black fringed dress had a much less assuming partner. It was time turned back to another epoch.

There are a few guingettes along the Marne: The Guinguette de l’Ile du Martin-Pêcheur in Champigny-sur-Marne, at Joinville-le-Pont there are Chez Gégène and La Goulue and at La Varenne Saint Hilaire there is La Grenouillère. Annabel Simms, author of “An Hour From Paris” has a delightful article about the guinguettes with complete directions on how to get there.

An American friend who “summers” in Paris takes liberty with the enclosed courtyard of his Marais “hôtel particulier” apartment normally off-limits to the residents, by using a step ladder to climb through one of the massive windows and setting up plastic patio furniture and folding chairs. We all laughed about the absurdity of it all as we “chowed down” on Texas style barbecued ribs and Cajun red beans and rice under the bright night sky Sunday evening. The F

rench participants learned to eat the ribs with their fingers, but complained about the low quality paper napkins and plates and the neighbors overlooking the scene have learned to ignore the revelry for which they are jealous or come and join in the fun.

I say, join in the Summer Solstice fun.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email info@adrianleeds.com

P.S. Tomorrow night dining out will be on the streets of Paris during “Fête de la Musique!” Don’t miss it. For details, visit http://www.fetedelamusique.culture.fr

=====================================

* Rue Daguerre By Adrian Leeds

It doesn’t matter how many times I stroll through a market street in Paris (or just about anywhere), I still get a rush of excitement. First, there are the aromas — fresh fruits and vegetables, whole fish on ice, meats often still as whole animals just killed, warm baked breads and hot coffee coming from the market cafés…French Property Insider Subscribers Read On…

French Property Insider…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. If you’d like to learn about the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about
buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week, read more about a subscription here:
/frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html or call 1-310-427-7589 Paris time.

=====================================

FURTHER RESOURCES

* The Most Important Thing You Can Do This Summer

Learn the best ways to watch your money and real estate investment grow before your very eyes…all while gazing at the world’s most famous monument over a frothy café crème.

Invest in France Seminar
August 10, 2005
Paris, France…

* Let us put you in touch with the lenders for your French mortgage. It’s easier than you may think.

* Insider information form the insiders…Everything you need to know about Paris and France…Get the Insider Paris Guides

======= CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING =====

==APARTMENT RENTAL==

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at
/parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term
apartments.

=====================================

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:
/parlerparis/apresmidi.html
The next gathering is July 12, 2005
=====================================
Subscribe to the PARISMARAIS monthly newsletter FREE…The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais. http://www.parismarais.com/parismarais-newsletter.htm
=====================================
Buy and sell with Parler Paris classifieds: /parlerparis/advertise.html

=====================================
Read past issues of Parler Paris: /parlerparis/issues/readpastissues.html
=====================================
Read this week’s Community Calendar all week long: /parlerparis/calendar.html
=====================================
Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in Parler Paris? Forward it for FREE to your friend, relative, or associate here: /parlerparis/forward.html
=====================================
To Subscribe:
– Visit /parlerparis/subscribe.html href=”/parlerparis/unsubscribe.html”>/parlerparis/unsubscribe.html
=====================================
To Change Your Email Address
– Visit /parlerparis/members
=====================================
Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, /

This entry was posted in 2005, Parler Paris and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>