Paris by Morning continued
Were you wondering about how easily it is to get into clubs like Le Queen?
As you may recall, Chris and I had not fared well on our own (Hotel Costes for example did not seem eager to let us in to one of their ‘private parties’) but this evening was quite different – we were with Govind, the miracle worker, the magician . . .
But before we even arrived at Queen’s front door, Govind gave Chris some quick guy tips. “The preppy pullover has GOT to go.” So here Chris is,adjacent to the Champs Elysees, peeling of layers of clothes (in freezing temperatures). Now the three quarter length casual winter jacket. That went into the boot (trunk for we Americans) Time to slip on the distressed leather jacket. (Chris, you never knew this would be your future Paris clubbing jacket when you picked it up in Rochester, NY!) Okay, we’re ready to cross the threshold. Govind has us through the gauntlet – we zip past a line at the door like we were vaseline-coated. Sorry but as the club scene progresses – more and more bodies – you might just want to be covered in body oil just to make your way to a table.
Even though Le Queen is vast in scope – you chute through the main entrance like a pinball propulsed in all directions. Govind expertly guides directly to the VIP section where he orchestrates a bottle of bubbly and a coveted table. A bottle of bubble or hard liquor will set you back about 180 Euros. The benefit, which is obvious as the night progresses is that you’re buying yourself a buffer zone.
At Queen, the VIP lounge is tented with fishnet – no wonder I feel like the catch of the day. Even moreso, after a trip to the mixed-sex toilets with a row of men’s urinals to the right and a fraction of privacy to the left for ‘whatever’. Getting to the toilets demands some resolve as I cross the free-for-all dance floor, oops, I made eye contact and am followed. The pursuer gently reaches for my hand and EVER so gently (when he realizes that I have no intention of slowing down) attempts to slip off my ring! (Gerry, if you’re reading this , yes, I’m talking about the ring you designed!)
Fortunately, the ‘night’ is still young at 5 am and I’m neither so young or so drunk to allow Gerry’s craftsmanship fall into the wrong hands. I succeed in keeping my hand and my ring intact with no conflict – no hard feelings. So, if you’re planning on hitting the clubs, remember that things have a way from getting separated from you. Only wear the things you plan on keeping close to you for the whole 24 hours. There are coat checks in most clubs, but the lines are a time waster.
At Queen, the ‘hustle’ is ever so subtle. As we work our way through our bottle of Moet &Chandon, the occasinal unattached woman materializes, the make – up just a little too perfect, the cleavage strategically exposed. All for nice window dressing. She comes and goes, having quickly sized up the situation. Nne of us are on the prowl. Just quiet observers.
“People come to clubs for all sorts of reasons.” G. says. Other Parisians avoid clubs like the plague
“I see those people ALL time,” states one person who’s anonymity, I’ll respect.
“Fifteen minutes is enough of that,” says another.
“This is an import from the United States,” Chris quips.
Or maybe Ibiza? I wonder.
Certainly, the factory style, monotonous pummelling beat seems the antithesis of Parisians’ typically intimate dinner parties where couples exchange niceties and occasionally suble digs.
But Paris seems to have an ever expandable waist belt for aberration from the ‘norm’ in fact there is no ‘norm’ here. Unlike New York, the clubs we’ve seen so far seem to lack the raw edge of agression. But G. warns us that other clubs like Folies Bergere are more ‘hard’ For now, it’s Paris ‘lite’.
Our champagne is trickling away so it’s off to the ‘afters’.
“Now we’re going ‘underground'” G. says. Chris begs off. At seven am the only rendez-vous he’s looking for is the one with his pillow. I am still surprisingly awake and sober. The beauty of being more ‘mature’ is that I can really enjoy this experience with most of my senses intact.
To get to the ‘afters’ Govind directs the car eastward toward Bastille. We’re headed for “Follow Me” on Rue Keller. ‘Follow Me’ is decidedly more gay i ambiance than Queens’ Friday night crowd. And at seven am tattoed bared chests dominate the landscape.
As we go farther underground – it’s also normal that the physical space grows tighter and the crowd of dancers more clotted.
We could stand at the bar and sip gin-and-tonics, but once again, a banquette beckons and seems incredibly enticing in this scene of pumped -up skin. At first glance, the occasional woman on the floor looks – quite frankly- used up. But we’ve arrived at mid-ebb. a second wave of refugees from Queen and other clubs is bound to cross the threshold at any moment. We are ready. We’ve staked out our table accompanied by a second and final bottle of champagne. What IS it with this Moet & Chandon? It tastes positively chemical. Or is it me? Are my tastebuds totally shot? What happend to those intact senses? I take in the surroundings: a perfectly coiffed
and made up desperately-housewifed blonde perches on a stool. Is she a he? We wager.
Back at our sofa haven, I proffer a glass of champagne to another female sofa denizen who is decidely sober and dewy for this hour. She shakes her head, no thanks. Her male partner gestures to their bottle of hard liquor which is already open “She doesn’t want to mix her drinks!”
Understandable. After all, the morning is still young, here at 8 am.
I learn that the J. Christophe has family in Brooklyn. And Isabel is from Royons, a beach resort on the Atlantic.
Brooklyn. Wow. “Le monde est petit – the world is small, but very far from being ‘petit monde’.
“This is my first time in a Paris club,” I say, smiling demurely.
“DON’T tell me this is your first time in a club.” J.C. replies.
Hardly. But he knew that already.
we recognize one another although we’ve never met.
Guess that’s what they mean by ‘tribes’.