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TRAVEL FEATURE

Gay Paris in Summertime

French capital ramps up to welcome GLBT tourists during summer 2007


Duane Wells | May 11, 2007

Never let it be said that the French don�t welcome all. The Paris Gay Village, an association designed to help promote and develop Gay & Lesbian tourism in Paris has not only set up a website to answer questions from global GLBT tourists but they have put together a list of hot gay happenings for Summer 2007 and they�re even providing weekly orientations for tourists visiting the City of Lights. Now that�s an invitation, that is hard to refuse, n�est ce pas?

What are the latest and hottest gay clubs? What�s the best bar if you want to meet twinks, leather daddies, bears, older men or butch dykes? What�s the best time to go to the baths? What�s the best sex club on Wednesday evenings? How do you find a short-term apartment rental? What are the most gay-friendly hotels? Are there gay-friendly guided tours of museums? What are the best cruising areas? Where do you sign up for gay and lesbian historical and cultural tours of Paris neighborhoods? The answers to these questions and many more can be found at www.parisgayvillage.com.

Then if you still have questions once you arrive in Paris, you can attend a special orientation designed for GLBT tourists which will be held every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Centre Gay et Lesbien (Paris Gay and Lesbian Center) at 3 rue Keller in the 11th arrondissement (the closest m�tro station is Bastille). There is a also a personalized welcome service on request which can be arranged by sending a pre-visit email to contact@parisgayvillage.com.

Now here�s a look at two of the events that the Paris Gay Village recommends for the upcoming summer season:

  • Exhibit Pierre et Gilles : Double Je (Pierre et Gilles : Double Self) Jeu de Paume Museum June 29 – Sept. 23, 2007

    An exhibit of the works of world-renowned French artists Pierre et Gilles. This selection of their inimitable hand-painted photographs represents stars of pop, rock, fashion, art and film, as well as anonymous models all in surreal, fairy-tale settings.

    Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, m�tro Concorde, every day except Monday.

  • A Cult Musical in a Legendary Music Hall Cabaret Folies Berg�re

    This colorful musical is playing through July 14, 2007, at the Folies Berg�re, a legendary temple of entertainment since the 1920s, when Josephine Baker was the star of the revue. The theater has retained its historic art deco interior, a particularly effective setting for the musical Cabaret, which takes place in a pre-war Berlin night spot, the Kit Kat Club, an island of liberty and transgression surrounded by the growing menace of Nazism.
    Folies Berg�re, 32, rue Richer, ninth arrondissement, m�tro Grands Boulevards.

    For gay nightlife and the special ambiance Paris brings to the concept, the Paris Gay Village association recommends the following Parisian hotspots, all of which lie outside the boundaries of the trendy boites most might be familiar with in Le Marais:

  • CUD – A club on two levels: On the ground floor, an enjoyable bar, and downstairs, a dance floor in a cellar with a vaulted ceiling. The scene here gets going pretty late (after 1 a.m.), when the other bars close. Club-Bar, 12 rue des Haudriettes.
  • L�Enchanteur – One of the sure bets in the area, L�Enchanteur is a bar that offers a background of jazz-house music. The crowd here reaches its peak starting around 11:30 p.m. There are also exhibits by young artists and occasional live shows in the downstairs space. L�Enchanteur 15 rue Michel le Comte
  • Le Duplex – The oldest gay bar in the neighborhood, Le Duplex has been attracting a crowd for more than 20 years. The patrons have a reputation for being brainy and very loyal to the bar. �A great place to find lively conversations in a rather smoky but very welcoming atmosphere,� according to the Paris Gay Village association. Fun as it may sounds, you�ll have to wait until 11 p.m. for the scene to get going at this legendary nightspot. Bar 25 rue Michel Le Comte.

    With those kind of insights, all you have to do is whip out your credit card and say �Oui! Oui! Oui!� to a summertime adventure in Paris!


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