Does Paris Nightlife Suck?

le baronParisians love to complain, and now a bona fide issue has grown out of moaning that the City of Light has lame nightlife. Never mind that the burlesque shows at Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse are world-famous, that jazz clubs like Caveau de la Huchette have been drawing jazz fans for six decades, and that boites like Le Baron (pictured) attract celebs like Sofia Coppola. Laws regarding noise and closing-time brawls threaten tourism, say club owners and patrons who worry that young folks will bring their drinking-binge money elsewhere. I say good riddance! I doubt that losing the raver demographic will put a dent in the number of people who flock here for vacations. caveauParis is the number-one tourist destination on earth. It beats the Taj Mahal, Mecca, even Disneyland. One of the reasons for that is because Paris is, for many, the zenith of civility and sophistication—not wee-hours debauchery. A city cannot be all things to all people. If you want to smoke pot in public, party on in Amsterdam. If you want to see some demented sex show masquerading as art, book an EasyJet ticket to Berlin. And if you want to dance you ass off, well, there are more than 300 discos here in Paris. I mean, really. What will Parisians bitch about next? Bad bread?

5 Responses to “Does Paris Nightlife Suck?”

  1. Comment by Martin Blink | 12/01/09 at 7:12 pm

    Nicely put. A generation lost to raves and texting does not deserve our pity.

  2. Comment by Monique Y. Wells | 12/05/09 at 9:03 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree that “Paris is, for many, the zenith of civility and sophistication”—as well as with Martin’s sentiment above. I guess that some people can’t see the proverbial forest…

  3. Comment by patrick lehman | 12/06/09 at 7:59 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Paris should happily perfect what it already is. Nightlife (or the lack thereof) is an organic outgrowth of the culture itself. If there were vast unserved groups who wanted a raucous den of depravity, they would have found a place for it.

    Inversely, when New York cleaned up Times Square, they seemed to think all those crack whores and dealers would go back to college or something. THEY DIDN”T. As long as there’s a need for a blowjob, and a hit of crack, it will be served. Parisians seem to like it as it is.

  4. Comment by radiogirl | 12/21/09 at 6:14 am

    I do a podcast with Simon Badinter (whose parents are Robert and Élisabeth Badinter), and we talked about this article and mentioned your blog in one of our episodes. You can listen to our conversation here. He talks about his experiences at clubs in Paris and mentions some places and people you might know about.

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  1. […] of rebuttal to the flurry of articles that had recently appeared in the French and American press declaring that Paris was dead after dark. So I spent the first six weeks of 2010 getting reacquainted with some of my favorite old haunts […]

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