McArthur Genius Award: What a Dope….



Paris at Night: The City of Light



As recently described in The New York Times:

“When evening settles over the Seine, all-night adventuring isn’t just possible in Paris, it’s de rigueur. At night, the City of Light unfurls a more prodigious, varied bounty of after-dark possibilities than just about any other place on earth. Fancy an aperitif in a gilded Old World hotel followed by a night at the opera? Facile. Dinner with “les beautiful people” before dancing at new V.I.P. nightclubs? Bien sûr. A late-night avant-garde art show and rock ’n’ roll à la française? Pas de problème.

Like the seductive blackness of a Rorschach ink blot, a Parisian evening morphs effortlessly to every mood and indulges every fantasy. The only difficulty is choosing your trajectory in a nocturnal landscape that offers so many. A true Parisian evening should begin, must begin, with an aperitif, known to every French person as simply an apéro. Step into the 19th-century confines of L’Hôtel and order a kir royale (Champagne with syrup of cassis, peach or raspberry amid the gilt columns, plush fabrics, bookshelves and thick rugs of the Empire-style bar. If you feel a surge of wit, you might be channeling the ghost of Oscar Wilde, who died in the hotel in 1900.

For a beautifully illuminated tour of Paris monuments, take the 8 p.m. sightseeing trip with Paris Charms and Secrets ( Departing from the Place Vendôme and humming along on an electric bicycle, you’ll be regaled with anecdotes from the English-speaking guides as you encounter the eerie glow of the St.-Sulpice church (famous from “The Da Vinci Code”), the radiant crystalline beauty of the Louvre pyramids and the glittering gold dome of Napoleon’s tomb.

Built in the 1890’s, the ornate bistro Aux Lyonnais was bought in 2002 by Alain Ducasse and Thierry de la Brose. The pair has brought a stylish and sure-handed touch to Old World family cooking. From the wonderfully thick and crisply roasted poitrine of pig to the richly sweet mirabelle ( a type of plum) soufflé, the dishes are robust and no-nonsense. Later, the city’s most refined musical spectacle awaits inside the colonnaded, gilded, carved, chiseled and statue-draped Opéra Garnier ( Sitting in red velvet seats under the elaborate vaulted ceiling, painted by Marc Chagall, Parisians will soon take in Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte.”

Extracted from:
Seth Sherwood
The New York Times


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