A New York Day in Paris


Hipsters in Paris art by Jean Julien via the NY Times

Say you’ve just been somewhere terribly cool in Paris and you begin describing it to your Parisian friend. Undoubtedly you’ll use the phrase c’est trés New York! Or better yet, c’est trés Brooklyn. As in, it’s very NY or very Brooklyn. This is the highest praise for a restaurant, a club, a bar or anywhere you’ve been that is utterly hip and au courant.
Other countrymen and Francophiles are bemoaning the “New York-ization” of Paris. Let them cry, as its not stopping anytime soon. We New Yorker’s have always known we were at the center of the universe, and now with Brooklyn having become the unabashed epicenter of hipster-dom, it seems that Paris simply had to fall in line.

Café Bonaparte, left bank photo by Brian Jannsen

Don’t panic, the baguettes are still there, the sidewalk cafés and the glorious art deco brasseries continue to beckon, but the newest hot spots are often trying to be trés NY.
Take the burger craze for example. Paris has been going bananas for burgers for a few years now and they are finally getting it right. Blend is my personal favorite and Le BAB is the newest kid on the block in the Canal St. Martin area. There’s even a beer garden in Paris, copying the iconic Radegast in Williamsburg by the name of Kietz Biergarden Parisien. Mexican is the latest craze, when Chipotle opened a few years back there were lines around the block.
Craft beer has become a thing…in the land of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Hit up La Marine near the Montparnasse train station for one of the best happy hours in Paris and a huge selection of beers on draft, grab a pint for 5 euros from 6-8pm.

Cocktails all lined up Shake n Smash, Paris

Parisian cocktails are hot hot hot, Experimental Cocktail Club was the first true craft bar in Paris inspired by Death & Company and other speakeasy style bars in New York. Now Paris witnesses a craft cocktail bar opening almost every week. After going to 55 bars in 6 weeks earlier this year to research my book, Paris Cocktails (coming out September 15th), I discovered that if you want a Manhattan in Paris you can finally find a tasty one. 

Click on the image above if you want to learn more or buy my new book.

Plus at bars like Bespoke, L’Apicius, Artisan & Baton Rouge in SoPi (South of Pigalle) you’ll discover delicious drinks you’ve never heard or even dreamed of.

Mozza Food truck, photo via Thrillist

Food Trucks are all the rage in Paris the first few were imports from the US and now the Parisians have gotten in the game. If you are in a New York frame of mind, check out Bügelski Deli truck for a bagel on the run.
Gluten-free and vegan travelers now have places to go in Paris such as NoGlu, the first gluten free resto and MOB, a casual vegan place that started in Brooklyn (where else) with a location in Paris at the Cité de la Mode.
And to top it all off, Le Bon Marché the oldest department store in Paris is hosting a Brooklyn Installation called Brooklyn: Rive Gauche (Brooklyn on the left bank) showing now until October 17th; including many iconic Brooklyn products like Mast Brothers chocolate, Catbird jewelry, Baggu bags, Kinfolk clothing and a myriad of Brooklyn made beanie hats. Now that’s a serious New York day in Paris!


The poster for American in Paris

A musical version of the 1950 movie American in Paris done in English, played at Chatelet last fall to rave reviews. It’s now on Broadway in New York. There’s even a NY in Paris blog, written by a Chinese girl – of course.

One of the darling graphics from Vahram Muratyan’s book. NY vs Paris.

And if you missed it, the New York vs Paris book that came out a few years ago is as cute as a button and makes perfect bathroom reading. 

queuing for brownies

You can find brownie and bagel places, brunch on every corner, barristas with beards, cupcakes and bbq – if its American, and especially if its cool in New York then its pretty likely you’ll find it in Paris. But there’s evidence that this trend is not wholly new, Harry’s New York bar opened in 1911 and remains the place to go for a perfect Bloody Mary or a New York style martini any day of the week. 

Seen on the streets of Paris. From the First we Feast Brooklyn in Paris photo essay

And of course, Jazz, one of the only music forms truly invented in America has been close to a Frenchman’s heart for 60+ years now. It won them over during the war, it signaled freedom and they’ve adopted it like their own. On any given night you can hear more jazz often better jazz in Paris than you can find in New York. According to the Washington Post, some of the better jazz venues are L’Improviste, a music venue located on a barge in the Seine that also serves food, the Americanized Cafe Universel enjoyed by students and Bab-Ilo, a tiny authentic place in Montmartre . The most well known jazz club is probably Le Duc des Lombards. To find out who’s playing tonight consult the website Paris Jazz Club.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

Le Bab
Paris by Mouth Craft Beer selections
GG2P Food truck article
Paris Jazz Club
Bon Marché Brooklyn
NY in Paris Blog