Pauline #1: Yesterday I got to see my good friend Pauline. Originally from Strasbourg but now living in Dubai, she occasionally makes it back to France to see family. As usual she managed to take advantage of the semi-annual July sales in France and had plenty of fashionable new pieces in her suitcase to show me, including some cream snakeskin cowboy boots. Wow!
In the interest of saving time, we brought Pauline’s lugguge with us to lunch so that she could head directly to the train station after we ate. Slowly we made our way up to the street to the metro, stopping along the way to take pictures (“Hey, I’m a tourist, you know!”). Once we climbed out of Abbesses metro, we walked down the Rue des Abbesses to Un Zebra a Montmartre, one of my favorite little places in the neighborhood, frequented by a mix of locals & out-of-towners, all of them branchés (“connected” or “hip”). There is always something delicious and reasonably priced on the menu to be savoured inside the boisterous cafe or outside on the terrace – a sunny people-watching spot. The French doors were all wide open so we took an inside table right in front, straddling both environments and even catching the occasional warm ray of sunshine.
Pauline #2: Service at the Zebra is usually poor. If you are in a big hurry, then you are better off going elsewhere. One of the waitresses is so unpleasant that a good friend who used to be a regular at the Zebra now refuses to step foot in the place. I’ve also experienced the same odious treatment. But yesterday the service was top notch. A handsome waiter who sounded Spanish greeted us and brought place settings. The bartender helped us decide on the best wine (yes, we had a glass of wine for lunch – how French!), and our waitress was delightful and charming. Dressed in a vintage belted red flowery dress, we learned her name after her colleague shouted “Pauline!” from behind the bar, to which my lunch date instinctively replied “Oui!?“
Pauline #3: Last night I met some friends at Le Reservoir in the 11th near Ledru Rollin. This hidden gem of a venue is a music club/bar/restaurant all rolled up into one. Flyers on the dinner tables showed an ambitious musical line up for the evening – 3 bands of very different styles were going to be performing: an accoustic rocker, a jazz ensemble, and a reggae group!! It was a bizarre mix of styles, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However Pauline Paris, Bogotito et Manos…. were all unique and fantastic. I particularly enjoyed Pauline Paris’ style, sassiness and energy.