Sophie Marceau and 007
© 1999 Danjaq LLC/K.Hamshere
Paris is not enough

by Georgina Oliver

Talk about “The World is Not Enough,” the Bond blockbuster co-starring French actress Sophie Marceau... To this city’s “new centurians,” Paris isn’t enough! They want the old-world charm of their arrondissement plus the buzz of belonging to the global village. On Saturday, they raid Le Bon Marché department store’s Grande Epicerie for world food, then hit the club scene in search of new sounds that take world music one step further...

Exotic Vibes

One DJ is not enough. Hence the success of mambo/afro beat/sophisticated house compilations recorded at uptown nightspots like the Budha Bar and Hôtel Costes.


One club is not enough. Every two or three months Mélisandre and her merry gang of helter-skelter hedonists organize a Busparty aboard a battered yellow bus that transports electro/techno/ethno groovers from one music venue to the next: Batofar, Rex, etc. Ticket: 50F. Contact:

Paris Combo

Laid-back hippy chic is not enough. Described by Time Out as a “soon-to-be-giant” cross of chanson, jazzy rhythms, Latin and Oriental style, French band Paris Combo has taken tout le monde by storm with a très speed CD titled “Living-room.” The frantic five play La Cigale (120, bd Rochechouart, 18e, tel: on March 21.

Le Paris Bagdad

Promoted as “un groove d'Orient,” Iraqi musician Fawzy Al-Aiedy mixes trance and tradition. Dubbed “Le Paris Bagdad,” a series of January gigs at congenial theater/concert hall L’Européen heralded the release of his latest album “Oud Aljazira” (BUDA Musique).

Mondo Express

A French take-away chain reckons one menu is not enough. Throughout Paris and the banlieues, Mondo Express delivers four kinds of food: Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Italian. Nine hotlines are available, along with an Internet address:

World Bar

Brit clothes designer Paul Smith is the éminence grise behind another mondo catering concept. On the fifth floor of the Printemps de l’homme menswear store, in a decor reminiscent of a traveler’s scrapbook... the World Bar proposes tastefully exotic “designer dishes” elaborated by Flo, along with an international wine list. (Tel:


A trendy transatlantic magazine called Nylon (as in New York/London) spotlights Paris’ “one-stop” boutiques filled with objects from around the world... “If it’s not enough to browse and shop, you can lounge, eat and read too.” The most minimally exotic? “Zampa.” Incense. Ethno-techno music. XXL candles from Santa Cruz. Transcultural attire and furniture. (10, rue Herold, 1er, tel: O1.

Le labo

The most experimental? Le Laboratoire (36, rue du Temple, 4e, tel: A tiny city souk with a DJ label (Neurospora/Mixcity), le labo unearths “creative sparks.” Soundmakers. Visual artists. In January, Françoise Lejeune whose show was titled “New York is my house.” To February 29, Clémentine Balair’s “Mendiants d’ amour” paintings. Talented young designers are handpicked by fashion coordinator Khiet, whose own psychedelic spring/summer collection was presented at the Opus Café last month.

Cinema Paradiso

At the helm of Le Balzac (1, rue Balzac, 8e, tel:, an independent cinema just off the Champs-Elysées, Jean-Jacques Schpoliansky considers that it’s not enough to tote up entries. An annual fee of 250F (350F for couples) entitles members of Le Club des amis du Balzac to reels of privileges. And... Schpoliansky emcees thematic soirées featuring concerts and “laptop” buffets that place each movie in its cultural context. Recently, an all-night Russian screening sponsored by Petrossian. Next? An “advance box office bookings absolument obligatoires” Restos du coeur benefit combining Ettore Scola’s “La cena” with Italian music and gourmet antipasti and deserts prepared by top French chef Pierre Gagnaire. (Feb 15, 200F.)

Cuban Bodeguita

The Balzac’s most successful film this season? Wim Wenders’ Cuban music documentary “Buena Vista Social Club.” Where to dine after such a wow! world movie experience? At the Paris branch of legendary Havana bar/restaurant B del M. (Bodeguita del Medio, 10, rue des Lombards, 4e, tel:

National Geographic

What could be more exotic than a Gallic edition of the National Geographic (15F)? The December issue included a photographic essay by David Alan Harvey capturing the mysterious “stormy weather” luminosity of Trinidad, Cuba, while February’s zeroes in on the Chinese New Year and the Fleuve Amour or Black Dragon river.

Spicy Saint Valentine’s

Think the world of someone? Want February 14, 2000 to be special? Then, reserve for a luxury Thai tête-à-tête complete with candles, orchids, indoor waterfall and spicy delicacies. (The Blue Elephant, 43, rue de la Roquette, 11e, tel:
Or, book a table for two at Doobie’s. Initially backed by tennis champ Yannick Noah, this fun multicultural resto has concocted a Mauritian Saint Valentine’s menu in association with the island’s Beachcomber Hotels. And... Séga dancers will show you how to “let your body move to the music”! (2, rue Robert Estienne, 8e, tel:

Saint-Germain Gazette

A feature focusing on the theft of Picasso’s “Dora Maar” sculpture. A tribute to the Latin quarter by Umberto Eco... Such is the editorial content of La Gazette de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a new 10F magazine published by a group of Left Bank aficionados. (Contact: O1.

Présences 2000

What is the future of experimental composition in an era dominated by electro/techno/world music? Check that out at the 10th edition of the Maison de Radio France's Présences festival. All concerts free. (Feb 4-20, London Sinfonietta Feb 8 & 9; reservations:

Open House

DJ promoter Art 226 hosts free events. Part “lounge” (Salle Wagram), part “100% house” (Salle Montenotte), their latest “Open House” featured art installations as well as young video and filmmakers. Pass infoline:

Paris Combo's "Living-room" CD
© Polydor/Universal

"Costes la suite" compilation

Cinema La Balzac's millenium greeting card
© Jean-Jacques Schpoliansky

The World Bar
courtesy of Printemps/Marketing

Mondo Express world food
courtesy of world express

Présences poster

"Open House" flyer