In touch with l'esprit cocktail... Classy hippies will pick at tapas and sip Pisco salad cocktails at the Ritz's revamped Hemingway Bar which cultivates its literary aura by hosting book signings and vernissages. The ultimate literati buzz? Bona fide writers, journalists and poets can have their letters addressed to the Hemingway Bar mailbox, c/o Hotel Ritz, 15, place Vendôme,1er.
Next stop: Café Indigo, opposite the Hôtel George V. With its puce-covered armchairs, Café Indigo combines the charm of a sidewalk terrace with the clubby atmosphere of a chic local restaurant. Along with a selection of alcohol-free long drinks, the house list features Bleu Indigo, an exotic mix of white rhum, Malibu and pineapple juice, highlighted by a dash of curaçao. (12, av George V, 8e, tel: 01.47.20.89.56.)
"Working Girls"... If your style is métro/boulot/techno ("work, rest and rave"), a boutique called Cocktail has the clothes for you. Ten years ago, Emmanuelle Bensoussan opened a shoe box-sized "pump 'n clodhopper" shop next to the British consulate. Three years ago, she took the cocktail concept one step further. At Cocktail's second outlet, (30, av Franklin-Roosevelt, 8e, tel: 01.42.89.02.26), suits-for-the-office, black Mary-Janes and urban running shoes rub shoulders with très jungle skimpy, shiny T-shirts by Sinéquanone, the young label whose Mario Sorrenti ad campaign spotlights model-of-the-year Audrey Marnay, "stirred but not shaken" by the "floating presence" of tropical fish.
"At Bastille" and beyond, hip haunts like the Web Bar, (32, rue de Picardie, 3e, tel: 01.42.72.66.55) propose a piquant "cocktail" of cool arts events.
Launched in a loft-like locale in the depths of Barbès... the newest multidisciplinary gallery hails from Tokyo. (The Deep Gallery, 7, rue St-Luc, 18e, tel: 01.42.51.58.32.)
Also part of zee international set, arts-into-music magazine Technikart throws parties at nightspots like the Rex Club. Last month, it was cocktails à gogo at the Cabaret where celebs and regular readers poured over the new issue, commenting on its hyper-creative content.
Performance and Cocktails
Remember "Cocktail," the 1980s movie starring Tom Cruise as a cocksure barman whose cocktail-shaking technique becomes an urban legend? Well, right now, Paris' music scene might as well be in a cocktail shaker! The Champs-Elysées' mega discaires are crowded with mixed-up kids searching for the quintessential remix.
Among their favorite sound "cocktails".... Brit band Stereophonics is on tour in France to promote its latest album titled "Performance and Cocktails." (V2)
"Something has come over..." music. Even jazz is exotic/futuristic. French "Indian sitar & world jazz" outfit Mukta has produced a mesmerizing double CD (part acoustic, part remix) which constitutes a spicy "cocktail" of millennium-transcending vibes. (WEA music.)
And... during the Fête de la Musique on June 21, a post-jazzy berbère/celtique formation named Mugar will perform in Drancy under the umbrella of "Rythm n' Villes," a Zebrock/Chroma-backed spring/summer festival which contradicts the "never mix, never worry" theory. (Concert details: 01.55.89.00.60.)
Focused on how a country's ancient symbols can be remixed and updated via everyday objects, a scholarly/trendy expo to be seen at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Palais du Louvre, 111, rue de Rivoli, 1er, tel: 01.44.55.57.50) till August 29 is positively "disoriental."
Initiated by Jean-Louis Froment, "L'objet désorienté au Maroc" is the fruit of a year-long expedition during which a team of artists and students scoured Morocco for traditional domestic implements as well as contemporary plastic products derived from them.
The result? A series of totemic ready-made "accumulation pieces" constituting a "Molotov cocktail" of clashing colors and topsy-turvy geometric shapes.
Looking out on the Tuileries, a café marocain specially created by Fatima Hal of Bastille resto La Mansouria (11, rue Faidherbe, 11e, tel: 01.43.71.00.16) also questions objective reality. Are we in Paris, in Tangiers... or, tout simplement, in "Cocktail City?"
Morris in Paris
A key art world event merits a trip to the outskirts (15 minutes from place de l'Etoile on RER A)... A print retrospective showcasing mainstream US sculptor/concept king Robert Morris in his own words, "a defrocked minimalist" is on view at Maison Levanneur on the Ile des Impressionistes in Chatou (tel: 01.39.52.45.35) to June 20. What's so great about the Maison Levanneur arts space? One: it's adjacent to legendary museum/restaurant la Maison Fournaise. Two: it possesses one of the largest etching presses in the world.
Somethin' about Lauryn
"Hi people!" Why is miseducated "Lauryn Hill of the Fugees" suddenly Little Miss Perfect on the cover of People magazine and Teen People? Why does le tout Paris want to go to her solo concert at the Zénith on May 27? Réponse... 'Cause this young lady has un petit plus. She don't need to over-remix to play big league. Rap, hip-hop... can do! Heart-rending r'n'b... Could do if I wanted to!
Brit designer extraordinaire/packaging pioneer Lewis Moberly is now a certified "Eurostar." To fête the opening of his Paris bureau, the British Council hosts "Comment rendre l'ordinaire extraordinaire," an exhibition designed to abracadabra anything from vintage champagne bottles to disposable garbage bags. (May 12-22, Mon-Sat, 10am to 6pm, 9, rue Constantine, 7e, tel: 01.49.55.73.80.)