Ca fait chaud! The temperature keeps on rising in Paris, but what about the je t’aime-ostat. It was certainly going off the charts last week during the special dating night I hosted for the Expats Paris meet-up. I’m sure a few flames were sparked that night, but if you weren’t able to attend or are still looking for that flame, have a look at my top ten list of tried and tested summer Je T’aiming hotspots (in no particular order).
#1 Picnics along the Seine: I know this sounds like a given, but speaking from experience (see my Glow article), picnicking might be the top place to meet new potential romantic contenders. Accept invitations to picnics by distant friends, you never know who they might have also invited… or set up your blanket with your amis in a lively area, such as along the Quai des Tournelles, where conversations and smiles bounce from neighboring groups to the next…
#2 Sip rosé on the cool terrace in the 13th: Further along the Seine, you will find the social outdoor terraces of Wanderlust or le Batofar, grab un verre de rosé or a Mojito and mingle with the Bobos or fashionistas of the area. Alas one of these place is linked to the Mexican… but I won’t hold that against it.
#3 Dance the night away on the Concorde Atlantique Boat: I used to go here quite a lot, with it’s upper deck terrace and two levels of dance floor, it’s teaming with fun summer opportunity. In fact it features in the Russian Roulette chapter of my book (the finale!) and it’s also where I met… the Farming Banker/Wank Manager. Well, even though it didn’t connect me with quality contenders… there was certainly a lot of choice!
#4 Sporty? Free Jogging Coaching: Okay, if you’ve read my book, you will have quickly realized that I’m not a big fan of exercising, that said, I admire people who actually do and think that it is a worthy endeavor. That’s why a lightbulb went off in my head when Clém was telling me about signing up for the free jogging classes offered by the city along its newly redone Berges de la Seine (the poor thing accidentally signed up for the advance class and was a bit left in the dust, the beginnings class should offer more potential to actually talk to the other participants). They also have yoga, fitness and a bunch of other things I didn’t understand. A good way to find a common interest… and possibly more!
#5 Lounge on the grass in Buttes Chaumont Park then grab a drink at Rosa Bonheur: Right, let’s get back to something more my style. The Buttes Chaumont is a great “real” Parisian park, so if that’s who you’re looking for, park yourself on the grass next to a group of happy loungers. When the sun starts setting, you don’t have to go far, the park’s café Rosa Bonheur is populated with the same park-goers and more cool eastern Parisians.
# 6 Rub shoulders with the hipsters in Belleville: A similar Rosa Bonheur crowd can be found slightly downhill on the lively terraces of the Café Chéri(e) or Aux Folies. Just a few weeks ago I found myself at the former … and my drink-mate coyly chatted up la serveuse… Aux Folies has led to some interesting stories as I’m sure others can also attest too… to be followed up in book II or III.
# 7 Like Dancing on Tables? Up up to the Favela Chic: Je T’Aime, Me Neither readers will probably have recognized this Brazilian bar, which features in a few chapters with varying degrees of success. In any case, it’s usually a lively way to get your Saturday night heated up.
# 8 Young and Hip? Head to le Point Ephemère: In the past few months I just so happen to be invited to two birthday celebrations involving this bar, each time I was chatted up by two attracted garcons… yes garcons… they were both around twenty-three so way too young for me even if I like to pretend I’m still twenty-six. Nevertheless – excellent meeting odds! It’s a friendly, cheap place with a big terrace and you can dance the night away in the club on weekends.
# 9 Skip the main Paris Plag(u)es, Opt for Canal de l’Ourcq: It’s called Paris Plages with an “s” for a reason. The best part, or the least crowded, is along the Canal de l’Ourcq in the 19th. There are structured Paris Plages events, but you can also lay your blanket aside the water and people watch… perhaps the cute pétanque players might invite you for a match? Or you could invite yourself?
# 10 Open Air Cinema at Parc de la Villette: Featured in the Dangerous Liasons chapter of the book, this is one of my all-time favorite Paris summer activities. Arrive early to picnic with your friends… and why not the people next to you? The groups get up close and comfortable as the night goes on, and you get a little culture at the end with the movie, perfect for snuggling…