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A Bar on rue Roquette
Catalina's birthday 3
Still up ? I’m whaling away on various projects but we can’t neglect the party. This is Paris, after all, and we don’t want to lose the title to Rio, or whatever the name of the dry capital of Qatar is. (Not so many parties there, I’m guessing, after last night’s thrashing by Ecuador.) So just in case you’re stuck in an cubicle somewhere, or getting ready to go to yoga class or a political demonstration, here’s today’s morceau de musique…
Not so very long ago I used to ferry the tourists along the Authentique Cave route, starting at le Baron Rouge off Place d’Aligre, one of the best in Paris in one of its liveliest quartiers. Quentin Rollet holds court there; you can read about him here. (Someone should do a study for the Paris Index, to see if there isn’t a close correlation between neighborhoods that haven’t lost their funk to the banks or junk food and their ties to the original People’s Commune back in 1870-71.) We sometimes stayed all night in the Baron and sometimes wandered out to the wider world, frequently stopping for a few serious and scholarly (I’ll have you know) glasses on Rue de la Roquette, which winds between Bastille and Voltaire. Marcheurs de la Planète was a lively place in those days, maybe still is, what with the organic wine, the Ti-Punch in a big alembic behind the bar and let’s face it, the most congenial bar staff in Paris. (I’m trying to force myself to type sexiest barmaids and I can’t bring myself to do it, although even if it isn’t true, it was, as far as we were concerned.) I strolled in one night with a group of wine aficionados, consisting entirely of two ladies very much in love. The music was always great at Marcheurs, and when this song hit the airwaves, the lights went out and the staff climbed on the bar to dance. Seventh heaven, although I don’t know if the first six qualify.
Writers like to get their backs scratched. Knowing readers are out there makes a difference.
Herbie Mann played and recorded with absolutely everyone, ran record labels of his own while enjoying a nearly fifty-year career. Not easy for a flautist, eh ? How many can YOU name ? Let’s leave the wonderful James Galway out, as he specialized in classical. In general, a little flute goes a long way, and yet at least three made remarkable impressions in the last half century + : Mann, Robert Dick (the inventive Odysseus of experimental flute) and Jeremy Steig, son of William of Shrek fame, who jammed with Hendrix and also has a discography worth your time. It’s just about the oldest instrument around.
Thanks for letting me indulge my DJ fetish.
Back with longer, substantial essays about life in Paris and France shortly, three or four longer pieces all in process now, all almost there - before the end of the month. I’m busy editing a novel for a New York agent who will inevitably pass because it isn’t about the States (or is it ?), but it can’t hurt to put the effort in. Continental Riffs is my small island where I keep pumping out news, lest publishers and others forget I’m alive, right here in sunny Paris, where my garden has a raspberry in chilly, late November. Meanwhile, Riff’s novel-in-waiting subscription drive is here, and the secret +1 plan is hidden at the bottom of the page here. A steal you shouldn’t miss.
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