Last Friday I went to a little dive bar around the corner from my apartment to see a new friend play some good old American covers.
Bar 96 is one of those nondescript hole-in-the-walls.
Perry Leopard and his Caballeros Simpaticos humbly set up in the back. After a few tunes, a woman joined to sing a few songs. That’s when I did a real double-take.
Turns out Lucy Dixon has her own jazz album and was a long-running member of STOMP. You know, one of those multi-talented dancer/singers. Check out her Myspace page for some much better sounds than I could capture on my pocket camera.
Her voice was amazing. I loved the surprise of being in this low-key neighborhood bar and then, bam! Talent!
A few days later I found myself in a very different environment. Le 29 looks nondescript from the outside, too, but once buzzed in, you find yourself in a plush lounge of red armchairs (and red walls!) and a bar with no menu; all drinks tailor-made.
Cocktail maven 52 Martinis had a meet-up and I’m so glad she introduced me to this place. Usually I avoid the 16th arrondissement like the plague, but this secret little nook made me reconsider.
Previously le 29 was the site of a strip club. The owners have managed to make the new lounge feel elegant, cozy, and retain a bit of its seedier side, too. A pole in the corner saw a few patrons trying out…well, other forms of talent.
So there you have it. Slowly geting out on the scene again and I do love extremes. From nothing dive bars to exclusive cocktail lounges, this city really does have it all.
How about you? Prefer dive bars or classy lounges? Or like me and pretty much go wherever good company can be found?