Paris’ Alternative Nightlife V
  • 14
  • Feb
  • 2011

Text: Rooksana Hossenally for Vingt Paris
Needless to say that Paris doesn’t quite have a bustling nightlife to rival London or New York, but it does have its fair share of quirky and traditional bars, restaurants and cabarets, as well as a number of alternative arty music events in venues all over the city. Popular with the capital’s ‘in’ crowd, venues like La Bellevilloise and La Maroquinerie in the 20th, Point Ephémère in the 10th, Glaz’Art in the 19th and Mains d’Oeuvres at Porte de Saint-Ouen are experiencing a rise in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. The events held at these venues often combine art and music in quirky unusual spaces that have quickly become the place to be seen, especially for those of you dying to be part of the Paris Boho scene!

Last but not least is a venue offering a mix of cultural events in the north of the city, in Porte de Saint-Ouen. A little out of the way, but worth the trip, Mains d’Oeuvres has become a respected venue hosting artistic events from more of a serious angle. Opened in 2001, in an area that desperately needed a cultural centre, it was founded by a collective of experienced professionals (including one of the co-founders of Point Ephémère). The Mains d’Oeuvres association acts as a link between art and the community. With its 4000m2 space, this venue is one of the largest of its kind in Paris. What do they do with all that space? Well, it’s quite simple: they do everything. From concerts to artist residencies, exhibitions to conferences, festivals, a restaurant…you name it, they do it!

An eclectic mix of events, the space is popular with those who know it, but the real downside is its location, meaning that it is still relatively unheard of to the lay person; your average cultural friend will have heard of it, but venturing out to Porte de Saint-Ouen may be a bit of a stretch for many. Mains d’Oeuvres is however worth the extra time on the metro, so do cast the laziness aside and make a day of it!

Mains d’Oeuvres, 1, Rue Charles Garnier, 93400 Saint-Ouen, tel. 01 40 11 25 25, M° Garibaldi


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