Travel & Living

The Casey Spooner Guide to Paris

As told by Casey Spooner.
Reading time 6 minutes

I love Paris. I always have. I always have fantasized about living in Paris. I've been hiding in Paris for over a year, avoiding the trauma of American politics and preparing for SPOONER2020, my project about politics, fashion, and entertainment. There's definitely something happening in Paris now. A new scene is burgeoning that's an amazing mix of art, music, fashion, and performance. All my favorite things! It's distinctively racially mixed, queer, political, glamorous, and exciting. Here's a list of my current favorite places in Paris: a list that grows daily.

Chez Julien

The interiors are beyond! Super-ornate stained glass, moldings, chandeliers, tile floors, brass coatracks, and busts bursting from the high ceilings take you back in time. I prefer to go late in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. It's empty and peaceful. By 7 PM the tourists start pouring in by the busloads. 

1 Rue Du Pont Louis Philippe

La Belle Époque

 

This is home for me. My dear friend Catherine Baba brought me here first and called it "our canteen." Everyone gathers here after the galas, shows, and openings for late dinners. It's a real meeting place. Honestly, this is my favorite place with my favorite people. 

36 Rue Des Petits Champs

Menergy

 

This once-a-month party is where all the hot homosexual guys gather. It's inspired by Berlin, but it is distinctly Parisian. Less brutalist hedonism and more town hall social circle: I found my new apartment on the dance floor shirtless with a friendly stranger. I'm sure you'll find everything you need here. I always do.

18 Rue Du Fauborurg Du Temple

Klay

This is the It Gym in town. It's hard to get in, but worth it. It's much smaller than the sprawling gyms of NYC that I'm used to, so be prepared to share weights and tighter spaces. You'll end up getting discovered her by all the top fashion executives. Try to go in the afternoon when it's less crowded.

4Bis Rue Saint-sauveur

Palais Garnier 

This place is magical and a big part of how Paris seduced me. I came to see a premiere of Alex Ekman's work. I wore a Ludovic de Saint Sernin gown with no panties... the next day I skipped my return flight and never looked back. The scale and grandeur are the most epic and elegant. You haven't been to Paris until you've been to the Palais Garnier. 

8 Rue Scribe

La Créole 

 

This is my new favorite everything: best crowd, best music, best dancing... simply the best. It's an amazing mix of young, Caribbean, and queer: house, vogue, island, and techno. It really transcends definition, which is when I think something is truly interesting. I'll be here every month sweating with the children.

122 Boulevard Du Montparnasse

Ruttowski;68

This is a cool contemporary gallery featuring an interesting authentic work that's not mired in the marketing and stunts of other more established galleries in le Marais. They are based in Paris and Koln. The social scene around the gallery reminds me of Gavin Brown in the '90s. Everyone is friends, and we all love each other! I have my first show coming up here in June. Come make the scene.

8 Rue Charlot

Balice Hertling Gallery 

This is a great gallery and another home for me in Paris. I have shown with them during FIAC and collaborated with their artist Will Benedict on a performance. They always show ambitious and very intellectual work. Ask to see my early works inspired by fashion they represent. Failed Male Model is a classic.

239 Rue Saint-Martin

Adult

This is a fun party at the sex club Le Dépot. It's super-mixed and less toxic masculinity and more anything goes. It's hosted by Emmanuel [Caurel] and Julien [Bizzarelt], who also do the party Bizarre Love Triangle. I've DJed and performed for them a couple of times. This is the party to take your cis girlfriends to. 

10 Rue Aux Ours

Manko Cabaret 

This is a MUST SEE!!!! Marc [Zaffuto], Emmanuel [d'Orazio], and Manon [Savary] have updated the cliché of a sexy Parisian revue with hard techno music, giant video backdrops, and a sexy cast of men, women, manly women, and womanly men! Allanah Star reigns over the night with aplomb and feisty grace.

15 Avenue Montaigne 

La Perle

Always fun for a drink, especially during fashion week. You'll see everyone. Stand on the curb and chain smoke in traffic. It's fun! The burger is good, too. Check out the new restaurant they just opened across the street called Au Top.

78 Rue Veille Du Temple 

Musée National Gustave Moreau

This museum really is like stepping back in time. It's the home of the artist and his studio. The dark and erotic symbolism of paintings is perfect for a haunted Parisian dream. Nineteenth-century decadence at its best. The living quarters are tiny and jewel-like, while the studio space is grand and sweeping– a dichotomy I can relate to.

14 Rue De La Rochefoucauld 

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