- 13, May 2020
- All things Paris
- Sam Asher
The capital of France has several nicknames: The City of Light, Paname, The City of Love, Lutèce… but did you know it also has received a reputation for being the City of Art? With its rich architecture and some of the world’s most famous and popular museums, it is no surprise that this city is the perfect inspiration to artists past and present. Seated at a café, enjoying a coffee amid the pastel sunsets or dazzling streetlights, you may just be next to the next big thing.
The Proof is In The Piaf
If we take one of France’s most beloved stars, Edith Piaf, we can see that her trajectory led her all around the city. Edith Piaf called the 20th Arrondissement her home and before she got discovered you could find her singing in the streets near Pigalle or Belleville - known to be a hip area today. She lived near the Menilmontant metro stop, just a couple paces south down the street. Unknown to her neighbours around her, her voice full of character that filled the streets of her quartier would soon go down in history. There she began to get some recognition before being discovered by Louis Leplée, who ran the Cabaret le Gernys on the Champs-Élysées at the time. As she began to perform around the city for larger audiences, the people nicknamed her “Little Sparrow” for her fragile disposition. She had a frail frame and a beautiful voice – something that was delicate but could also be so poignantly powerful it could move a person to tears. The singer began frequented many cabarets in her day; some cease to exist such as the Cabaret Patachou. This establishment was a cabaret located in Monmarte, which now can be identified only by a plaque at 13 Rue du Mont-Cenis. This cabaret was very well celebrated in the 50s and 60s, known for welcoming legends such as Jaques Brel or Georges Bressans. Patachout closed its doors in the 1970s, but there are still some cabarets that Piaf graced that you can visit, such as the Lapin Agile – also located in Monmartre.
Edith Piaf’s star power continued to burn as she soared into the ranks of some of the most highly noted French artists to date. During her time, you could catch her eating at La Coupole, a restaurant in the 14th near Montparnasse which was considered the place to be for famous artists featuring the likes of Simone de Beauvoir and Picasso. Like most establishments in Paris, it wasn’t exclusive; it may well be that an older relative of yours could have had their coffee next to the Little Sparrow herself. Nowadays, the 14th may not be the best place to catch modern artists on the rise. As time goes on, neighbourhoods in Paris change. Where the Marais used a to-go spot in the capital, some native Parisians may argue that the true Paris experience exists in lesser-known areas such as Oberkampf, Place de Clichy, or even Menilmontant.
Stars, They’re Just Like Us
Walk around the streets of Paris today and a world of interesting characters manifests. It is easy to get lost at a brasserie people-watching while enjoying a coffee or a glass of wine. Little do you know; you could be seated next to the very same dancer or singer who performs at a famous cabaret in Paris. The Crazy Horse Cabaret, for example, is internationally known and used as reference points for famed artists such as Dita Von Teese or even Beyoncé.
The Crazy Horse Cabaret
What’s a good way to find out who the next big star of Paris is? Attend a performance for yourself! Don’t miss your chance to see amazing performances by superbly talented artists. Why not try to follow in the footsteps of Piaf fans of the past and spend a night at the cabaret to find your favorite performer?