A cornucopia of vintage homoerotic imagery. Artists and photographers include Von Gloeden, Von Pluschow, Vincenzo Galdi, Yves Paradis, and Jean Boullet, as well as others of the 20th century. Drawings, paintings, photos of male nudes, sailors, legionnaires and athletes. A look into the lost world of brothels and bordellos, the Sicilian boy toys of aristocrats, Africans, Arabs, Japanese bondage, and more. Nicole Canet presents a "Galerie d'Art, Curiosa, Erotica, & Exotica." The gallery also publishes collections of the artworks in books, on sale here - open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 2:30-7:30pm.
French cuisine stands atop the world and Paris sits at the center. Not only the native food, this city wants to experience all the others too, so every culture and tradition is represented, often in neighborhood clusters. You'd never have time to try them all, and naming the "best" Paris restaurant is pointless, so choose one with great people-watching and lots of locals, or see our listings for some tips. Above Les Halles, remarkable cafes and restaurants sit amid venders selling flowers, fresh bread and pastries, fish and fowl, and fruits and vegetables. Open-air market stalls are set up on Thursday afternoons and Sunday mornings on rue Montmartre just beyond the grand terraces of corner brasseries. On rue Montorgueil the epiceries, or grocers, resemble boutiques in quality and abundance. Even at the center, a few euros will buy a seat at a splendid terrace sidewalk cafe for coffee, conversation, or merely watching street life. After a spurge or two for truly memorable meals, you can save by sampling the abundance of inexpensive street fare, from sidewalk crepes to delicious brasserie omelets and quiches, to fresh sandwiches on crusty bread from the ubiquitous bakeries. Also check out the Asian take-outs and Middle-Eastern fast food. These can more than sustain you for amazingly little cost.
For a day trip to one of the better restaurants outside Paris, La Mare au Diable is not far from the castle at Vaux-le-Vicomt up the Seine. This was a haven for leading French artists. writers, poets, painters and sculptors who gave the best of their talents to the abiding glory of this place. The restaurant, formal but in a rustic country setting, has four salons and a garden terrace; serving traditional French Cuisine to rank with the best you'll find. Not cheap, but worth every Euro cent. See their menu online. Located at the Farm of Plessis Picard, Route D 306, 77550 REAU. Phone: 33(0)1-6410-2090. Lamareaudiable.fr
The Marais / Les Halles area is full of fashion boutiques, adult film stores, book stores and most every other kind of little shop. But don't stop there as the streets around Bastille, or Anvers at the foot of Montmartre, and at any number of other little centers, are full of surprises to provide a splendid little item to take home.
Of gay interest in the Marais, Les Mots a la Bouche (6 rue Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie) overflows with gay literature, graphics, and photo books on two levels. Their windows alone provide an education for passers-by. Gallerie Au Bonheur du Jour (11 rue Chabanais) has classic male erotic photo prints and drawings in their store near the Biblioteque Nationale.
Boxxman (2 rue de la Cossonnerie) in Les Halles has magazines, big DVD sections, video booths, and unfiltered internet. Rob@Zone 2 (8 sq Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie) stocks leather, rubber wear and fetish items. Also at this same Marais address, the Menstore Boutique has sex videos and a wide range of sexual accessories.
For general shopping, the multi-level underground stores at Les Halles, or the big indoor shopping center not far from the Louvre at Galleries Lafayette might do. Department stores line the busy Rue de Rivoli, near City Hall, and on the most fashionable of boulevards, the Champs Elysees there are some famous names over the doors of many shops.
Home to the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is all you've heard multiplied a hundred-fold. Wear comfortable shoes and consider visiting Wednesday or Friday evening, when it is less crowded and open until 10pm.
The Pompidou Center has contemporary art, photography, film, and music. Definitely make time for the 6th-floor restaurant, which has a good view across the rooftops.
Other museums include: Musee National Picasso, the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, and Le Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. The Musee Carnavalet, (23 rue de Sevigne) with 17th-century rooms, an interior garden and a bookshop; and the Musee Marmottan, a former mansion stuffed with Monet and other impressionist paintings, are two smaller gems you might miss in the guidebooks.
Buy tickets to monuments and museum ahead of time to avoid lines. Try your hotel concierge, tourist offices, Parismuseumpass.com, or the museum websites. For more information see the website of the Office of the Mayor, at Paris.fr
It may mean literally "marsh," but there's nothing soggy about the main gay district of Paris and the Les Halles district next to it, which between them hold the lion's share of the city's gay bars, nightclubs and saunas. From the Pompidou Center walk in most any direction to find some of the world's most pleasant and entertaining streets. A good website in Engllish: Parismarais.com
The French love films, period; from everywhere around the world, in their many languages, and of any period. The area around Pompidou Center has several cinemas that will cater to the cineaste in you.
Forum des Images, in Forum des Halles, showcases the best directors at affordable prices.
Cinema UGC Cine Cite, also in Forum des Halles has over 20 screens, and shows many English-language films.
MK2 Beaubourg (50 rue Rambuteau) screens films from many lands in a complex of small cinema rooms on the pedestrian street beside the Pompidou Center.
Cinefil Cinema Latina (20 rue du Temple), located just across from bar Raidd, features original Spanish or English language titles.
The grand decor & gigantic screens of Cinema Grand Rex (1 bd Poissonniere), and Gaumont Opera Premier (32 rue Louis Le Grand) hark back to an older Paris.
Festival de Films Gay & Lesbiens de Paris, the annual glbt film festival, takes place on November 12-21, 2010. Check their website for details in French and English.