Diaries Magazine

Little Surprises.

Posted on the 28 June 2013 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
little surprises.
The week following our wedding, Aurél and I were graciously invited to experience a new trend that is popping up here in Paris: intimate dinner parties in the company of other like-minded enthusiasts who want to meet new people in an authentic Parisian home. Hosted by Voulez-Vous Diner, we had several choices of dinners to choose from, but the one that stood out the most was the Diner Concert A Opera. In a Haussmann style apartment located mere metro stops away from the famous Opéra district, before the creative three-course dinner commenced, we were greeted with a champagne apéro supplemented by a live piano concert. At the risk of sounding totally cheesy, sometimes I have to pinch myself from the amazing experiences I am exposed to here. 
little surprises.
Along with Melissa, author of Prête-Moi Paris who also happened to be a guest, I hit it off with the evening's host, chef and pianist Sasha. After our post-vodka promise to meet up for a drink, we decided to finally honor it yesterday on a semi-warm summer afternoon in Paris.
Meeting at one of my favorite dives in the 10th arrondissement, Les Animals, I broke my 2013 pledge of staying dry during the week and indulged in a glass of white wine. Sitting alone at the bar, something that is not exactly seen as lady-like here in Paris, but brings the price down by almost a euro, (hey, call me cheap) I read the same line in my book over and over as I anxiously waited.
Moments later, Sasha arrived looking effortlessly Parisian in a red leather jacket (again, hurray summer in Paris) with chic messy bed-head that only French girls seem to be able to pull off. When I try to go for this look, I really do look like a rolled out of bed where a cat slept tangled in my hair. Following my lead, Sasha ordered herself a glass of white. Would I sound like an alcoholic if I admit to fearing that she was just going to order a teeny-tiny coffee while I gulped down booze? Hm, maybe.
Like actual dates, girl dates are no different and can be hit-or-miss. Being at a dinner party or reading someone's blog is completely different than actually sitting down with someone one-on-one, and you're never really sure how it will go. With great pleasure, our date was just as natural as our first meeting. At one point during our chat, I had voiced that since living in Paris the only dancing I've really done is aerobics in my living room, or when that extra bottle of wine is opened at a dinner party inciting an impromptu dance party. I don't know of many night clubs, or rather, good night clubs here in town. It's not that they don't exist, I just don't know of them. 
For some reason, my rant interested the gentlemen sitting next to us drinking; one sipping on a coffee and the other having the popular afternoon mocktail that looks like Christmas in a glass. The man drinking the dark green mint water asked me what kind of music I liked, but before I could answer he had jumped down from his stool and asked if I liked merengue, which he then followed up with merengue style dancing. Merengue was then followed by the cha cha, the lambada, salsa, and finally zumba, all accompanied by a sample of the dance style. 
I actually have gone salsa dancing once here in Paris with my former roommate Charles-Henri, and made a total ass out of myself, like a total J.Lo wannabe. It wasn't one of my favorite nights in Paris, so no, I was not looking to replicate this embarrassment. I said I was just looking for a place to dance, thinking more pop/dance music, nothing too specialized. He then asked if I liked rap. Well sure I do, I like rap quite a bit. He seemed almost surprised by this and then made a reference to what I assume was a rap artist or song. By then Sacha had jumped in to tell him that I wouldn't catch the obscure mention because I am American. More surprised than my appreciation for hip hop was now my origins as he thought I was Spanish, like fresh out of Spain. Now the sampler platter of dancing made sense.
Wanting to soak up as much time with Sasha, as having to head to work was slowly creeping up on me, we politely disengaged from our conversation with our dancing king and moved on to way more vital issues like shopping. Before our new friends left, they gave us a final goodbye, and we wished them a lovely afternoon. It's rare here in Paris that conversation would flow so freely between strangers at a coffee shop bar. I actually have only seen this kind of openness out in Los Angeles where it would seem almost everyone has a few minutes to chat.
Before we wrapped up our girl date and me heading to the lair of screaming French children, we had asked for our bill. The servers had told us that the gentleman, the man with the mint, that we were speaking to took care of the bill. 
Okay, so when does that ever happen? Wow, was all I could muster up in regard to this random act of kindness. It was so unexpected and appreciated, and I made a mental note to pay it forward in the near future. The server interrupted our state of awe, and made herself more clear and informed us that the man whom we were talking with and who had treated us to afternoon wine was Joey Starr. JoeyStarr as in the famous rapper turned movie star who is in a film this month with none other than Gérard Depardieu. Wait, what? Now when does that ever happen?
Just when I think I've seen it all here in Paris, there's always a new adventure to be had. This town never ceases to surpise me. Summer may be chilly but so far it has been the best one I have had here yet. Now I just need my vacation to start...five more days... Bon week-end à tous!
If you're in, or planning to visit Paris, it really is something to check out. While I can't guarantee a JoeyStarr or French celebrity citing, but an authentically Parisian evening with excellent company? Sasha has got you covered! 
Read more about Sacha's fabulous Parisian dinner parties she hosts with Voulez Vous Diner here at Prête-Moi Paris or here on Love in the City of Lights.

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