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Paris—the historic hub of counterculture and creativity, known for its food, fashion, fine art, beautiful women, and unique sense of mystery—is undergoing an era of rediscovery. Long respected as a grand city of connoisseurs, she is brimming with opportunities to satisfy every sense as the passion and precision of Parisian excellence, both new and old, evolve. Some of the coolest Parisian shops look and feel like museums. It’s a city that preserves its best traditions, whether they take the form of antiques or architecture, a time-intensive way of making pastries or stitching together leather goods.

And yet on our recent trip to Paris we sensed change in the air. There’s a new batch of high-end menswear brands, with designers who are putting a modern spin on French classics. Just as exciting, they’re having them manufactured on French soil. There’s an obvious Brooklyn vibe happening at the moment, but plenty of boutiques, bars, and coffee shops are giving it their own Parisian twist.

It might be the eating-and-drinking scene in Paris that’s changed most of all. The new cuisine is lighter and fresher, with seasonal produce and simple preparations replacing those elaborate, heavy sauces of yesteryear. And casual dining is in—everywhere, it seems. We found natural wines (vins naturels) and small-plate joints that make it easy for cocktails to turn spontaneously into dinner. That tendency to let things flow, to live in the moment, is another hallmark of French living.

Paris is one of the world’s great cities, and remains full of sensuality and romance. But what’s most exciting is what’s new about it, the charge of young blood and new life, guaranteeing it will maintain its character well into the future. Paris deserves the full treatment. That’s why we chose it as the subject of our newly redesigned Passport section. To make things clearer, we’ve split the city into three main areas. One last piece of advice for exploring: make a point of going down narrow side streets and peeking behind locked portes cocheres. Parisians have a reputation for rudeness, but that’s changing, too. You’ll be surprised how often a stranger will buzz you right into his or her hidden courtyard.


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Design
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Design A must-visit for its fabulous selection of speakers, headphones, and other hi-fi audio equipment. Design meets modern tech here.
City Spotlights
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City Spotlights Next up: shops. The Rue de Marseille has some gems. There’s (2) Centre Commercial, a multibrand store owned by the fair-trade footwear brand Veja that stocks (among other things) excellent madein- France chinos and men’s accessories of the leather-and-canvas variety. Pickings were just as good down the block at A.P.C. and Balibaris, two French basics brands (albeit at different stages) that get the details right.
Nightlife
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Nightlife We followed that up with drinks on the bar-packed Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, taking our time because there was no point in getting to our final stop, (6) Titty Twister, before 1 a.m. With its heady mix of tattooed rockers and decked-out dandies—and scads of models—our verdict is that this is the best club in Paris at the moment.
Shops
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Shops Centre Commercial, a multibrand store owned by the fair-trade footwear brand Veja that stocks (among other things) excellent made in France chinos and men’s accessories of the leather-and-canvas variety. Pickings were just as good down the block at A.P.C. and Balibaris, two French basics brands (albeit at different stages) that get the details right.
Restaurants
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Restaurants Dinner was in the Ninth, which has also been feeling the Brooklyn influence. It consisted of fabulous burrata and melt-in-your-mouth pork cheek at Richer
Hotels
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Hotels Having been refurbished earlier this year, this hundred-year-old hotel now looks superbly spruce, with brass accents and marble floors. The fifty chic rooms have mosaic-tile bathrooms, and the restaurant sits under an original stained-glass ceiling. Note: it’s in the Eighth, some distance from the First.
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