Marcel has the nose

The handshake of Marcel may be able to break phalanxes. At 58 years, the historic butler of the Foot of the Pig corresponds to the image that we have of a “good living”. A silhouette and a strong character. A native of le Havre, Marcel arrives in Paris from his majority to work in the great pubs. Past military service, he returned quickly to the uniform (black jacket, bow tie and red belt). Since 1990, its history is intertwined with that of the restaurant of the place des Halles. “Twenty-nine years, it is not nothing,” repeated he, proudly. A good part of the night service, because the restaurant never closes, a refuge from the ancestral night-owls and stars. “Depardieu, Belmondo had their regular table”, smiled at Marcel, who has never done too much of difference between his flock. “I love to see the sun rise over the Halles. Intersect the revelers, garbage collectors, delivery drivers, and tourists from around the world. It comes not only to dinner, here, people remake the world together.” Marcel navigates between the tables as in a theatre, whistling the hymn of the restaurant, a pig nose on the beak: “Au Pied de Cochon / It is never morose / arm Ninon / It is Paris who dares…”

At the foot of a pig, 6, rue Coquillière (Ier). Tel.: 01 40 13 77 00.

Mélina Sadi, aka The Bâronne de Paname. François BOUCHON/Le Figaro Mélina, the Bâronne

The “Bâronne de Paname”. A title all the more eloquent when we know that Mélina Sadi, born in Algeria, comes from Charleville-Mézières. The nickname dates back to his teenage years, when she went out dancing with lads rock’n’roll, undermined the fashion of the 1940s. “As a kid, I am nourished by the cinema with dad. Arletty and Gabin are my idols supreme”, she says in his Bunker Palace hotel, a small nest of concrete to the colors of the roaring twenties. For twenty years, his mission is the same: to resurrect the balls of the beginning of the last century, most often in period costumes. “Paris without the accordion music, it’s like Buenos Aires without tango”, she says, believing that as hard as iron in the revival of “dances for two”: foxtrot, swing, twist… All of this in a scent of freedom more than mothballs. It is the creed of the titis: “learn to be at home everywhere”, but in Paris.

“Paris Follies,” in the Dome, 102, bd du Montparnasse (Xiv). Tel.: 01 43 20 14 20.

Benedict, merchant of dreams flea

Antique classic among the vingtiémistes today the majority, Benoît Fauquenot is a passionate of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries. “I’m a little obsessive, as all the antique dealers, and I can buy several times the same object. What I especially love is the treasure hunt. It continually seeks new objects, and we present customers with our taste, our sense of identity.” It is now a rejuvenation of some of its customers, and a return to taste more traditional. “There has been a softening of the profession and almost all the stores of the province have disappeared, there has been a refocusing on the Chips. It is a job typically parisian and that can only be done properly than here. It is linked to the capital, which remains a place of culture for the whole world.”

Benoît Fauquenot and Olivier Ythurbide & Associates, Market garden Knife, stand 25, alley 6. 110, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen. Tel.: 01 40 12 82 91.

Francis-Claude Desarthis to the puppet theatre in the jardin du Luxembourg (VI e). Lucas Barioulet/Lucas Barioulet Francis-Claude, true to guignol

Francis-Claude Desarthis had the sweetest childhoods. His grand-father was building toys, his mother made costumes for the theatre, his father played shows with puppets when he was sick… In 1933, he opens the little theatre of Luxembourg, “the first hard-to France”. Francis-Claude succeeded him in 1971. And after fifty years at the head of the house of Horn, his passion remains intact, barely scratched by the trains of modern lifestyle. “At the time, it was children here. It was one of their few activities. Of course, they come less and less.” It is necessary to believe, in spite of everything, that the puppets preserve. At 74 years of age, Gepetto man with a wide smile, big blue eyes, a puppet to sheath on the shoulder, seems far from retirement. “My father had his workshop in the rue d’assas. I did not move. My whole life is there. My profession also. The Luco is my garden…”

Marionettes du Luxembourg, 86, rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs (Life). Tel.: 01 43 29 50 97.

Ernest, the soul of drouot

“It is to kill the microbes Drouot!”, lance, Ernest, said, “Nénesse”, in running down a ball of white. In the Central, sympathetic broth of the district, he kisses the waitress on the cheek, before swallowing a calf’s head followed by profiteroles. As fire the “cols rouges”, Ernest is savoyard and works for the hotel sales for over twenty years. As a lighting designer, it installs nearly 1 200 sales per year. He knows all the ins and outs, all the stories, all the secrets. With a certain nostalgia for the huge fondue savoyard held on the 3rd basement. “Nénesse, it is the heart of Drouot,” says a colleague who passes to side without missing the greeting. It is well worth a last ball.

Hôtel Drouot, 9, rue Drouot (IXe).

Nicholas, grinder converted to

Come to the accounting, Nicolas Leroux decided to completely change track. A revelation? Rather the vision, a very early morning, a knife-grinder, “a real bar”, coming out of a butcher shop with a water jug and knives in hand. The idea made its way in Nicolas, who decides to create his own company and designs a car in a small workshop of street walking. Its asset? The middlings water: “I do not, therefore, sparks honing the blades and I the water-cooled. It is a traditional technique that I believe to be the only one to practice in Paris.” He walks with his vehicle in the workshop-the streets of Paris in the morning, “prior to the firing of the noon conservators” with her apron in leather and his red pants.

water-wheel, phone: 06 87 44 60 30.

Jo Privat Jr, the Balajo (XI e). Francois Cap/François Bouchon / Le Figaro Jo Privat JR, accordionist star

“there was Riton Feet Rotten, Beber Accordion, Riton the Diams…” When Jo Privat Junior describes his memories of the Balajo, it begins with its characters ‘ earthy straight out of the movies of Georges Lautner. And if his memories are so intense, it is because he is the son of a star of the music, the accordionist Jo Privat, a pillar of the Balajo, until his death in 1996. The appointment of dancers, “the fanatics of the gambis” and sometimes the theater of the fighting: “Those who sought the caning, the hoodlums and the daughters of joy.” A mythical place of the balls 30 years where were slumming Arletty, Edith Piaf, Jean Gabin, and even Django Reinhardt. Jo Privat Jr met even Muriel Ophelia, which shares the last 25 years of his life and his music. The two still occur today in duo. Jo on the accordion from his father, Muriel at the microphone. Because Jo, following in the footsteps of his father, “the phantom of the Balajo”, began the accordion at age 14 and was then accompanied to the guitar all his life. “I’ve never played accordion in front of him, it was his domain ; I, I accompanied him on the guitar. Since his death, I went to the accordion and have never taken the guitar.”

Jo Privat Jr

The sisters Izner, queens of the books

Behind the name of Claude Izner hide two sisters (Laurence and Liliane), born in the rue de Lappe. “Our father was a used book store, and our mother did the markets. We are so attached to books since forever.” After the passage of the eldest daughter, Liliane, by the cinema and by studies of archaeology to Laurence, they decide to “take the boxes on the docks” quai de Montebello. Until the day where they engage in the writing of a book. It will be the beginning of a series of twelve in which their hero Victor Legris wanders to a time when Paris is at its peak: between 1889 and 1900. To form a realistic picture of the capital at the end of the century, they read the newspapers of the time and compulsent the expressions typical and references imaged. “At the end of the Nineteenth century, for example, the champagne lovers were called the pchuteux.” Their latest series the leads in the Paris of the 20s and the jazz with their hero Jéremy Nelson. “A period of artistic emulation and music where most of the expressions come from the war.” In this company, they are refurbishing a popular language disappeared, which goes hand in hand with “the disappearance in Paris of the little people”, they regret bitterly.

Claude Izner last published: “the goose that lays The golden eggs” (Ed.10/18).

Ali, the last seller of newspapers to the auction market de Paname Hervé BOUTET/Divergence Ali, a seller of newspapers at the auction

Hard to miss Ali. Just sit down at a terrace of the rue de Buci and wait for the lunch hour. Suddenly, the ear stands: “there It is… The World has arrived!” This is Ali who arrives by bike, screw-on cap on the head, bundled up in a long, soft top khaki, a stack of newspapers under the arm. Ali, the last seller to the auction market de Paname and well-known face of the Germanopratins, who buy the leaves of cabbage, for over forty years. A large mural street art in his effigy throne besides rue du Four. But the Pakistanis, who arrived there forty-six years in Paris, suffers from the digitization of the press. When he sold hundreds of prints per day a few years ago, it does not loose more than forty today. This did not prevent him to continue his tour daily, always stealing the headlines to start the barge. “It is a figure emblematic of the area, the traders know it by heart. We all want to see him stay, he is very popular here and runs the neighborhood”, we breath-t-on the side of the town hall of the Life, which sustains him in his project of a stand of delicacies in front of the Luxembourg garden.

District of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, VIe.


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