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Along the Rue Tiquetonne, Gay Paree
By Gary Lee
The Washington Post
Sunday, October 12, 1997; Page E04

Gay visitors to Paris will find the rainbow flag flying high along the Rue Tiquetonne, located in the very central Montorgueil section of the 2nd arrondissement. Over the past couple of years, several of the area's restaurateurs, cafe owners and shopkeepers have worked hard to turn the quaint, low-rise neighborhood into a gentler alternative to the Marais, Paris's most prominent gay neighborhood.

One result is two-year-old Aux Trois Petit Cochons, a good dining choice for those looking for something tres romantique. I dropped in with a friend a couple of weeks ago and savored a traditional but fabulous French dinner of pate de fois gras and coq au vin, rounded off with creme brulee and a couple of glasses of Bordeaux. Fresh roses and white candles everywhere created an atmosphere dripping with charm.

The bill, about $70 for two, left some change for cafe au lait right across the street at Le Loup Blanc, a bright-colored cafe and restaurant popular among Parisienne gays of a younger generation.

Fashion victims might seek refuge at Nobody's Perfect, a clothing boutique just around the corner on Rue Francaise. It specializes in the stylish body-hugging shirts and squeeze-on jeans that are all the rage among European gays.

Whether dressed up or down, gays will find a range of after-hours options in the area.

My own evening of fine dining left me in a cognac mood, which I easily satiated with a glass of Remy Martin at Fire, a small bar a four-block walk away from Aux Trois Petit Cochons. In search of something more light and lively the following evening, I settled on Dj Cafe, a karaoke bar with a mixed following of gays and straights at 87 Rue Saint Honore, a few blocks from Rue Tiquetonne. With kir flowing freely and patrons belting out everything from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," I concluded that I could not have found anything lighter in all of the City of Light.

Aux Trois Petit Cochons (31 Rue Tiquetonne, 011-33-1-42-33-39-69); Le Loup Blanc (42 Rue Tiquetonne, 011-33-1-40-13-08-35); Nobody's Perfect (3 Rue Francaise, 011-33-1-40-26-53-13); Dj Cafe (87 Rue Saint Honore, 011-33-1-40-26-31-92); Fire (56 Rue d'Argout, 011-33-1-42-21-34-00).

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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