Right, what the above names had in common was that they were skint artistic geniuses who lived in squalor, drank the equivalent of liquid LSD and hung out with shady types with facial scars – and that’s the women I’m referring to.
So, for you to go to Paris and do the Montparnasse or Montmarte circuit in the hope of getting a feeling for what they were working out of is absolutely futile. However, there are a few little known cafes and such - little known outside literary Paris, where the spirit of the arts is alive and drinking, talking, shouting, speechifying, painting and outperforming one another.
Some of our favourites are La Maison Poesie, near the Pompidou, L’autre Café, (our favourite) La Bellvilleoiseand Culture Rapide for those who like their poetry slammed – both of which are in the cool 20th.
So with your head full of poetry and Absinthe where do you stay? Why the Mama Shelter of course – don’t ask why, just book a room and you’ll see for yourself – you’ll have no Regrette Rien. And while you’re there, pop around the corner to Apollinaire’s grave and pay your respects.