[EN] Exploring the Vibrant Underground and Alternative Scene in Paris

Blog post: written by Mckenna

Paris is renowned for its iconic landmarks, art museums, and exquisite cuisine.

    Beyond the tourist hotspots lies a thriving underground and alternative scene that captivates locals and intrepid travelers alike; these areas offer unique experiences and a departure from the mainstream.

    Now onto my favorite topic…
shopping! Thrifting, sustainable fashion, and upcycling are prominent, with vintage shops and thrift stores promoting conscious fashion choices. Moreover, upcycling and recycling are at the forefront of the local fashion movement, with designers and artisans transforming discarded materials into stunning, eco-friendly creations.

    One of my newly favorite streets is Rue de la Verrerie; here I’ve found skirts, shorts, dresses, and more, with each being under 5-10 euros. This street holds numerous vintage stores, like Free’P’Star and Kilo shops, adjacent to each other for inexpensive, chic, and environmentally friendly shopping. I will definitely be going there more often!

Local artwork, including street art, blurs the line between high and low art.

    The city is home to several contemporary art spaces including « The 104« . Additionally, just last week I discovered that I was able to go to over ten art galleries in one day! I recommend walking into any art gallery you pass, particularly in Le Marais, to explore a plethora of forms of art and learn about new and up incoming artists. Here’s a few to check out: gallery Anne-Laure Buffard Inc., the Semiose gallery, and the SEE gallery. Also make sure to always keep your eyes open for hidden street art and murals throughout Paris. 

    Street markets like
brocantes showcase local artists– offering a delightful blend of vintage clothing, antiques, books, and more. I’ve been able to run into lots of these markets while exploring Paris. It’s always a wonder what you’ll buy and always exciting to shop from local vendors. I also push you to visit the local farmers markets! Personally, I much prefer buying my produce here because the fruit always seems so must sweeter and veggies seem much fresher; here I am confident that I am only buying produce that was grown in-season and without any added chemicals… unlike most grocery shopping at home in the U.S. unfortunately.

    There are countless small music venues support local talent, where you can hear music from indie rock to jazz to electro to world music. Personally, I’ve found a love for jazz clubs! My friends and I are always so excited to go out on weekends because it means that it’s time to explore Parisian music and nightlife! However, if you’re like me and looking to dance, I’d avoid large, expensive nightclubs; instead, look out for small local venues with music and conversing people that you can hear from the streets- a favorite of mine is a bistro called Taillebourg. Additionally, I’m counting down the days until Fête de la Musique at the end of June, a large music festival with tons of artists and dancing crowds. I hope to see you there!