Tonight, I got to be hip for an hour or two.
Last month, I translated über-trendy articles for an upcoming design magazine, Code d'Accès. Tonight was the launch party.
I got to the place, an apartment converted into a small publishing company office in the Sentier neighborhood, Paris's version of the Lower East Side. It was already smoky and the DJ was blasting his disks. A table held piles of Code d'Accès, which is glossy and bold and about the size of a large chain restaurant menu. Only cooler. Way cooler.
I went to the table and started flipping through it. People in black leather jackets and black jeans were meandering in. The rooms were filling with smoke. Next door, there was a buffet table with pâté and a bowl of marshmallows, for the quirkiness factor.
There were glasses and two drinks to choose from: Beaujolais Nouveau and black-labeled bottles of NV Billecart-Salmon brut champagne...
As I struck up conversations, met people, networked and meshed, I drank Billecart-Salmon. People smoked, laughed, flipped their uncombed hair. The DJ had his music blaring. The girl from Code d'Accès who'd hired me for the job was named Églantine and was wearing a black satin dress with miniature red flowers over her 100 pound, 5 foot 9 inch frame...
I love being a wolf in sheep's clothing. Or a sheep in a cloak. Or something that's not the same beneath as above. Églantine was expecting an aging English expatriate lady, and was surprised to see me, instead.
But I was not really their kind, despite my own pair of black jeans. I was distracted, sipping the Billecart-Salmon and wondering if François Simon was going to show up and just what he looked like.
François Simon is the food and restaurant critic for Le Figaro, the French equivalent of the New York Times's Frank Bruni. He has a sharp tongue and a quick, brilliant pen. I translated a strange and spunky article of his for the magazine.
But alas, my time ran out. So I ran out, into the street, bubbly but somehow relieved.
Tomorrow: a blind tasting with our œnology group. The other people may be older. They won't be wearing black jeans. But I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about, and not through a haze of smoke...