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So L.A.

Just because I'm getting married, doesn't mean I'm getting all fancy and "adulty" on you. Ha! That'll be the day. I'm still the same little coquine who gets in mischief, mayhem and madness. Also the same little coquine who is still looking for a job and is broke.

And with that, I introduce my second installment of Diva Does Parisian Divebars, my quest in finding the perfect dive bar in Paris. This week's edition was spent over at Le Motel, a bar that whisked me back to my East Sunset Boulevard bar-hopping days of flirting with guys with 2% body fat, gossiping with girlfriends over cheap cocktails and rocking out to indie jukebox classics.




I stand firm in my belief that no one does the dive bar quite like L.A. where they manage to make 40 year rundown bars with Bukowski-esque patrons and Eastside gang hangouts, somehow hip. L.A. also does hype better than any other city too, so that may have something to do with it. But I'm digressing here. 

Le Motel met my requirements that go into a great neighborhood find and in true LA hipster fashion, was a total people watching bonanza making me forget that I was in the company of Aurelien and his best friend Aurélien. Girls in skinny jeans holding their Rough Trade for Agnes B. tote bags were coyly biting the straw planted in their empty cocktail glasses, guys sporting their Sonic Youth t-shirts and striped cardigans looking cool and bored surrounded the bar, and of course the soundtrack of Animal Collective, new wave classics and whatever bands will be on Nova radio next year permeated the room over the low hum of bar chitchat. I remember the days when all of this was important. Now in my 30's, I'm in it for the nostalgia and the cheap drinks.



Despite the total Anglo vibe the bar has, the Frenchness has to creep in somehow (doesn't it always?) and we ordered a plate of munchies for 5 euros.

Was it chips? No. A hotdog? Pish! Beer nuts? Come on.

Even hipster dive bars aren't exempt from the assiette de charcuterie et fromage! Welcome to France.




Just as I was crowning the place as the best dive bar I've been to in Paris - something happened. Something big happened. The bartender pulled himself away from ferociously chopping mint for the dozens of 4 euro mojitos he was banging out and made an announcement.

It was trivia night.

What you should all know is that I am freakishly competitive when it comes to trivia. So much that my mother refuses to watch Jeopardy! with me. She says that I take all the fun out of it. Despite the misleading exclamation point in the title, Jeopardy! is not fun. It's an exercise of survival skills and quick thinking. Don't think those kids who participate in Kids Jeopardy! have me fooled. They know what exactly what they're doing. They're just as evil as the students on College Jeopardy! My mom has usually has exited the room by the time I get to this part of the rant. Can you blame her? I sound insane.

The theme for trivia night was movie studios. Each team was given a piece of paper that revealed a fraction of 10 different studio logos, and we had to figure out the studio name based on the image provided. It sounds a lot easier than it was. While we were struggling with the answers, someone had texted me and as I was responding, a boy in a tight plaid button-down with strategically rolled up sleeves charged across the bar towards me to accuse me of cheating. For the first time in the history of my crappy phone, I was proud to flash it to prove that I was not cheating. Upon seeing my phone from 2001 that clearly has no internet functionalities, the guy looked at me as if I was a motherless child wandering the streets and offered his condolences before swiftly returning back to his team. Presumably to continue cheating himself...

Once I realized that everyone was cheating as they were all hovering over their smart phones and that the prize was a bottle of champagne, it was on. "Aurelien!" I howled like a beast bursting out of a cave, "Take out your Android and let's win this thing!" With that, we took a photo of the paper and sent out a frantic email to all of our friends who work for Hollywood studios and networks, and demanded their participation. 

With Los Angeles being nine hours behind, we didn't get our answers until 1 am that night. We didn't win. Our score was a sad 20 out of 40. It also didn't help that I took my rage out on the paper we were tallying up for a competing team, calling them useless, cheaters and MoFos. What's wrong with me? I may never be allowed back at Le Motel for creating a scene on trivia night. Perhaps once the dust has settled (meaning: I cut and dye my hair and get a face transplant), I will be able to go back to Le Motel...and preferably not on trivia night.

In the meantime, I suggest you all check it out. It's definitely a place to see if you want a break from the brasserie and wine bar scene, and especially if you're into good music, great cocktails and a relaxed bar atmosphere that us Americans have a penchant for. 

Le Motel
8 Passage Josset  
75011 Paris

18 comments:

  1. I love trivia quizzes! Hate it when people cheat though, where's the fun in that. And often they do do it so blatantly and no-one cares :( Failed so hard the last time we tried to do a French pub quiz though, it was all music/TV/movies - hello, obscure 80s French sitcoms we'd never heard of. "Grand Franck", the hot 6"5"(ish?) bartender helped us cheat the old-fashioned way though, by somehow miming Punky Brewster and Chips to us (yeah, we were even bad at getting the anglo answers!)

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    1. I love bar trivia! Is this like a euro-thing? I've never done it in the States and feel like I'm always doing it here. It's so much fun...especially when you win! Mwuhahahaha - ahhh, my competitive side is coming out again.

      The next time you're in Paris, there's a bar in the 5th that has trivia - we should so go! No cheating! : )

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  2. fun story, and I can just see you in your rage although I just met you the once--you were looking good I'm sure.

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    1. I was so annoyed with the major cheating that was happening - and THEN being accused when I was texting a student back confirming our rdv the next day! Hipsters....

      It was all in good fun and definitely plan on going back to Le Motel. I really do love that bar!

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  3. Competition brings forth the beast...aaah, what fun it is to win!

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    1. I was such a beast! We didn't win but it was fun trying!

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  4. I love your coverage on Parisian dive bars! Such reviews and photos could be such a great little book too. I went to trivia once, a bunch of bars here do it. C'était pas mon truc !

    Fromage et charcuterie platter at a hipster dive bar? I wish! I'm going to ask for a menu next time I hit up a dive here to make sure!

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    1. Thanks! I didn't realize that Paris had such great dives. I can't wait to discover more!

      The charcuterie and cheese platter was definitely a comical French touch in a bar that had Smiths and Belle and Sebastien posts on the wall.

      If you come into town, we should definitely check it out!

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  5. I want to go there strictly for the trivia. Oh, and the 4 Euro mojitos. But I looooooove trivia... I used to go in Prague with our roommates and the four of us had the perfect storm of useless knowledge. So if I can convince them to meet me in Paris, we would dominate that. The mojitos would be the icing on the adorable French cake. :)

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    1. 4 euros mojitos, yessssss! It's definitely hard to find in Paris, so you can imagine my jubilee when he announced the happy hour prices. He was really pounding them out too, with no attitude that they are kind of a bitch to make.

      If you come to Paris with your friends, pleeeeeeeease let me know. I can add to the pot of useless knowledge! : )

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  6. Guess we're not having a drink at Le Motel on December 27th, then?;))

    Try to think of a fave place in your old neighbourhood that you'd like to revisit that night:)

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    1. We can but I'd like to check out another place. I'm in the process of brainstorming the perfect place for our meeting!

      There are some new and cool places in the 15th that I've been wanting to check out as well as some old haunts! It will be perfectly Parisian!

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  7. Now I DEFINITELY know we are supposed to be friends... I am a crazy freak when it comes to trivia. I'm so competitive, my family no longer allows me to play. In Dublin, there was always a Pub Quiz for one charity or another and I was repeatedly been made to sit on the sidelines because people would refuse to let me play with them. They said I sucked all of the fun out of it. Hogwash! If I'm in it, I'm gonna win it. That's my motto :)

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    1. Why does this NOT surprise me that you're a trivia nut? How satisfying is it to get the right answer?! I'm so glad you're with me on this!

      I'm sorry I missed this weekend's blogger's lunch, but I see a future trip down to Montpellier in the near future. If you're around, I'd love to me you and Madame Conjugating Verbs!

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  8. I like trivia quizzes also. Any chance you could post the photo of the logos so we can try to guess? Fun competition is the best combination to me.

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    1. Are you on twitter? I can post it there. Or I can post it on my Facebook page....Let me know!

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  9. Lol, love the charcuterie bar snacks :oD

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