The Contemporary Austin Into the artistic deep end featured

When it comes to homegrown Austin creativity, music and tech tend to grab the headlines. Lately though, the art scene has been amassing its fair share of column inches, and rightly so. But what is the real go-to spot, if you want to dive into the deep end of the city’s contemporary art world?

One thing’s for sure: Don’t be put off by the too-obvious-to-be-true sounding name of The…

Houndstooth Coffee Third wave and then some featured
Badaboum Dancefloor TNT

A club for the Fifth Element geeks amongst you. Rock out your best Leeloo impression and get that “Big Badaboum!” out of your system and then we can move on. All done? Super. From the guys behind Panic Room, Badaboum takes the same live-act ethos, then throws in a cocktail bar, a ‘secret’ bachelor pad and a few tapas for good measure. The ground floor bar is a familiar sight—all stripped concrete, industrial lamps and vintage touches—but what’s smart about Badaboum is the 350-capacity concert and club space. With a stage almost level with the crowd, there’s an immediacy to nights here that’s a real treat, and the top-notch sound system doesn’t hurt either. It’s a heady blend of spaces wherein you can do the Friday after-work cocktail thing, share some small plates, chill on a Chesterfield, and then join the fray in the club—until 7am on the weekend. You see? Big Badaboum.

La REcyclerie The right side of the tracks

Disused railways of Paris are a favourite for explorers, but there are few spots where adventurers can enjoy a Ti Punch and a home-cooked lunch while chilling on a station platform. Enter La REcyclerie. Once the Ornano train station, the 19th century space has been ingeniously transformed by the team behind Le Comptoir Général into a temple to all things upcycled—retro chairs, walls made of old doors, the whole nine yards. There’s usually something going on here thanks to an eclectic programme of events, taking in everything from fix-your-bike workshops to craft fairs and gigs—theirs is a mailing list worth being on. If you feel torn between the extremely Instagrammable interior and the collection of picnic tables on the station platform below, it’s best to stay for two drinks and do both. Outside at the foot of a metal staircase you’ll find graffiti-clad walls, a sprawling garden and a sense of complete urban escape. La REcyclerie, we salute you.

Café Craft Digital nomads

Until recently, the Paris café scene had relatively little to offer the growing number of Mac-toting freelancers. Instead, self-employed creatives could be found drinking bad coffee in their pyjamas while confined to the wardrobe dimensions of their flats. But no longer. Steadily catching on to the needs of the office-less population, Paris is now home to some cracking co-working spots. Take Café Craft, the immaculately monochrome co-working space on the Canal Saint-Martin. The coffee here is reason enough to visit, with beans that are locally roasted at Café Lomi, one of Paris’ temples to good java. When the work gets too much and a bit of wall-staring is in order, rotating art exhibitions provide perfect fodder for daydreaming. And that’s not all, there are plugs galore, lockers for stuff-stashing and absurdly good caramel cookies to balance out the wholesome lunches of freshly baked quiche and pasta salad. Emerge, ye freelancers, and step blinking into the light.

Pâtisserie des Martyrs Gaudard's house

Seldom has there been such a commotion surrounding a pâtisserie as the one that engulfs this one. Such furore is owed chiefly to the name that sits emboldened above its awnings: Sebastien Gaudard. Dubbed the ‘little prince of pastry’ after his exploits in Bon Marché’s Délicabar, Gaudard has skyrocketed to full-on celebrity-style prominence in the Parisian pastry-making scene (no mean feat, of course). All the hype should be starting to make sense right about now however.

Does Pâtisserie des Martyrs live up to it? Hell yes it does. The pale-blue hued interior, presided over by hanging glass lamps, is chock-full of display cabinets. And that’s where your eyes should be wandering, because they’re holding a sweet payload of pastry. From filled-to-bursting eclairs through mille-feuille and fruit-topped cakes to classic tarte citron, the quality of everything on offer is exceptional. For those not in the market for something so full-on, there’s also a selection of chocolates and boiled sweets (all produced on-site) that afford a smaller taste of the action.

La Sundae Seriously good vibes featured

If your perfect Parisian Sunday is all about brunching in bistros then you missed the goddamn memo. ’Cos these days in Paris, the day of rest has been put to rest—but it isn’t resting in peace. And you’ve got La Sundae to thank for that. Born out of the frustration with the stagnant mid-noughties scene and a desire for music and freedom outdoors, La Sundae has transformed the Sabbath into open-air rave day; making so much noise that it inspired others, including big-bad boat-party baron Concrete, to follow suit. Now the leafy, marquee-dotted expanse of space on the Seine is one of the the go-to spots in Paris’ resurgent party scene, holding fortnightly all-day (and night) parties throughout the summer. Anchored around house music, you can expect to find some of the foremost electronic music talents here—either working the turntables or playing live. And as for work on Monday morning, well, bon courage – which roughly translates as – suck it up.

Electric A forest of creative connections featured

Drawing Paris’ culturally clued-up crowd to the outlands of the 15th arrondissement is no easy feat, but Electric—the city’s new, futuristic focal-point of bohemia—has got them flocking south-west in their droves. Billing itself as an ‘alternative cultural center’ (part geographical jape perhap?), the venue plays host to a variety of bespoke cross-disciplinary events—ranging from fashion trade fairs to late-night party blowouts. It’s the space itself though that’s been sending shocks through the Parisian landscape. The 1000m2 main room, with its gnarled fibreglass tree centrepiece, affords stunning panoramic views over the city that a trip up the Eiffel Tower would have trouble bettering. Add to that a 400m2 adjoining balcony, a gargantuan 22,000m2 outdoor esplanade and a lighting system based entirely around video projection (the first of its kind in the world), and it’s not hard to see why Electric has the scope to indulge the wildest of ambitions that other more centrally located venues couldn’t indulge in their wildest of dreams.

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