Walk of Shame: Paris

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Walk of Shame: Paris

There’s no place better than Paris to be drunk in love—it is the city of love, after all. Sometimes amour is made possible by a love potion concocted of different liqueurs and absinthes. However, when the potion wears off, the picture is not as pretty as those hanging in the Louvre. And if you’re a visitor, there’s a good chance you’ll have to endure a daylong exploration stained with stale wine, bodily fluids, and a decent chunk of despair. Here’s how to brave a Parisian Walk of Shame—without all of the shame.

Where to Keep Going

When you wake up burping chardonnay, tequila, and another person’s spittle, the first priority should be to burn the taste right out of your mouth, and, since the quickest way to cure a hangover is to not feel one, more alcohol is easily the smartest decision. Since you have no shame donning the previous night’s stains, you should have no problem suckling wine out of a baby bottle ($4 plus first drink’s free) at =">Refuge des Fondus near the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre.

But those keen on starting round two at 7 a.m. because your former lover has to head to work or your drunkenness has worn off and you need to escape, you’ll find sanctity on a péniche on the Seine. Club Concrete, renowned for its cult following, opens at 7 a.m. and runs until 2 a.m. The wild, carefree parties feel more like a stint in club-crazed Berlin than pompous Paris, and the city seems to welcome this alternative divulgence.

Where to Recharge

With cafes on every corner, it’s almost too easy to “recharge” after a crazy night. Grab a coffee, a croissant, another croissant, and you’re ready to attack the day. But when one of those head-pounding hangovers hits, espresso and bread doesn’t do the trick. Instead, take a detox green tea ($5) surrounded by an oasis of Moorish calm where you can contemplate your hangover depression at Cafe Grande Mosquée de Paris.

Tea, coffee, and food not rejuvenating enough? Head to the club Wanderlust. Sure, it’s one of the most hyped clubs in the city, but, in addition to the late-night rages, the club hosts Sunday morning yoga for those who need to exercise out their demons from hours ago.

Where to Find Comfort

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Photo courtesy of Le Comptoir Général

Loaded with Paula Deen levels of butter, if the world were to nominate an international comfort food, French food would probably win. Located in trendy Belleville et Ménilmontant, Les Fabricants caters to people who look like they’ve walked out of an issue of Nylon, but, unlike the dieting magazine models, the diners here feast—in the most literal sense of the word—on Basque comforts.

For hangovers, start the meal with a cider, and, while sipping the cider, you may as well order a bottle of wine—quite, quite cheap by Paris standards. From there, enjoy the Texas-sized portions of favorites like Poulet Basquaise ($12), Magret de Canard ($13.50), or any of the gargantuan salads (around $8.75), loaded with fried potatoes, meats, eggs, and an actual wedge of cheese. This spot is arguably the best bang-for-your-buck restaurant in the city.

If a hefty, butter-filled meal doesn’t soothe your hangover, Le Comptoir Général (pictured above), just blocks from the Catacombs along Canal Saint Martin, mixes flea market with bar with restaurant. It resembles your grandmother’s basement if she would’ve ever explored Africa and allowed Parisian hipsters to dine there. The Franco-African brunch ($16) is a must (or you can settle for an equally delicious crepe), along with a cocktail, of course.

Where to Freshen Up

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Photo courtesy of Free’P’Star

Sure, you can turn your “walk of shame” into a “stride of pride,” but that still can’t deodorize the stench of cheap merlot and regret. But Les Bains du Marais in the fourth arrondissement can. This traditional Moroccan hammam offers an assortment of scrubs, massages, and steams to remove every ounce of regret—and sweat—from your body. Sauna rooms start at $38.

Sometimes, though, it only takes a change of clothes to change your mood. In this case, Free’P’Star (pictured above) near Châtelet has your back, literally. The quirky thrift shop, filled with vintage nudes, has some of the best deals in Paris, so good, in fact, that everything upstairs is around $1.

Where to Hide

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If you’re smart, you’ll recover like a true twenty-something Parisian—with a pair of sunglasses, a bottle of cheap wine, and a few baguettes as you sit along Canal Saint-Martin (pictured above), just steps away from where your night probably ended.

Of course, outside, you’ll have to fight your biggest battle of the day: Sunlight. So why not take the touristy route and wander through the darkness in the Catacombs? It’s, you know, dark … and cold … but mostly dark, which soothes the headache. And, as everyone knows, there’s no better hangover cure than questioning your mortality as the surrounding death eats away at your emotions.

A less touristy option, and one where you can truly hide from anything, would be at the theater Le Lucernaire next to the park Jardin du Luxembourg. The stereotypically French cinema features weird, incomprehensible art-house films—those loaded with weird sex scenes until someone like Shia LaBeouf just magically appears. The whole theater emanates “cool” in a refreshingly unpretentious way, even though it shows the most pretentious films imaginable. Does that make sense?

Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.

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