If you know any Stanford students, you probably haven’t seen them since Friday. They’re all hiding in their rooms which, sadly, is exactly what I’m doing. It’s dead week so finals are just around the corner. I have a 3 hour final and two 10 page research papers (all in french mind you) at the beginning of next week. So instead of actually going out, I’ll write about my favorite bar in Paris.

It’s called Bar Dix, or Dix Bar. I’m really not sure which. But that’s pronounced deece, like the french number 10. Which is convenient since it’s at 10 Rue de l’Odéon. The Odéon métro stop is one of my favorites. Not only does it have a lot of great bars, but it also is deep in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris. In the area are many of the more hip and unique landmarks. Like The Procope, Paris’ first café from the 17th Century, still in good form. Or how about Marat’s apartment, where the famous radical journalist and revolutionary was murdered in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday in 1791. It’s an area truly steeped in history and is great for wandering and exploring.

This a famous painting by Jacques-Louis David called "The Death of Marat". I wrote an essay about it.

But back to Dix. It’s a tiny little bar, that usually is usually pretty packed every night of the week. The upstairs is pretty normal: eclectic posters, low lighting, minuscule tables (very french). But, if you’re lucky, you get to sit downstairs. After descending the borderline vertical stairs, you end up in a totally different, but equally eclectic wine cellar, with a few benches and stools. The room is barely big enough for the few people it fits, but its cozy. And you run into a lot of interesting people.

The unassuming outside of Nirvana... I mean Dix.

The other best thing about this bar? They supposedly have a menu, but I’ve never seen it. You only get one thing: Sangria. The only decision is big or small pitcher, but the relatively greasy bartender usually decides for you… and he generally decides big. They take the pitcher and dunk it in to the giant barrel of sangria. The pitchers are impossible to pour without spilling, so they come around and clean your table every 30 minutes. The place isn’t classy. But it’s definitely my favorite hangout.

The Basement of Bar Dix. Look at that cool back wall! In the left you can make out Tim (the water polo player) in the blue with the scarf, Mia (my cathedral buddy), and across the table from them with his back to me is the guy from my side story. And this light is 100% camera flash.

Side Story: After having gone about 10 times, I had my first and only bad experience. LOOOONG Story short, the way too drunk guys next to us tried to engage us in conversation. We didn’t want to be rude so we were talking (remember, everything happens in french) and my drunk guy started complaining about how wherever he goes in Paris, he always sees Americans, hears American music, deals with annoying Americans, and he hates it. So I told him, yeah there’s a lot of annoying Americans, but we’re here learning French so give us a break. He responded that he hopes another country comes in and destroys America. I told him that he wasn’t being very polite and then he said, “Do you want to take this outside?”

I feel a little less than patriotic after declining his offer. And I was with my friend who plays water polo so I actually had the upper hand. But I was way too in shock because a) I thought the line was something people said only in the movies and b) It was Bar Dix! My safe haven! We soon politely left and that was it.

Anyone who visits me in Paris will definitely be going to Bar Dix… regardless of my bad experiences.

 

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