Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Guinguette Revival

Guinguettes, the open-air dance halls of France's Belle Epoque immortalized by the Impressionists, "are finding new fans in a fast-paced modern world," writes Devorah Lauter in the LA Times.

"In their heyday, hundreds of guinguettes were perched along the banks of the slow rivers that loop through the Parisian countryside [..] They were magnets for young, working-class people who were drawn by the low prices, fresh air, cheery accordion music and hourglass-shaped women flirting in their Sunday best. Pierre Auguste Renoir famously painted one of his favorite guinguettes in Le Déjeûner des Canotiers."

Though in a more contemporary format, today's guinguettes attract crowds for the same, simple pleasures: dancing in good company, cheap fried fish meals on checkered table cloths, and a relaxed, cheerful setting rooted in quainter times. "It reminds us of the films, and our grandparents. It was another time then. A friendlier time," says a guinguette enthusiast.
photo Devorah Lauter/LAT

No comments: