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how to do paris on a budget

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Last month, the euro hit a 12-year low, making it virtually equivalent to the dollar. If you've been looking for an excuse to venture to Europe, this seems like it—it hasn't been this affordable in over a decade. 

So, a few weeks ago, I took a trip to Paris to experience the City of Lights for the first time. With a limited amount of (very colorful) money in my wallet, I arrived with zero knowledge of the city and even less of an understanding of the French language (seriously, I was hopeless).

But, as anyone who's ever passed through Paris knows, if you take a stroll through the city (midnight or not), you'll find a bevy of hole-in-the-wall places—ones that thankfully aren't overrun by tourists in hiking boots. Click through the gallery to find the best, coolest budget-friendly places in Paris.

photo courtesy of generator

WHERE TO STAY: Generator Paris

Located in the 10th arrondissement, Generator is easily one of the most impressive hostels I've ever seen. But before you tune out at the word "hostel," let me tell explain: This is far from the drab, dirty shared spaces you bunked at while backpacking in college. (In fact, I had sworn off hostels after a particularly harrowing experience in a dingy hostel in Amsterdam's red light district. This space, however, completely changed my mind about hostels in general.) The rooms are spacious and clean with plenty of natural light and modern design fixtures. And the entertainment amenities—including a Moroccan-inspired chill out room, rooftop bar and terrace, café, and a Metro-themed underground bar and club—make the 916-room property seem like a five-star hotel. A five-minute walk from the Canal Saint-Martin and a 15-minute walk from train station Gare Du Nord, the area is refreshingly void of typical tourist traps.

Shared rooms start at €25 and private rooms begin at €98. If it's in your budget, go for a private single/double with a terrace (complete with a hammock), starting at €128. Compared to nearly every other Parisian hotel/hostel, it's easily one of the city's cheapest options. 

Book your stay here.

photo via @nylonmag instagram

WHERE TO EAT: DEATH BY BURRITO

After two years of pop ups across London, DBB—a concept taquería and cocktail bar—opened its first mainstay location in Paris last year. The name is a bit misleading as there aren't actually any burritos on the menu, but the French-infused tacos and appetizers (which change depending on the season) are more than enough to hold you over. The venue is tiny, so go with a small group, order a few different items on the menu, and share.

4 Rue de la fontaine au Roi, 75011

photo via le comptoir général facebook

WHERE TO DRINK: LE COMPTOIR GÉNÉRAL

A self-proclaimed "ghetto museum" by day, Le Comptoir Général is a two-story venue filled with odd, dimly lit rooms and antique TVs, tiki huts, and flea market shops intended to showcase the different cultures in Africa. To enter, find an unmarked white building on the Canal Saint-Martin and walk through a dark courtyard until you find another unmarked door. It's one of the most unique nightlife spots you'll ever find. Oh, and Solange is a fan of the spot, as well. (Really strong) drinks start at €4 and you can buy a freshly cracked coconut to snack on for €6. 

80 quai de Jemmapes, Porte Saint-Martin, 75010

photo courtesy of grande mosquée de paris

WHERE TO SITE-SEE: GRANDE MOSQUÉE DE PARIS

Built in the center of Paris to honor the North African countries that helped France during WWI, this mosque is filled with beautiful Hispano-Moore architecture, marble, and intricate tiles. Get a mint tea and pastry from the mosque's café and sit by the fountain. 

 2a Place du Puits Hermit, 75005

WHERE TO SITE-SEE: CIMETIÈRE DU PÈRE-LACHAISE

Originally a Jesuit retreat, Napoleon deemed the 119-acre site a burial ground in 1804. It is now the largest urban graveyard in Paris. You will most likely encounter a bunch of tourists here, as it's the site of Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin, Jim Morrison, and Édith Piaf's graves, but it's definitely worth a trip. You can get a map of all the burial sites at 16 rue du Repos.

16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris

photo via un regard moderne facebook

WHERE TO SHOP: LIBRAIRIE UN REGARD MODERNE

Filled with stacks of zines, indie music, and counter-cultural books (there are erotica, fetishism, art, and surrealist sections), there's barely any space to move in this tiny shop—it fits three to four people max. Even if you don't speak French, it's worth picking up a few books, or at least browsing around.

10 Rue Gît-le-Cœur, 75006

photo via yelp

WHERE TO SHOP: GUÉRRISOL

Like any super-cheap thrift store, you have to sift through a few racks to find a few gems. Everything is priced from €3 to €20—even leather boots and luxe wool trench coats. Locals call it one of the best vintage shops in Paris. They have multiple outputs, but make sure to go to the one at 17 blvd. de Rochechouart, as I ended up at another one that only sold ties and men's shoes by accident.

17 Boulevard de Rochechouart, 75009
 

Photo by Rachel Dennis

Finally

"What do girls even do together?" This question, or some iteration of it, is frequently posed to me once someone finds out I'm bisexual or hears me mention my girlfriend, or if I make any reference to being interested in girls. I would be annoyed by it, but I have empathy because I know how hard this kind of information can be to find. In fact, the details of how two people with vaginas have sex isn't very widespread information. And, I know that I didn't really have all that much information about girl-on-girl sex before, well, actually having it myself. It's precisely this kind of situation that queer sex educator Stevie Boebi is trying to fix.

Boebi has gained a big following for her informational YouTube videos about how to use a strap-on, how to scissor, how to fist someone, how to choose a vibrator for yourself; any question you could have, she will get you an answer. She doesn't shy away from topics that people wouldn't be quick to ask someone about IRL, either, like BDSM. And she covers the kind of things that are definitely not what we're taught in sex education classes—likely not even in the most progressive curriculums. A study from GLSEN notes that only 4 percent of teens reported learning anything positive about queer sex in their sex ed classes, and points out that in some states, it's actually prohibited to mention queerness at all.

Particularly when it comes to sex with two vaginas, the lack of available public education leads to a general lack of understanding of how we have sex, which then leads to a lack of understanding in the queer community, too. "I just think that lesbian sex is so oversexualized, and we're the least educated," said Boebi when I asked her recently why it's so important for her to spread knowledge about queer sex in particular.

Boebi said that she started out on YouTube making videos about technology, but after she came out as a lesbian, her audience flipped from mostly male to mostly female, though she would prefer a less rudimentary gender breakdown ("the algorithm only deals in binaries, sorry," she quipped).

Ultimately, her sexuality led her to change her content entirely, because she wanted to educate people who couldn't find answers to their questions anywhere else—even on the internet.

"I started getting a lot of what I called 'stupid questions' from very confused teenage girls saying, like, 'How do I do it? Can I get AIDs from fingering someone?'" Boebi told me. They were questions that probably should have had easily Google-able answers, but, when Boebi looked for lesbian sex education content to send to fans who were asking her, she came up empty-handed. "I couldn't find anything. I think I found, like, two articles on Autostraddle, and that was it," she said. "And then I was like, Well, shit! If no one else is going to do it, then I guess I will."

Boebi's audience is mainly comprised of 13- to 24-year-olds, so she keeps in mind that she's helping people who may not be experienced, or even out yet. She uses her own experiences to inform her work sometimes, but also researches extensively and talks to people she knows who "have fancy Ph.Ds in sexology and shit," who can answer her questions or point her to resources she should be referencing.

Boebi's charm is in her relatability; even if she's talking about things we've been conditioned to feel shame around, she does it in such an open and honest way that all that shame disappears—as it should. She does this by perfectly meshing professional talk with jokes and sarcasm, and even uses characters based on star signs. She knows the importance of taking on taboo topics, because there are so many people who won't otherwise find answers to their questions. "I don't actually struggle in my everyday life asking people if they've ever been anally fisted before," Boebi joked with me. "I'll take that burden."

And keeping her tone light and humorous is of the utmost importance to her. "When people are laughing, they're comfortable, and I want people to feel comfortable," Boebi said. "And I want people to know that I'm comfortable talking about sex, and they can be, too." It helps also, Boebi told me, that her audience is separated by a screen, and she's not "in a room with a 12-year-old talking about my labia."

Beyond instructional sex videos, Boebi also deals with other rarely discussed facets of sexuality and physicality. Boebi is polyamorous, and talks openly about it, confronting the stereotypes and the misinformation about the identity head-on. And, she was also recently diagnosed with Ehler's Danlos Syndrome after going years without a diagnosis, and she aims to start working more with disabled queer sex educators to make her work more inclusive of people with disabilities. Though she pointed out to me that her work was already encompassing of disabilities, she "hasn't been a part of the disability activist community for very long," and so she has a lot to learn.

And, though Boebi's happy that she has the platform she does, she wants a more inclusive array of sex educators to join the scene. "My voice is my voice, and it's unique to me, but I think there should be way more," she noted. "Especially people [with intersectional identities]. That would make me so happy if we could diversify sex educators."

And, though Boebi says there's no "ideal way" to educate people about sex, she's definitely on a better track than the public education system, and she makes clear that there's nothing shameful about sexuality—in fact, it's just a part of being human, and a really fun one, at that.

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.

BREAKING: JON SNOW FINALLY APOLOGIZED FOR SEASON 8 youtu.be

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Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL - Official Trailer www.youtube.com

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