Interesting article in New York Times (10 Janyuary 2010) on decline in Paris nightlife:
'...Despite its reputation as the bustling spiritual home of the bohemian, the city has in recent years grown ever less mirthful and ever more staid and bourgeois, club owners say. Faced with mounting noise complaints, fines and closings, many Parisian bars and concert halls are struggling to stay afloat. D.J.’s and musicians have also been abandoning the French capital, forcing a startling conclusion upon the city’s night life professionals: Paris may soon be dead at night.
“The generalized law of silence that is battering down upon our events and our living spaces is soon to relegate the City of Lights to the rank of European capital of sleep,” a group of music promoters wrote in an online petition, to be submitted to the mayor of Paris and several government ministries on Jan. 31. The more than 14,000 signatories call for, above all else, more tolerance from residents and officials: it would be “dangerous hypocrisy,” the document says, “to let people think that the Parisian night could or should thrive without disturbing the perfect tranquillity of a single resident.” A headline in the newspaper Le Monde last month deemed Paris the “European capital of boredom.”
....A sampling of the city’s problems: densely packed, mixed-zoned neighborhoods; a lack of late-night transportation (the last metro leaves at 2 a.m. on the weekends, 1 a.m. during the week); and an unwieldy tangle of rules and regulations on bars and nightclubs, applied with uncommon zeal by a “repressive” police force.
Club owners say the central issue is the city’s accelerating gentrification. Real estate values have more than doubled here in the past 10 years, and residents increasingly demand peace and quiet, the club owners say... The police have lately, for instance, begun enforcing a long-overlooked law requiring establishments to hold a “night authorization” permit in order to stay open past 2 a.m., an annual license that club owners say is difficult to obtain.
(full article here)