(Audrey Hepburn in Montmartre, via The Times)
Personally, I think that Paris is the perfect city to be a woman alone. French women are respected for having their own strength, and nobody here looks at you twice if you're sitting at a café on your own. Indeed, the City of Light is a wonderful place to find yourself if you're an independent lady. That being said, it's still Paris and come Valentine's Day, there's no way to avoid the romantic masses crowding the city. If you're a lady chillin' toute seule or with your girlfriends in Paris on Valentine's Day, here are a few ideas to make it a night to remember. (Also applies to my single guy readers, too... :-)
EAT - At all costs, avoid fancy restaurants (particularly near the Eiffel Tower). You will never get a table, sorry babes. Instead, why not eschew tradition for the night and hit up one of Paris' more ethnic eateries? I recommend the incredible falafel at L'As du Fallafel or the vegetarian platter at Muniyandi Vilas (both meals less than 10€).
DRINK - You're not the only singleton in this city, you know - don't forget that Valentine's is a great night to hunt down the hotties. Head to the bar at Chez Jeannette in the 10e arrondissement, where the music is great and the crowd looks like an open audition for the Strokes. This place is consistently full of cuties, right down to the three hipster bartenders.
WATCH - If you want to keep things low-key, head to Le Champo and catch a film in whichever retrospective they're running. In the past they've celebrated Tim Burton and Roman Polanski, and this V-day they're showing both "Whose Life Is It, Anyway?" and "In Nome Del Popolo Italiano." Another fab cinema is Le Nouveau Latina, which shows flicks for 5€ every day at noon and has a comfy cinephile café upstairs.
SOCIALIZE - Last year I spent Valentine's night at a Franglish meeting, where not only did I get to improve my French and meet some new friends, but since it was a certain evening, everyone knew everybody else present was single. The night had less the feeling of a manhunt and more the recognition that yep, we're all single here, let's have drinks together and fumble to speak each other's language.
If there are no Franglish meetings happening, check out Meetup and find an event that sounds like it'd be fun to hit, like the "Without Valentine Masquerade Party." Other possibilities for the night are a jazz and poetry session, or - deep breath - karaoke.
When all else fails, DANCE - Rex Club. Barrio Latino. La Peña. Go, sweat, frisk, feel good.