Friday, March 22, 2013

Something for the Weekend (March 22 - 24)

There are a few interesting events in Paris this weekend which has inspired me to list them here. It must be the return of Spring.

La Nuit de la Chouette (Owl Night)
A Chance to track down a few owls in parks and forests around France, in the company of experts. Nothing in Paris, but there are a few events in the surrounding departments.

Saturday 23rd,

Festival Pigalle
Focus on the nightlife of this (in)famous part of the city over three days. Perhaps most interesting of all are the parcours nocturnes, or alternative guided tours through landmarks of prostitution and gang warfare!

Salons des vins des Vignerons Indépendants
The bi-annual independant wine producers' fair.

The 303rd Metro Station
At 12pm on Saturday, the first train will leave Mairie de Montrouge on the Line 4, the 303rd Metro station in Paris. To accompany the event, a whole series of activities are planned.

More information here: 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Something for the Weekend (February 8th - 10th)

Here are some suggestions for what promises to be a very vintage weekend in Paris.

Retro Shows
Two events at the Paris Expo exhibition centre this weekend have their sights firmly set in the rear view mirror.
  • RetroMobile: car porn for vintage vehicule enthusiasts and collectors.
  • Renover: A decoration and design show that surfs on the current fashion for 'le style mamie'. 

Bal Pop
Tangos, waltzes, Java, a buvette and musette - more vintage fun at the 104 arts centre.

Saturday 8th, 8.30pm 

Carnival Time
It may be cold this Sunday, but there will be a little touch of Rio in Paris. The annual carnival parade - with floats, giant puppets, musicians and dancers - will leave the Place Gambetta at 1pm, and wind its way to Stalingrad. 

Indoor Rowing 
It's cold outside, the Seine is dangerously high - so surely it makes perfect sense to row inside - doesn't it? Whatever the logic behind it, the 2013 French Indoor Rowing Championship - apparently the 'biggest indoor sport event in France' - will be either spectacular - or bizarre!

Full information, including a video, can be found here

Friday, January 18, 2013

Something for the Weekend (January 18th - 20th)

Temperatures have plummeted in Paris over the last few days, and this weekend promises to be one of the coldest this winter, but nevertheless here a few ideas to get you out from under the duvet.

A Giant Pillow Fight
If you are sheltering under the duvet, why not instead pick up your pillow on Sunday and head out to this giant happening in Paris?

Details remain sketchy for the moment, but you can keep up to date with the event - including the meeting point and time - on this page:

Exploring a little-known Paris
Urbanism institution the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, along with the Promenades Urbaines association and the musée Carnavalet will be conducting 14 guided walks this weekend across a series of seldom-visited 'quartiers' in the north, east and south of Paris.

All walks are free, but you will need to reserve your place beforehand. See here for more information:

Paris Face Cachée
Although not taking place for another two weeks, it is very important to plan ahead if you want to be involved in any of the Paris Face Cachée events. Many have already been fully reserved, but another set of 'experiences' will be put online for reservation on Wednesday January 23rd. Be quick if you want to take part.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Something for 2013

A new year begins in Paris, and despite restricted budgets there are still many things to look forward to. Here is a small selection.

Architecture and Urbanism
With municipal elections looming in 2014, the current team are planning to get as many projects as possible finished this year. Here are just a few of the new developments that we can expect in the coming months.
The Seine riverbank
Some see it as mayor Delanoë's continued war against the motor car, others a necessary reclamation of the city's waterways, but a further chunk of the riverbank will be opened up to pedestrians this Spring. This section is close to the Musée d'Orsay, and will see floating gardens and a selection of sporting facilities.

For more information:

Place de la Republique

Another development with the needs of pedestrians firmly in mind is the regeneration of the Place de la République. Long a starting point for political demonstrations, it had also been a wasted - and rather ugly - giant roundabout. In June, over half of the Place will be pedestrianised, with artists' impressions showing cheerful people sipping drinks at cafés in the new piazza. The reality will probably be a new, more comfortable home for the drunks that have always congregated here, but at least it will better than before.

For more information:

The Carreau du Temple
To the south of the Place de la Republique is another long-awaited redevelopment, the reopening of the old Carreau du Temple market. In a zone that has become ever more fashionable since work began on this project, the opening of a new large space that will be able to organise exhibitions, live performances and sporting events is sure to be a successful one.

The Louxor cinema
One of the oldest surviving cinemas in Paris, Le Luxour, will re-open this Spring, 15 years after it last closed its doors. Completely reworked inside, but still proudly displaying its Egyptian-influenced facade, it will be dedicated to the 'cinema of the south'.

For more information:  

The Jardin Pajol

Described as being the first energy-positive large-scale building in a built-up city, the Halle Pajol is the regeneration of an old railway maintenance shed alongside the tracks leading to the Gare de l'Est. Although this building - which has kept the iron framework, but rebuilt with wood and other 'natural' materials - is already partially open, it is the indoor garden that people are particularly looking forward to visiting.

For more information:

With budgets stretched, there are no blockbuster exhibitions scheduled this year. Nevertheless, expect these shows to keep visiter numbers ticking over.

Chagall entre guerre et paix
From 21 February to 21 July 2013
Musée du Luxembourg

L'ange du bizarre
Gothic fans will be pleased with this investigation of the 'romantisme noir', with over 200 creations from Goya to Max Ernst featuring spirits, witches and demons!
From 5 March to 9 June
Musée d'Orsay 

Keith Haring
From 19 April to 18 August
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Roy Lichtenstein
From 3 July to 4 November
Centre Pompidou

Frida Kahlo et Diego Rivera 
Autumn 2013
Musée de l'Orangerie  

Regular events
It is the year of South Africa in France, so expect a regular season of events from May to December. In addition to this, there will also be the now traditional calendar or events and happenings in the city. See below for the dates.
  • Chinese new year: Feb 10th
  • Nuit des Musées: May 18th
  • Fête de la Musique: June 21st
  • Paris Plages: July/August
  • Journées du Patrimoine: September 14th/15th
  • Nuit Blanche: October 5th

Friday, December 7, 2012

Something for the Weekend (December 7th - 9th)

As almost all events organised this weekend seem to have some link to shopping, but here are some that at least offer a little more.

Little Paradis
The area around the Rue de Paradis in the 10th arrondissement has slowly come to be filled with galleries and the stores of young creators, as well as the associated bars and restaurants that seem to crop up in support of these. Once a year the area organises a noctural event, enabling people to discover the outlets, but also to attend concerts and tastings.

Saturday December 8th, 7pm - 11pm

A Swedish Christmas
Instead of going to Ikea, head down to the Swedish church in Paris for small gifts, a glass of glögg and to stock up on salmon, herring and cakes. Who knows - you may even bump into Zlatan...

Saturday and Sunday, 
Eglise suédoise
9, rue Médéric 75017

Here too are a couple of interesting current exhibitions to visit in Paris.

Rêve de Monuments
Describing itself as 'the biggest gothic hall' in France, where better than the Conciergerie for an exhibition on imaginary medieval constructions? Through paintings, film and models the show investigates the role of the château in art and culture.

Until Feb 24th 2013

Entrée des médiums - Spiritisme et art d’Hugo à Breton
An exhibition that explores, in literature and art - the role of spiritism and mediums in the creative process, both as theme and influence. A good place perhaps to look for the ghosts of christmas past, present and future in the run up to the holiday period.

Until Jan 20th 2013
Maison de Victor Hugo
6 place des Vosges


Friday, November 30, 2012

Something for the Weekend (November 30th - December 2nd)

As Christmas approaches, interesting events are harder to find, but here are a couple of strangely vintage suggestions for the weekend.

Reminder: It is the first Sunday of the month, so that means plenty of free museums. You can find a complete list of the participating museums here.

Wonder Vintage Market
At the giant 104 arts centre this weekend is a vintage 1950s bric à brac sale. Around a selection of vintage cars (including a Delorean), you'll find 700m² of stands selling clothes, accessories, furniture and various other items. To complete the atmosphere you can also have your portrait taken in a re-created 1950s kitchen!

Bon Plan: If you find the prices a little steep at the vintage market, head into the Emmaüs charity store that has set up shop in the old Riquet indoor market opposite the 104. Prices should be far lower, and all purchases are for a good cause!

Jazz Band Ball
If you find a good vintage outfit at the vintage market, why not try it out at a dance being held this Saturday night at the town hall of the 5th arrondissement. No fewer than six different big band orchestras will be performing, and the venue will certainly be chic.

More information here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Something for the Weekend (November 23rd - 25th)

Black Friday
Black Friday is an American post-Thanksgiving commercial frenzy, but it's also - more interestingly - the winter edition of Record Store Day. Join in with the event in Paris at Fargo, where you'll be able to purchase many of the special vinyl releases created for the occasion. 

Salon des Vins des Vignerons Independents
Celebrating the production of independent wine producers across France, this event will enable you to stock up on top quality wine at low prices in time for the holidays. As you enter you are given a souvenir glass to take around the show with you, that you fill up at any stand that takes your fancy. On top of that, it is quite easy to find free entrance vouchers in the press and online - here for example!

November 22nd - 26th, Parc des Expositions, Porte de Versailles

L'Envers du Décor: Open Days
This Sunday, seven of Paris's leading photo studios will be opening their doors - a rare opportunity to see how these mysterious places operate and to discover some interesting spaces.

Find the full list of participating studios here: