Once again, not just a few suggestions for weekend activities in Paris, but also a 'restaurant and bar of the week' based on suggestions I have found around the web, and a 'Take a break from Paris' idea you might like to try.
Les Artistes de Belleville
The artists open days in Belleville is probably the biggest such event in Paris with upwards of 250 artists opening up their studios and galleries across four different arrondissements. The art may not always be particularly interesting, but the hidden courtyards and passageways that this event gives access to are never less than fascinating. Pick up a map at the event HQ then see where it takes you!
For the full programme, see the official website: http://www.ateliers-artistes-belleville.org/
La Fete des Marchés
Perhaps a rather pointless event which involves little more than live brass bands and the chance to win baskets of goods, but then anything which encourages us to go and explore a new market must be a good thing.
The full list of markets and the activities taking place can be found here.
Vive la Commune!
As part of the events celebrating the 140th anniversary of the commune in Paris, an interesting free event will be taking place alongside the Alexandre Dumas Metro station at 4pm on Sunday. Although the theatrical show involves just two actors and minimal sets, it soon grows into something much larger as members of the audience are also roped in to play key parts in the story. An interesting and interactive way to learn about the commune!
More details: http://lacommune-spectacle.fr/.
Few people in Paris actually have a garden, but most dream of one. The annual Jardins, Jardin show at the Tuileries gives those without the opportunity to explore their fantasies, and those with the opportunity to buy some of the latest products and creations.
Perhaps the most interesting event of the weekend though will be a conference and workshop with Richard Reynolds, the leader of the Guerilla Gardening movement. All those taking part will leave with a sachet of seeds and instructions on how they can turn the city green. Perhaps we don't need individual space to become gardeners.
More information here http://www.jardinsjardin.com/ (in French).
Restaurant of the Week
Tom Reeves at Parisien Salon recommends this particular restaurant, and although I haven't tried it myself, I would tend to agree with him based on two simple criteria. Firstly, finding a decent restaurant in the Opera district can be a tough ask, and secondly, the two managers do look rather pleasant!
Bar of the Week
More of an artistic squat than a bar, but this Friday evening it is offering a mini-music festival featuring four different bands and beer at €2. Sounds good to me...
More details here: http://www.madcatfestival.com/ (check out those eyes...)
Take a Break from Paris
Fontainebleau - a history of art festival
A new initiative beginning this weekend and destined to become an annual event, the history of art festival taking place in Fontainebleau is a series of free events exploring how a particular theme has been treated by artists, as well as an invited country. This year the theme is 'madness' and the country Italy, and in the shadow of the castle you'll be able to see paintings, books and reviews and films amongst many other happenings.
Find the full programme here: http://festivaldelhistoiredelart.com/programme/