Thursday, December 1, 2011

Something for the Weekend (December 2nd - 4th)

Now it's December, the Christmas period can officially begin (I refuse to promote any 'seasonal' events before that date!). However, there are also plenty of other interesting (and non-commercial) things taking place. Here's my selection...


Free museums
It's the first Sunday of the month, so a number of national and municipal museums will be offering free entry. You can find a full list of these museums here.

On Ice
The first Friday of the month during winter months is synonymous with the Born Bad organised ice skating evenings at the Patinoire Pailleron! This month sees a live set (in the middle of the ice rink) from Judo, with DJ sets from Bertrand Burgalat and Christophe Lemaire. Entrance is €10 which includes the rental of the skates. There is also a bar at the venue, but it's strictly alcohol-free...which is probably a good thing!

Full information here

Sept Fois Plus à l'Ouest
A curiosity at the always interesting Espace Fondation EDF, but one that is definitely worth investigating. Artist Yann Kersalé creates mainly light installations in 'dark' places, and this exhibition is a recreation of seven of his works that were on display in Brittany this summer. The gallery is plunged into darkness, leaving the visitors to explore the creations and 'imagine' (with the help of the sounds of the wind, burning fires, crashing waves...) them in their natural environment.

Full information here

A 'real' Christmas market
Ok, there's always the lights on the Champs Elysées (and the rather tawdry market that accompanies it), or the shop windows of the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette stores and the large crowds around them, but there are also 130 other places in the capital which will be illuminated (a personal favourite of mine is the area around the Jourdain Metro).

There are also several Christmas markets, but according to those in the know, only one 'authentic' one - the marché de la Gare de l'Est. Spiritual home to the Alsacians in Paris, it's the best place to find traditional food and wine from their region. If you're around on December 6th (Saint Nicolas day), you'll also find a 4.5m high gingerbread man, and be able to listen to traditional stories from Alsace at his feet!

Shopping ideas
Christmas shopping is always stressful, so its best to find somewhere that also offers a place to relax and a little culture. Two events this weekend might fit the bill:

  • Le Marché de Noel au Point Ephémere: Young creators, cupcake classes for kids, hairdressers offering 'rock' hairstyling, live music...and all that in an interesting spot alongside the Canal Saint Martin.

  • Take Me Out: 'Shopping, Music & Art' it says on the website. Add drinks and a tapas bar, and you have the recipe for a relaxing event far from the madding crowds.

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