Thursday, September 20, 2012

Something for the Weekend (September 21st - 23rd)

It's another very busy weekend in Paris. Here's a few suggestions to help your plan your time carefully!

Park(ing) Day
Park(ing) Day started in San Francisco in 2005 and has since then spread across the world. It is a kind of anti-car 'Occupy' movement, encouraging people to find alternative uses for parking spaces in cities. A number of events are being organised in Paris and across France on Friday, including picnics, parties and pop-up art galleries, with the event HQ being set up alongside the Palais Brogniart (Bourse).

Click here for the full list of events:

The Fête des Jardins
Every weekend seems to see some kind of fête or other organised in Paris, and this weekend is no different. Indeed, there are at least two, including this event that aims to get people into the city's parks. The most interesting thing about this particular event is not the activities organised in the public parks, but rather the access it gives to unseen gardens, mostly surrounding religious buildings on the left bank.

Whilst you're in some of these parks, you may notice that there are bandstands that never seem to be used. A festival, Kiosquorama, running throughout September and October is trying to put them to good use, organising free concerts with up and coming French bands each weekend. Visit the official site for a full list of parks/concerts:

Fete de la Gastronomie
The other 'fête' this weekend is to celebrate French food (as if it isn't already being celebrated every day of the week). A whole host of events is being organised across France this weekend, including tastings, cooking lessons, special offers in restaurants and many other things that have probably been fully booked for months.

See the official website for full details: Typically, although an English version of the website is available, it only translates the section titles and headers, not the descriptions of the events themselves. But then all visitors to Paris speak French don't they..?

Figures libres - an original night-time walk
Paris and the surrounding towns often seem completely divorced from each other, so it is interesting to see an initiative that attempts to stitch them together. Figure Libres, organised jointly by the town of Bagnolet and the 20th arrondissement of Paris, is an organised walk through the streets of the two areas. Featuring giant projections of the local residents on surrounding buildings, including the twin Mercuriales towers, and performances in the streets, it should offer an interesting perspective on a fascinating part of the city.

Click here for full details, including meeting points and times.  

Spectaculaire + 1st birthday of La Rotonde
La Rotonde restaurant and bar, housed in an old Ledoux tax collection office on the bassin de La Villette, will be hosting two parties this weekend. On Friday evening it will be celebrating its own first birthday. On Saturday and Sunday it will be the focal point of the annual Spectaculaire festival, an event which promotes upcoming cultural events in Paris with live performances and special offers.

Festival America
A biennial literature festival, held in Vincennes, celebrating writers from the 'Americas'. Readings, discussions and signings are held across the town throughout the weekend.

See the official website for a full list of events and the writers taking part:

Nouvel An Belge
As the official website says, after the Russians and the Chinese, the Belgians will be celebrating their new year...

Held across the 18th arrondissement, it is of course a celebration of Belgian creation, particularly the country's music scene. You might also find beer and frites on sale during the events!

Full details here:

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