Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something for the Weekend (1st – 3rd October)

Sleepless nights this weekend as the annual Nuit Blanche event returns to the city. If you need your sleep though, you’ll also find several other recommended (daytime!) events below.

The Nuit Blanche

As usual, the event is spread across several zones in the city. This time they are Ouest (around Champs Elysèe/Trocadero), Est (Belleville), and Centre (the Marais, Chatelet and Saint Germain). Picking out individual events seems rather pointless as the general idea is to pick a zone (or all three if you're going to be up all night) and wander from installation to installation

See for the full programme of events.

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Now in its 89th edition, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, nicknamed 'L'Arc' by those in the know, is not just one famous race but in fact a whole weekend of events. There are 8 races on both the Saturday and the Sunday, with the main race, 'l'Arc' taking place at 4.05pm on Sunday. For such a prestigious event, prices are incredibly cheap. Just 4 Euros on the Saturday and 8 on the Sunday – but free for women wearing a hat and the U18s!

A few 'l'Arc' facts:

  • It was first run on October 3rd 1920
  • It is recognised as being the most important flat face in the world
  • It offers a total purse this year of 4 million Euros!
  • It is run over 2400 metres, with the track record (2m24:60) held by Peintre Célèbre since 1997
  • It is watched on television by over 1 billion people around the world
  • It attracts more bets than any other race in the world calendar
2nd/3rd October
Hippodrome de Longchamp

Le Mondial de l’Auto
I do not have a driving licence and have very little interest in cars, but I recognise that this is a big event for those who do - last time around (2008) there were nearly 1.5 million visitors! Held every two years, it can date its origins back to 1898 when those wishing to present a vehicle had to first complete a Paris-Versailles-Paris circuit to prove the car was roadworthy. Italic

Porte de Versailles

Oct 2nd - 17th

La France vu par Raymond Depardon

Raymond Depardon, a film maker, photographer and documentary maker, has spent the last few years travelling round France taking photos of an 'ordinary France'. As he explains,
"I visited very different places, with very different stories. I’ve made it a rule to keep a distance from the subject which allowed me to consider regionalistic specificities and try to tell our common story of everyday life."

The result is a series of photos detailing an invisible(!) France populated with industrial estates, car parks and banal shops and houses. It's about as far from the touristic picture book cliché as you can get, but it is a real France and not without its own beauty. Click here for a film of the exhibition.

September 30, 2010 to January 9, 2011
Bibliothèque nationale François Mitterrand

Tuesday - Saturday from de 10am to 7pm,
Sunday from 1pm to 7pm

Antiques and Ham

What could make a more natural combination than antiques and ham? Lots of things probably, but this certainly seems to be a combination that pulls in the crowds. With a history that stretches back to the 15th century, the Foire nationale à la brocante et aux jambons is a colourful piece of French folklore situated on an island in the Seine that was previously popular with impressionist painters. Expect a wide mix of antiques, bric a brac, music and...well, ham!

Ile de Chatou

Until Sunday 3rd October

Daily from 10am - 7pm

Entrance: 5€

Rueil-Malmaison RER

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