September 12, 2013
Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)
It’s no secret that some of the most interesting things in a city happen off the tourist grid. New restaurants, music and, of course, lots of art gets made in places where the rents are cheaper, the residents funkier and the tourists far fewer. Paris is no exception. Such is true of the area in north eastern Paris in and around the 19eme. Thanks to some major cultural attractions and a smattering of fun eateries, it just may be on the brink of its moment.
Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)
Setting off from Metro Stalingrad one recent afternoon, I discovered a quartier in exciting transition. Where its once dilapidated streets were lined with international call centers and cut rate shops, a new energy is palpable in a smattering of neighborhood boutiques, vegetarian eateries and performing arts centers.
Le Louxor (Erin Dahl)
Here are the highlights.
Le Centquatre. In 2008 the Marie de Paris unveiled Le104 (Le Centquatre), a performing and visual arts center that serves as the creative hub of the area. It’s a vast and luminous space that features rotating exhibitions and installations from this summer’s epic Keith Haring retrospective to “interactive” work that quite literally invites audiences to experience art first-hand.
February 26, 2013
Left: Artwork by Le Module de Zeer
Even though I love strolling through St Germain and the Marais, it’s always exciting to discover new, edgier sides of my favorite city. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to tag along on a Street Art tour arranged by Underground Paris. While I’m far from an expert on the subject, even I have had the feeling that street art is getting bigger by the second here in Paris.
Street art at Rue Denoyez
Right: Artwork by Le Module de Zeer
December 6, 2012
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London (flatworldsedge)
In the run up to Christmas there are sample sales, holiday markets and pop-up shopping events all around town. London is literally glowing at the moment. It seems as if there are twice as many Christmas lights as usual; so a walk around Mayfair to Hyde Park or the Southbank and Somerset House can’t fail to put you in the Christmas spirit. It helps that, at most events, people will want to ply you with mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. To round out your winter itinerary, make a trip to a restored landmark grand café, admire a curated selection of haute couture by Valentino, and don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Through January 6, 2013
At this time of year, Hyde Park is transformed into a winter wonderland and festooned with Christmas lights. The giant observation wheel could be mistaken for the London Eye, and the ice skating rink is the largest in the UK. There are two circuses, as well as a Magical Ice Kingdom where you can be pulled through an ice forest by a unicorn. Specific events are ticketed (unicorns don’t come cheap), but if you just want to wander the grounds and browse the Christmas market, entry is free.
December 1, 2012
Whether you’re going to Paris for the holidays or just for some wintertime fun, there’s plenty happening this month to keep you entertained! – Genevieve
Christmas displays in Paris (abrunete)
December may be the best month to take in Notre Dame. They have their classic Christmas tree up in the square and a light/music show inside the nave each hour throughout December. Go on December 18th and stay for the Monteverdi Vespers concert. Beginning December 12, a special seating structure in the square will be open to the public, offering visitors a different perspective on the cathedral’s beautiful stained glass windows.
Notre Dame (el_malino & Herve “Setaou” BRY)
Lucky enough to be ringing in the New Year in Paris? There are evening concerts at churches around the city, like St. Eustache, La Madeleine and more.
November 2, 2012
Through December 16: A self-proclaimed “wandering space for the undiscovered, unintentional and untrained artists of our times,” The Museum of Everything’s Paris exhibition – and concept at large – are bucking the norm and showcasing pieces that may not otherwise see a museum’s walls. “Exhibition #1.1,” as its called, includes works of over 500 self-taught creators, working in various media and with inspiration that spans the globe.
Through November 4: Salon du Chocolat: Likely the most delicious event this month, the Salon du Chocolat offers a little something for anyone with a sweet tooth. There is an entrance fee, but once inside the expo space you will be greeted by the wafting scent of cacao, and visual displays of all the chocolate your heart could desire. Normally, picking up these kinds of specialty items would include a day of traipsing around Paris, but here they are all congregated, ready to be tasted and taken home.
October 3, 2012
Yvan Le Bozec, Youkali/Diffuse Nebula Galaxy, Sound and light installation, variable dimensions 2005© Collection FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon — at Nuit Blanche 2012
Art-lovers and appreciators of beautiful things, rejoice! October runs on art & design shows in Paris, and there is a lot to see. With several hip artsy events on our agenda – and all within walking distance of each other – I think we’ll all be welcoming November feeling a bit more enlightened. The weather has cooled in Paris, but rather than buy a new coat and some warm boots, I may indulge in new-restaurant-testing and dance my way through the chills at several concerts instead. At least for now.
Anne Sophie Pic (Wines Travel)
Anne-Sophie Pic just opened her first restaurant in Paris, La Dame de Pic, and she’s being warmly welcomed to the city. High gastronomy has always been a bit of a boys’ club, but Pic challenged that norm and is the only woman in France with three Michelin stars. As Pic announced on her blog – how much do we love that she writes a blog? – her Paris resto is dedicated to pleasure and simple, spontaneous, emotional food. A meal here is definitely in order.
Cutlog at the Bourse du Commerce (Cutlog.org)
October 6: Nuit Blanche is in its 11th edition, but I have a feeling this year’s will up the ante. Laurent Le Bon, notorious for putting Jeff Koons sculptures in Versailles, curated this year’s events. The theme is “Paris à l’infini” and the events utilize city spaces to offer visitors different perspectives on Paris’ literary, artistic and architectural elements. Some of the evening’s happenings will occur in places usually off limits to the masses, and all will offer stimulating takes on everyday Parisian fixtures: an astounding view of the city from the 24th story of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Bach played on the Île Saint-Louis, six hours of Philip Glass in the 5th, dancers depicting Parisian monuments interspersed along the Seine, and a giant crescent moon hauled on the top of the Eglise St Eustache. And this is only a small sampling.
September 5, 2012
The techno parade in Paris (philippe leroyer)
I have a lot of fond memories of Paris in September. It’s been a few years since I studied abroad there, but I distinctly remember the late-August excitement of leaving for my favorite place in the world, knowing I’d get to stay for more than a handful of days. There is a lively buzz around the city in September.
Everyone has just come off long vacances and is duly rested and ready for fall. I’ll be heading back to Paris in a few days, the same week I left for my study abroad program several years ago, and I may be as excited as I was then. Here are some of the events I will not be missing:
Leonard Chohen at l’Olympia & Gerhard Richter at the Pompidou (www.olympiahall.com & www.centrepompidou.fr)
June 26, 2012
We have been fans of Nichole Robertson ever since we first discovered her blog, Little Brown Pen, many moons ago. She manages to capture details of our favorite city that render it accessible, touching, intimate — even to those who haven’t walked her streets, ogling marché produce and perfectly coordinated café chairs in many years. We’re delighted to be offering a copy of her latest book, Paris in Color, to one lucky reader today — simply leave a comment below and we’ll pick a random winner on June 29. Want an extra entry? Pin this post and leave a link to it below in a separate comment (to ensure you have two entries!) – Geneviève. UPDATE: We have now selected winner. Congratulations to Jessie K. from Nova Scotia!
In January 2009, I moved to Paris with my husband, and two young sons. Despite the damp cold and relentless gray, we enjoyed exploring our new neighborhood. One day, I noticed a few objects in a similar shade of red, and shot them. As I walked, I found other things I liked in that shade and photographed those as well. When I returned home and uploaded them to my blog, the response was, “more!”
I quickly became obsessed, and spent weeks singling out different shades. Searching for colors is a surprisingly democratic process, as it’s just as likely to appear on something spectacular (Notre Dame) as it is on something pedestrian (a trash can). I didn’t question whether the object was famous, old, or important, I just shot it. The serendipitous nature of the process meant that I never had a plan, and that was part of the fun.
May 24, 2012
I’ve never been a particularly big fan of Monet’s paintings. Yes, they’re pretty—that much is undeniable. He certainly cornered the market on water lilies and haystacks. But I suppose I’ve developed a sense of indifference toward his work because it’s so ubiquitous. He’s one of the first artists I learned about (in a cursory 5th grade unit on art history) and whose work I learned to recognize with ease. But then suddenly it was everywhere: mouse pads, t-shirts, calendars, and the walls of countless dorm rooms I would encounter during my high school and college years. Before I knew it, I was Monet-ed out.
But once I moved to Paris, I kept hearing about Giverny, the quaint village where Monet famously made his home from 1883 until his death in 1926. It’s here that he cultivated the celebrated garden that many of his most famous works depict. Suddenly, unexpectedly, my long dormant interest in Monet was revitalized.
April 3, 2012
Ongoing: Cédric Casanova, the Italian genius behind ‘La Tete dans les Olives’ strikes again with his just-opened épicerie, Au Conservatoire. Book the shop’s only table for yourself and seven of your closest friends for Cédric’s “Pique-niques Gastronomiques”, a tasty selection of Sicilian small plates with a little specialty shopping on the side. Au Conservatoire, 14 rue Sainte Marthe, 75 010, Paris. To make reservations, email: email@example.com
Ongoing: An elusive new stranger has appeared on the Paris bar scene: L’Inconnu. Hip coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night, and for those in it for the long haul, a DJ dance party that goes until 2am. Pop in for afternoon coffee and you might just find yourself dancing the night away. 17-19 rue de Mazagran, 75010, Paris.
April 7: In case you need another excuse to drink delicious French wines, here you have it: Caves Augé, one of the oldest stores in Paris, is hosting a free tasting of wines from the Rhone Valley. À votre santé! Caves Augé, 116 Blvd Haussmann, 75008, Paris.
April 12: Relive George Lucas’ cult classic “American Graffiti” with burgers, hotdogs and more: Street Food Party’s first event of the season revisits classics with a fresh, French twist. Expect girls on roller-skates, live music and gastro-rock interpretations of classic American drive-in fare. At La Rotonde, 6-8 Pl. de la Bataille Stalingrad, 75019, Paris. Starts at 8pm.
April 7-8: You know all about this super-cool fun-for-all weekend of brunch and more, but it’s too good to not mention again. Brunch Bazar is back. 66 rue de Turenne, 75003, Paris.