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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
March 7, 2012
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Paris in March, there are tons of things to do that don’t involve fashion week. Here is our list of not-to-miss events, foodie happenings, concerts, exhibits and general goings-on. -Geneviève
March 10-11: Colette Carnival in the Tuilleries: Bon anniv’ to one of our favorite concept stores! Colette will be celebrating its 15th bday with a fab – and free – carnival in the Tuileries.
March 17-18: A Brunch Bazar weekend has to be the best one of the month. Two nine-hour days filled with little bits of the things we love: food, music, workshops and even a funhouse for the little ones.
March 11-13: After a long stint in Deauville, the Omnivore Food Festival heads to Paris. In case plentiful tastings from some of France’s greatest chefs isn’t enticing enough, the alcohol and tunes that are sure to be in abundance make this a must-do.
March 8: Phenomenal Handclap Band at Nouveau Casino: PHB’s feel-good fusion tracks hit Paris and are not to be missed. If some old-school soul meets disco is what you crave, get to Nouveau Casino on Thursday night.
March 11: Super Sunday with Patrice is a mixed-medium event inspired by music, dance, graffiti and gastronomy. Enjoy some indie artwork and a delicious menu by Nelson Muller before jamming out to Afro-German Reggae artist, Patrice. Take a peek at the menu here.
March 7-August 5: The magical Tim Burton Exhibition at Cinémathèque Française opens today. Following a wildly successful showing at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the fantastical works of Mr. Burton made it overseas. This show is a true pleasure and treat for the imagination of adults and children alike.
Through March 18: Experiencing the works of a creative mastermind is always a pleasure, isn’t it? The Jean-Paul Goude exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs is the designer/illustrator/photographer ‘s first retrospective, so it’s only appropriate that happening in Paris.
March 9-16: Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Décoratifs: Goude, Vuitton and Jacobs in the same location? That’s almost more genius than we can handle – but not quite. Once you’ve digested the former, be sure to check out the latter. The designers’ fabulous pieces are only on view for one week. In the mood for a teaser? Check out this video.
February 8, 2012
For those of you lucky enough to be heading to Paris this month and looking for some interesting things to do, here is a roundup of great events and general goings on. Amusez-vous bien! – Erin Dahl
Through February 19: Les Femmes savantes, a favorite amongst Molière’s work and a satirical criticism of the ridiculous préciosité that penetrated 18th century French salons, is showing at the Théâtre de la Tempête.
Through February 19: Chic! Une grande maison at Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine – a look into the history of Paris architecture, specifically the lovely hôtels particuliers that dot the city. Child friendly.
Through March 15: You may know Maxim’s for its resto and boutique, but they also have an exhibition space and this month “Moi, Sarah Bernhardt” is on show. Bernhardt, often thought of as the world’s first and most famous actress, paved the way for female performers to come. Now you can take a peek into her life and passion.
December 17, 2011
Why was she impelled to remember him in print? Because, like so many others, she had stayed at Shakespeare and Company. George Whitman started a tradition of hosting writers, most famously members of the Beat generation, and the bookshop’s ‘Tumbleweed Hotel’ is still a place where literary dreamers can exchange a few hours’ work in the shop for a bed on a bench amongst the books of George’s personal open library on the first floor.
When I came to Shakespeare and Company a couple of years ago, it was a while before I actually met George. Already in his mid-90s, he spent his days in the apartment on the top floor.
He still owned the shop downstairs, now run expertly by his daughter Sylvia and her team, its ‘Tumbleweed Hotel’ principles intact.
When they arrive, Tumbleweeds are required to write a brief biography for the shop’s records. Employed by the shop to create stair murals, I decided I would do this later. Anyway I was here to draw, not write. I wasn’t a Tumbleweed.
The next time I stayed I didn’t write it either, but I did spend my time writing. I’d do it on the next visit.
Or the next…
The last time I visited the shop in October 2011 , Paris was cold. George had just suffered a stroke and was in hospital, ‘recovering well’. The writers’ room, with its tiny electric radiator, was warm. Under my window, tourists snapped continually; Tumbleweeds lunched at the little round table by the door; drunks gathered at the fountain; a busker turned up and performed Shakespeare’s most famous speeches in rotation. Later on, the drummers took over outside the cathedral.
I stopped writing to eat at the café across the road. The man at the next table was telling his teenage daughter – her first trip to Paris – about how he’d been to one of George’s famous Sunday teas and heard the bookseller relate how he had set off to walk from North to South America but had been forced to turn back in the impassible Central American jungle. He was like a child, the man said. It was like he didn’t understand why he just couldn’t go as far as he wanted to go.
But after opening Le Mistral in 1951, which became Shakespeare and Company in 1964, the traveler largely stayed put in Paris, dying peacefully last Wednesday in his apartment above the shop, two days after his 98th birthday.
I walked back from the café to the bookshop and got back to work.
I wrote. Notre Dame chimed ‘Three Blind Mice’ on the hour: the light went.
I thought about space: Kilometer Zero in front of Notre Dame; Place René Viviani next to the shop where the 2010 Shakespeare and Company Literary Festival was held – a free event into which the public could wander. That was the last time I had seen George downstairs; wearing an extravagant paisley jacket, he was carried in triumph through the shop on a sofa held shoulder-high by Tumbleweeds.