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 10, 2012
Skate at Somerset House (slimmer_jimmer)
As autumn draws in, the cultural goings-on of London start to head inside and ratchet the pressure up a few notches: bigger, heavier hitting fairs and events are scattered throughout the season. October brings out the big guns of Frieze Art Fair and the BFI London Film Festival. There are major, in-depth art shows, classic ballets and of course, fireworks lighting up the sky on Bonfire Night.
Bonfire Night (*_barbd_*)
Royal Academy: Bronze 15 Sept – 9 Dec
The Royal Academy calls it “a celebration of bronze on a scale never attempted before.” This means works in bronze spanning the last 5000 years from every continent. Arranged thematically in groups, the exhibition includes Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan bronzes, rare Medieval examples, the Renaissance (Ghiberti, Donatello, Cellini), all the way through to the present day via works by Rodin, Boccioni, Picasso, Jasper Johns, Moore, Beuys and Bourgeois.
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)
August 7, 2012
Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege (hellojenuine.)
August is a funny old month in London, and even more so when we’re hosting The Olympics. I’ve decided it’s impossible to escape the O word, even though I said last month I wasn’t going to mention “The Games” as we’re supposed to call them.
Annex East and the Meltdown festival (meltdown.southbankcentre.co.uk & annexeast.co.uk)
Where cultural events are concerned, a lot of those that would normally be scheduled to take place during “The Games” had to be scaled down or were cancelled because all the funding went to Olympic events.
August 2, 2012
Frenchie Wine Bar has big plans. Fortunately for those hoping to land a table, the plans, which include an expansion that will double the seating space as well as the cave and kitchen, should be completed by the end of the summer.
July 2, 2012
Project Play Me – Pianos all over Paris to be played! (My Little Paris)
Chez Aline: Delphine Zampetti, former chef at Le Verre Volé, recently opened this new resto. Don’t let the “chevaline” sign deter you, Chez Aline is a great spot for an affordable and simply delicious lunch.
Wanderlust: Everything (okay, almost everything) we could want in a space: outdoor terrace, cinema, restaurant, bar, club and even yoga. This hip new spot in the 13th has something for every mood.
June 4, 2012
Fête de la Musique
June 21 brings the Fete de la Musique back for its 31st year. This year the festival celebrates 50 years of pop, and with a full lineup of gratuit concerts, there is certainly something for every taste.
June 5: Magnificat: Polychoral music at Notre-Dame de Paris. An extraordinary opportunity to enjoy a concert in one of the world’s most famous cathedrals. This show celebrates the works of famed composers Michael Praetorius and Giovanni Gabrieli, who drastically shaped the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music in Europe.
June 6: Brooklyn synth pop duo Chairlift is playing at La Gaîté lyrique. If ethereal harmonies (and the Apple ad featuring their 2008 “Bruises”) is your thing, this is your show.