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June Events: We Love Green, Fête de la Musique, Les Soldes & More

By the time June rolls around in Paris the natives start feeling justified in planning their social life around being outside. Luckily the city's social calendar follows suit by suggesting plenty of festivals and outdoor events to accommodate Vitamin D deprived urbanites. Willian West

By the time June rolls around in Paris the natives start feeling justified in planning their social life around being outside. Luckily the city’s social calendar follows suit by suggesting plenty of festivals and outdoor events to accommodate Vitamin D deprived urbanites.

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The Perfect French Playlist for Springtime in Paris

Learning French with a Parisienne's favorite French music

Lisa Czarina Michaud

When I’m asked how I learned French quickly as an adult, I tend to slide the credit over to my move to Paris. However, the truth is, my first year in Paris was spent primarily speaking English with other expatriates I crossed paths with, or conversing with newly acquired French friends whose English majorly trumped my fledgling French.

While living in the city certainly expanded my vocabulary, truly improving my French took effort beyond embarrassing myself at parties and studying text books; I immersed myself into French pop culture by way of music.

I’ve compiled an edit of my favorite French songs that helped me make sense of this gorgeous language, and had me tapping my feet at the same time. I invite you to bop along with the selection, which I assure you will be a fabulous accoutrement to the burgeoning spring season.

Learning French with a Parisienne's favorite French music

Rebecca Plotnick

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Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

September Events in Paris: Leonard Cohen, Techno Parade and More!

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)

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Posted in Arts, Events | 1 Comment »

May Events in Paris: Our Top Picks

May is the month to be in Paris, it seems, with events like the Saint Germain des Prés Jazz festival, Le Fooding’s Veillées Foodstock, Artist studios in Belleville and the highly anticipated Puces du Design vintage antique fair….enjoy! -Geneviève

Street art Paris – Annewil Stroo

La Bouffe

May 4 & 12: Veillées Foodstock 2012 includes two nights of all things we love: art, poetry, music, whiskey and ice cream. It may be a bit of a trip (held at the Contemporary Art Museum in Vitry-sur-Seine) but with those offerings plus the backing of Le Fooding, how could you say no? 

Now Open: Yannick Alleno of Le Meurice has opened Terroir Parisien, which boasts dishes made from ingredients from Ile de France.  An additional perk? It’s open every day, so feel free to pop in for Sunday dinner. Terroir Parisien, 24, rue rue St-Victor, 5e, 01.44.31.54.54

Now Open: Restaurateurs Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré continue to expand with their new resto Semilla, offering fresh and contemporary French dishes from an open kitchen. Note: these are the guys behind Cosi, Fish and La Dernière Goutte. Semilla, 54 rue de Seine, 6e, 01.43.54.34.50

© Antanas Sutkus

L’Art

May 19: The 8th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées – or European Museums Night – boasts more than 160 events in museums big and small, and many have free entry. You can view a list of all participating museums and their offerings here.

Through May 19: The current exhibition at the Russian Tea Room Gallery is Amours Libres, Jean-Philippe Charbonnier/Antanas Sutkus. Sutkus is a Lithuanian photographer who shot moving black and white images of the impoverished people of his country, while Charbonnier focused on everyday moments of Parisian life. 

Through June 15: On view at Fondation Dina-Vierny – Musée Maillol: Artemisia – Pouvoir, Gloire et Passions d’une femme peintre. A feminist rule-breaker in 17th century Italy, this daughter of famed painter Orazio Gentileschi harnessed her creative drive and has since been considered one of the best painters of her time.

Robert Crumb

Through August: If you’ll be in Paris with your little ones, be sure to see the Babar exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs. The show details the multiple creators of the world’s favorite pachyderm and includes games, drawings and a series of 3D animations sure to entertain.

Through June 23: The Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris celebrates its 15th anniversary with the exhibition Humour, parodie et vidéos: Créations vidéo du Japon contemporain. Images and video all centered around the theme of “laughter,” this show can’t help but put you in a good mood. 

Through August 19: The Musée d’Art Moderne is currently showing Crumb: De l’Underground à la Genèse. This show is the first French retrospective of famed American cartoonist Robert Crumb.  R. Crumb is known for his satirical portrayal of American life, but this exhibition spans his work from early underground drawings to the publication of his graphic novel The Book of Genesis. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Paris in July: Don’t Miss These Events

Luxembourg Paris July EventsLittle Brown Pen

If you happen to find yourself in Paris this month, you’ll be delighted to know that there are quite a few wonderful things to do. Richard Nahem has been kind enough to compile a list of these events to make it easy for you to plan your stay.

Voyage Dans Ma Tete

Does anyone still wear a hat? Apparently Antoine de Galbert thinks so. His astounding collection of over 400 hats, headpieces, and headdresses are from the tribes of Africa and South America. The exhibit explores the cultural and practical aspects of one of man’s oldest garments.

Till September 26, La Maison Rouge, 10 Blvd. de Bastille,12th arr. Metro: Quai de la Rapee, Bastille. Open Wednesday-Sunday 11AM-7PM, Thursday till 9PM

Paris Cinema Festival 2010

The annual Paris Cinema Festival honors Japanese cinema this year with over 100 films. Charlotte Rampling is the chairperson and special guests include Hanoi Jane Fonda and filmmakers M. Night Shyamalan and Eugene Green.

July 3-13. Screenings are 5€ each, or get a Paris CinéPass for 30€ for unlimited access.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of the legendary singers Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, has carved out quite an acting and singing career in her own right. Her whispery voice can be heard at La Cigale and the set list includes Dylan’s Like a Woman, Jamais, and Cafe de Artistes.

July 8 & 9, 7:30PM, La Cigale, 120 Blvd. Rochechouart, 18th arr. Metro: Pigalle Continue Reading »

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How To Be a Parisienne: 10 Golden Rules

DaveBloomGirlBridgeBigDave Bloom

I can already tell I’m going to get into trouble with this post, but I’ve never been afraid to ruffle a few feathers (especially of the French variety), so here goes. As a female ex-pat, living in Paris is no guarantee that you’ll automatically become a local. If you’re not a Parisienne and you want to be, these are the rules.*

1. Cultivate austere beauty. Today’s Parisienne has natural beauty down to an art: very little make-up and a fresh-faced complexion. Hair should be un-“done” (bonus points for bangs and / or a careless ballerina-inspired bun) and brown. With a few rare exceptions, blond hair is a red flag that screams foreign and/or fake. Beware! You want your look to seem unstudied—even though we know it’s not. For inspiration, look no further than Jane Birkin and Jane Birkin 2.0 (her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg).

2. Don’t smile much. You might be surprised to learn that smiles are, in fact, a limited resource in Paris. They’re not to be wasted on the undeserving, and they play no part in most daily interactions. When deployed, a well-timed smile is a Parisienne’s deadliest weapon, but your default expression should always be set somewhere between deadpan and “subtle scowl.”

3. Nail the “I don’t think so, but I guess if you do…” look. When someone says something you find wrong / distasteful, don’t openly object. Passive judgment is much more effective. Just raise your eyebrows, and look down / sideways to see if anyone else is noticing how absurd the statement was. Note: This is also a good way to establish solidarity with other true Parisiennes in the group, who will undoubtedly be giving the same look.

Lisa WeatherbeeLisa Weatherbee

4. Be thin. But not just thin, a particular kind of thin that I like to call “healthy frail.” Other than a few moments spent standing on a mysterious vibrating plate from time to time, Parisiennes don’t really exercise. As a result, they don’t really have muscles, so they’re diminutive but vibrant, waifish but not gaunt. Damn them. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 51 Comments »