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February Events in Paris: Our Top Picks

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

Carams

La musique

February 23: Brooklyn rockers Real Estate, whose albums are consistently rated Best New Music by Pitchfork and the like, will perform at Nouveau Casino.

February 24: Pop-dance producers Simian Mobile Disco,  a British duo that broke off from previous band Simian, will perform a DJ set at La Machine du Moulin Rouge.

Dave Bloom

Les arts

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.

Matt Mansfield

Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events | 4 Comments »

La Bellevilloise: Music, Art, Food and a Huge Terrace in Paris’ Trendy Menilmontant

La Bellevilloise – Terrace (Jerome Seillier)

A typical Parisian night out can mean any number of things. Some people like the club scene, while others prefer a quiet drink along the Seine. Some can knock back shots at the bar, and others look for a cultural infusions via acoustic guitar sets or art gallery openings. To accomplish all of these things in one night would, at the very least, tax your Navigo pass as you zig zag across town. Most likely, it would drive you crazy.

However, Hip Paris readers, I recently visited a place that is so all-encompassing, so varied in its vibe, décor and mission, that you and any number of your difficult-to-please friends can enjoy yourself, no matter what you’re looking for that night — or even that moment.

Entrance to La Halle Aux Oliviers (Kygp)

La Bellevilloise is an expansive, multi-tiered space in the hills of Belleville that, with seeming ease, incorporates every type of good time to be had under one roof. It is a jack-of-all-trades, where bar meets restaurant meets dance floor meets performance space meets brunch spot. Walking into each different area of the space brings a new experience, and I was drawn from doorway to doorway in a pleasant yet mildly schizophrenic frenzy of entertainment.

Kygp

Le Forum

Entering from the street into the Forum drops you into a cavern-like club, dark and inviting. It’s like an Art Deco museum with a pulse. It’s a casual setting, and the various, mostly acoustic sets trade places up on the center stage for a packed room. Multiple floors of seating on both sides of the room allow patrons to watch the staff move with symphonic rhythm through the space, delivering tapas (the salmon wraps caught my eye more than once) and strong mojitos out from behind the imposing bar. The mood, despite the low lighting, is vibrant, cheery and unpretentious. On my last visit, I saw trenchcoats mixing with Nikes and flannels and fitted caps bumping hips with mom jeans…

 

La Terrasse (Jason Whittaker)

La Terrassee

After the cavernous Forum, emerging onto the Terrace, with its relaxed atmosphere among the Belleville rooftops, is a breath of fresh air. Gorgeous evening light is the setting for another bar, a partially covered deck, abundant greenery and wheelbarrow tables. Reminiscent of a Brooklyn beer garden, this space offers a reprieve from the energy and intensity of the other rooms. The rumblings of upright bass from the Forum are just a whisper out here. Everything about this cozy balcony says: take your time, have a drink. So I did. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Paris Street Music: Fête de la Musique, 21 June 2009

sax3

Paris is a wonderful city to wander. With winding streets, beckoning café terraces and chestnut trees reaching out their soft leaves to passersby, it’s hard to remain immune to the charm of this pedestrian way of life. Parisians themselves, as we all know, aren’t ones to shy away from taking to the streets either, whether it’s for political rallies, to celebrate soccer victories or, once a year, to celebrate music on the summer solstice.

This Sunday evening, after you’ve passed a string quartet in your neighborhood square, a punk band in front of your boulangerie and a 8-piece brass band marching down your street, don’t be surprised! It’s just France’s yearly music festival, the Fête de la Musique. On this occasion, the city of Paris organizes a huge number of free concerts, but for many natives the greatest draw of the festival is that amateurs are also invited to set up shop on street corners, in public gardens – basically anywhere they can find some space and a willing audience. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »