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Paris Street Art: A Guide for the Urban Explorer

Street art is often placed in obscure or unexpected places, so next time you’re out and about in Paris, keep your eyes open for artistic discoveries.

Coming from Melbourne, the home of the famous Hosier Lane – a cobbled laneway densely covered in stencils, paste ups and murals – I’ve always had a love of street art. When I made Paris my home, I realized how important street art is in the City of Light. The country claims so many legendary street artists, making Paris a mecca for the medium. While there are plenty of street art tours you can take, my favorite thing to do is spot my preferred street artists’ oeuvres and discover new works while wandering the boulevards and alleyways of Paris.

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May Events in Paris: Hip-Hop Loves Soul, Villette Sonique, Brunch Equitable & More

May Events in Paris

Villette Sonique, Mikayil Quenum

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Yoyo is bringing its latest edition of Hip-Hop Loves Soul to the Palais de Tokyo tonight. The event is hosted by Canadian rapper and producer Tory Lanez and features special new guest talent who will be spinning throughout the night.

May Events in Paris

May Events in Paris

Point Ephémère, kygpPoint Ephémère, Laurent Continue Reading »

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Chasing Love: Three Perfect Paris Valentine’s Day Itineraries

Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Paris, the City of Amour, is perhaps the most idyllic place to spend Valentine’s Day. But it’s much more than breathtaking vistas overlooking the Seine and its quiet cobbled passages ways. Design your own unique and très romantique lovers’ day by following in the footsteps of love on these three offbeat itineraries.
Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Lovers’ Road Less Traveled at the Louvre

The city’s greatest museum also contains some of art history’s greatest representations of love, abundantly found in 18th-century French rococo painting. Luckily these works are located far from the museum’s big stars, like the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa, making a stroll to the second floor of the Sully wing (rooms 54 to 36) a perfect jaunt for secret lovers.

You can’t help be swept up in the amorous atmosphere of these voluptuous tableaux featuring love gods, romantic exploits, and fêtes galantes. Valentine’s own Cupid is caught giving his first kiss to his fated lover in François Gérard’s rendition of the classic tale of Cupid and Psyche (room 53). King Louis XV’s love for his mistress the Comtesse du Barry is illustrated in the large works by Joseph-Marie Vien: Greek Maidens Adorning a Sleeping Cupid with Flowers and The Lover Crowning his Beloved (room 52). The character Innocence is corrupted by Cupid in the vivid painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (room 51).

Your hearts will continue to flutter thanks to one of the era’s great masters François Boucher’s monumental Vulcan’s Forge (Room 48) or through his lovesick duo Rinaldo and Armida (Room 38). In the same room, François Lemoyne depicts another female seductress in his Hercules and Omphale, the classic hero shown here fallen hard under the Omphale’s spell. Lastly, don’t miss the delicate works of Watteau, another valiant defender of romance, at the end of the wing.

Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Great Lovers of Père Lachaise

Till death do us part is not the case at Père Lachaise cemetery, where love seems to last eternally. The largest cemetery within Paris’ city limits (44 hectares/110 acres), it was opened in 1804 and today contains the remains of over one million people. With such an immense number of Parisian figures, there are indeed many examples of great lovers and tracking some of them down can be the theme of your stroll.

Start with one of the cemetery’s most famous pair of lovers (and its oldest “residents”): Abelard and Heloise. The legendary medieval lovers’ remains were transferred here in 1817, and as the tradition goes, lovers or lovelorn singles should leave letters with their wishes at the crypt (division 7). As you make your way through the tiny pathways you’ll most certainly end up in the “romantic section,” the central area, which is also the oldest. It contains some of the loveliest tombs and has been classified as a national monument (mainly divisions 4-39).

Here you can find some of the most important figures of the 19th century Romanticism, like Frederic Chopin (division 11), Théodore Géricault (division 12) or Eugène Delacroix (division 49). The obscure romantic can hunt down some lesser known personages of the era, such as Marie Catherine Sophie, Comtesse d’Agoult (division 54), a French romantic author and once the lover of composer Franz Liszt, or the Comtesse Marie Walewska d’Ornano (division 67), a mistress of Emperor Napoleon, whose heart remained here in her husband’s family crypt, whereas her other remains were returned to her homeland in Poland.Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

The twentieth century also left some heartstruck couples at Père Lachaise. Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, who died an unfortunate early deathfrom tuberculosis at age 36, is buried with his tragic mistress Jeanne Hébuterne (division 96). Mythical French songstress Édith Piaf is buried next to her second husband, actor and singer Theophanis Lamboukas (division 97), with whom she’d sung the duet “À quoi ça sert l’amour?” (What Good Is Love?), a sentiment possibly reconciled through their relationship as their tomb is engrave with “Love Conquers All.” Not far are some of the literary world’s greats; Gertrude Stein is eternally wedded to her life partner Alice B. Toklas (division 94). And no trip to Père Lachaise would be complete without a stop at the wildest of its tombs, Oscar Wilde’s (division 89), now protected from his admirers’ kisses by a glass case.Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

L’Amour Court les Rues, Love in the Streets of Montmartre

Montmartre may have the “Love Wall,” but expressions of love run rampant through the neighborhoods cobbled streets. Literary; these days with a work of street artist Wilfrid’s, “L’Amour court les rues.” His slogan, “love runs through the streets,” first scrawled in late 2014 in response to a tag of “love is dead,” has now spread throughout the area with dozens of declarations on the area’s facades, benches, pedestrian crossings, construction barriers, and abandoned planks of wood.
If you come up to Place des Abbesses on Saturday February 13th from 3pm to 10pm, Wilfrid will be present, signing any material you bring with his slogan (an ideal Valentine’s gift!). Alternatively, amble through the quiet streets around Abbesses any day and you can challenge your chéri/e to see who can spot the most “L’Amour court les rues.” You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled… some are where you might least expect. Along the way you’ll find other romantic imagery, from restaurant chalkboards to chalk-drawn hearts, that can count in your contest. You can also post your finds to the “Amour court les rues” Facebook page or Instagram account.

The winner can be rewarded with some toasty hot chocolate or vin chaud at one of the area’s many cozy cafés… or some other reward for the rest of your Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with love wherever you are and whatever you do!Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Related Links

  • Still looking for a little special something for your sweetheart? My Little Paris shares 21 cute gift ideas.
  • Whether you find yourself in love this Valentine’s Day or not, these short stories are sure to warm the heart.
  • When the famed love locks were removed from the Pont des Arts, a temporary installation of love-themed graffiti took its place. Take a peek.

Written by Lily Heise for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Lily Heise. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

 

Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

June Events in Paris: Le Fooding’s La Revanche des Faubourgs, Garorock & More

June Events in Paris: Festivals, food, parties, pop-up boutiques, and more

Solidays, RamboXP

Summer is officially upon us when the festival circuit picks back up. Ready to hit the ground running with some live music? Clear your evening and head to l’AEROPORTO at Le Belmont in the 2nd. For more info on the musicians performing, bites and drinks being served, and more, peek here.

June Events in Paris: Festivals, food, parties, pop-up boutiques, and more

Le Fooding

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The Perfect Weekend Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

Canal St Martin and Quai de la Seine Paris

Quai de la Seine

Every Sunday the city of Paris inhales deeply, taking a short break to live life at a different rhythm as shops close and entire neighborhoods are labeled pedestrian zones. Museums and monuments become a refuge for art lovers and sight-seeing tourists, while many Parisians head for the greener pastures of local parks.

A weekend along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, an upcoming neighborhood with markets, boutiques, cafes, and more

A weekend along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, an upcoming neighborhood with markets, boutiques, cafes, and more

Hôtel du Nord; Le Comptoir Général

The 15th-century canals in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, Canal St-Martin and Canal de l’Ourcq, are great areas to slowly drift into the relaxing weekend beat. Start your day at the Marché de Joinville, where vendors announce prices for perfect picnic pickings. If the day has promised sunshine, rent an electric boat from Marin d’Eau Douce and head north, swans to port and cormorant starboard as you savor your market fare and take in the display of the local street art scene unfolding in this urban countryside.

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Posted in Markets, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

May Events in Paris: Villette Street Festival, Fairpride, Paris Beer Week & More

May Events, Montage La Nuit Europeene Web, Grand Palais, Mathieu Thouvenin

Nuit des Musées; Grand Palais, Mathieu Thouvenin

The second edition of the Villette Street Festival kicked off yesterday and runs until the 17th. Focusing on a variety of expressions of street culture, the two-week event features performances in music, dance, sports, and more… and don’t miss the block parties and food trucks too. To get in the mood, check out the event’s website for a festival playlist – rocking the likes of Ghostface Killah and Rejjie Snow – and their hashtag, #VSF15.

Beer, Quinn Dombrowski

Quinn Dombrowski

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12 Paris Apps That Make Exploring the City of Light Easier

Best smartphone applications for exploring Paris

Whether you’re a visitor or a longtime resident of Paris, there are always new places to discover and explore. These days, few people carry guidebooks or maps with them, but chances are you do have a smartphone in your pocket. If that’s you, when it comes to navigating Paris and all that it has to offer, there are a few apps that make discovering this city just a little easier.

Best smartphone applications for exploring Paris

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Le Comptoir Général: African Food, Drinks, and Dance Along Paris’ Canal Saint Martin

Le Comptoir General: Celebrating African with a Coffee Bar, Street-Style Thrift Store, Cocktail Bar, and Reggae Dance Floor Along Paris' Canal Saint Martin

Behind a street art mural along the Canal Saint Martin hides one of Paris’ best-kept secrets: the self-titled “Ghetto Museum” Le Comptoir Général. This multi-purpose treasure trove celebrates Franco-african culture through music, film, fashion, and dance, and has a steady following among in-the-know Parisians and expats.

Le Comptoir General: Celebrating African with a Coffee Bar, Street-Style Thrift Store, Cocktail Bar, and Reggae Dance Floor Along Paris' Canal Saint Martin

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Paris’ 20ème: History, Culture, and Shopping in Belleville and Ménilmontant

20eme, Rue Denoyez Street Art

Rue Denoyez

The 20ème is one of the largest neighborhoods in Paris, covering the areas of Nation, Gambetta, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Largely overlooked by tourists, this unique quartier is full of locals-only bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, charming backstreets, hidden pockets of nature, and a diverse population. As much as I love the familiar streets of the Marais and the Latin Quarter, after spending three months living here this summer, a part of me will always be called back to the 20ème. Here are a few of my favorite historic and cultural spots worth discovering.

20eme, La Bellevilloise

View from La Bellevilloise

A historically working class neighborhood, the 20ème was the center of opposition to Emperor Napoleon III during the eve of the First World War, and the very last neighborhood to surrender during the Paris Commune of 1871. Predominantly an immigrant community for the last century, nowadays young entrepreneurs, artists, and bobos flock to the area for its affordable rents, active nightlife, and thriving arts scene.

20eme, Rue Denoyez

Rue Denoyez

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Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping, Tours and Classes | 1 Comment »

Visiting Paris: Finding Beauty In the Little Things

HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Mike Kandel

The glass pyramids of the Louvre, the manicured grounds of the Tuileries Garden, and of course, the remarkable iron puzzle that is the Eiffel Tower. When planning a trip to Paris, worldly known sights like these intoxicate you with euphoric expectations. But when you step off the plane, you find that they are simply window dressings framing an elaborate web of breathtaking details.

HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Mike Kandel 5

While a view of the Eiffel Tower guarantees excitement (and there are many), Paris is a city you must tour leisurely. The true beauty of Paris is in its details.

Whether you’re snacking on a world-class éclair, window-shopping on Boulevard Saint Germain, or merely sauntering about, there are countless opportunities to find little nuggets of beauty.

HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Mike Kandel 4

Romance is omnipresent. To many, the idea that every day is Valentine’s Day in Paris is a gross stereotype intended to lure travelers who have never walked the cobble stone streets. But I’m sorry; everything you’ve heard is true. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »