Merci Goes Global: Merci has garnered a wide following, and rightfully so. Well, there is exciting news for (some) non-Parisians…Merci just launched its online retail shop, with shipping now available to Merci-lovers in the States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand! Shrieks of excitement and sighs of relief from fans of this impeccably curated fashion and interior design haven are totally appropriate here.
Ongoing: Ma Chere et Tendre: Traditional French cuisine is known for, among so many other things, successfully incorporating a wide range of meats and their various cuts into everyday meals. This sometimes involves discovering more parts of the animals than many Americans might prefer. Those diners will appreciate a recent surge of vegetarian, gluten-free and other diet-specific options popping up around the city. Don’t get me wrong, I love this trend as much as the next person, but the opening of Ma Chere et Tendre, a new steakhouse tucked away in the 17th with a menu perfectly tailored for unapologetic meatlovers, really whet my palate. Ma Chere et Tendre, Beef Club, the recent Hotel de Ville BBQ…I think we’re seeing a resurgence of meals made for the loyal carnivore and I definitely don’t object.
May 10 & 11, New Friends Table: We covered New Friends Table nearly two years ago when it had just landed on the underground Paris food scene. Now the team is back with a new offering. They still host their beloved dinners – the goal of which is to bring like-minded foodies together around a great meal in a real Parisian apartment – but they’re now doing food tours around the Beaubourg neighborhood, home to the Centre Pompidou (and HiP’s Marais Triplex flat). The tour begins with a collective cafe and ends with a dejeuner consisting of products purchased throughout the morning… Perfection.
May 6: Viellee Foodstock: Le Fooding events always attract a lot of buzz, and after last year’s successful music & food combo fete, they’re bringing the Viellee Foodstock back. This year’s menu features dishes from Roseval, CheZaline, and Boucherie les Provinces. They start taking reservations on May 6th and we definitely recommend snagging your spot early. For just 25 euros, this dinner-and-a-concert will definitely fill up quickly.
May 22-24: The City of Paris is bringing back Les Heures Heureuses from May 22 – 24, and why wouldn’t they? It’s the perfect coming together of Italian aperitivo and good old American happy hour. 170 restaurants around the city have designed small plates especially for this event at just 2 euros. Head to the event’s website to get your passport and the list of participants. Bon app!
Ongoing: Ron Mueck: In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that the first time I saw Mueck’s work I was wholly taken aback. I looked at the larger-than-life sculptures in initial shock, asked myself, “what the…?!” and then proceeded to be fully consumed with questions of how this Aussie artist constructs his pieces. Mueck works in hyperrealist sculpture: a giant newborn with its umbilical stump still attached; two elderly women scowling at whatever (or whomever) passes them by; a sleeping man… The subjects are quotidian and their actions and expressions seem to depict a common set of sorrows. I found that once I could digest the astounding detail and scale of the pieces, I began to relate to the universality of the moments in which these spectacular yet everyday characters are frozen.
Opening May 28: Brooklyn native Lorna Simpson is having her first European retrospective at the Jeu de Paume, showcasing three decades of her work. The exhibition includes drawings, still photos, and her beautifully crafted photo/verse pieces. While all of her pieces are stunning, her ability to combine words and photography to illustrate racial and sexual paradigms is particularly subtle, making these pieces, and the issues they represent, feel singularly alive.
May 18; May 24-27: Portes Ouvertes de Belleville & Nuit Europeenne des Musees: So many people come to the city ready to discover the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, and other famous gems. These bastions of civilization are not too be missed, but art is usually created behind closed doors. Two events this month will give Parisians a wonderful glimpse into both arenas. A whopping 157 museums and galleries across the city – including the big guns above – will remain open late into the night on May 18th for the Nuit Europeenne des Musees. The following week, the creative haven that is Belleville hosts its portes ouvertes from May 24 – 27, 4 days during which artists open their ateliers to the public. Art made and art in the making, all open for the viewing pleasure of the people.
May 23-26: The summer music festival season is officially in motion! Villette Sonique, the annual May fest featuring rock, electronic and experimental music is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and hosting names like the Flaming Lips, TNGHT, and The Intelligence from May 23 – 26. Daytime concerts are free, but be sure to get tickets to your favorite night shows, which are on sale now.