Valerie June (©Matt Wignall)
One of the welcome harbingers of summer has to be the season’s music festival circuit. After a long winter and a dreary, cold spring, all anyone really wants to do is pass the days outdoors. Add some great music and dancing, and everyone feels a little better. There is truly something for everyone as far as summer concerts go, but a few of my favorites this month include the Paris Jazz Festival (June 8 – 28), Fete de la Musique (June 21), and Solidays (June 28 – 30). Sounds will vary from laid-back jazz to popular names like Parov Stelar, The Hives, and Django Django, to name just a few.
Last month pop shop Merci opened its online boutique, and this month Frenchie intends to serve up a to-go menu… I am loving this democratization of Parisian favorites. Frenchie has been touted by foodies and taste makers as one of the top Parisian restaurants over the past few years, and I can only imagine their to-go dishes, rumored to include casual fare like bacon-sprinkled doughnuts, fish and chips, and a Pastrami Reuben made with house-cured meat, will be some of the best in the city as well.
La Pointe du Groin: Thierry Breton of Chez Michel, a favorite for Breton fare in Paris, has opened a new locale, La Pointe du Groin, and it’s deliciousness for the masses. A beautiful wine list, a wonderfully affordable menu of small plates (like 4 euros affordable)… And I can barely express just how much I love a good kouign amann – a simple pastry from Brittany that has a gluttonous amount of butter and sugar, the later of which caramelizes perfectly as it bakes – so its presence on the dessert menu at La Pointe du Groin is thrilling. Great noshes and wine that won’t break the bank? A guaranteed favorite.
I love the Marais (as so many others do) for the charm it retains despite its popularity with bobos and tourists alike. It is still an intimate-feeling, gallery-filled neighborhood of winding Parisian streets that beg aimless meandering. There is a plethora of gorgeous galleries that dot the neighborhood, but this month we’re recommending Six Elzevir. We happen to know the wonderful woman behind the space and promise the art is worth seeking out. This month “Figures” by Stéphane Simon is on view until June 9th and “En chantier,” Arnaud Madelénat until June 16th.
June 4 – 9: A Paris treasure hunt meets pop-up museum in Designer’s Days, a six-day city-wide event that takes you to various locales where the latest in French and International design is on display, with concentrations near the Rue du Bac in St Germain and throughout the Marais. Events start today and run through the 9th, and consist of studio visits, expositions, and talks… An in-depth view of what is happening in the world of design.
June 28 – July 9: Another set of events to draw you outdoors: Festival Paris Cinema presents screenings from June 28 – July 9 around the city — from the Forum des images to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France – showcasing talents from around the globe, including some of Cannes’ recent darlings.
In addition to the actual screenings, there are retrospectives and tributes to some of the greats – Natacha Régnier, William Kentridge, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and even a nod to street art inspired by the current Keith Haring exhibition — a Cinema Flea Market, and, if you’re brave enough to show off your vocal skills, a cinema-themed karaoke at the party put on by Centquatre.
American Musical Theatre Live! Paris, a non-profit that is bringing professional American theater and related to Paris, is presenting two off-Broadway shows this month, both in English. The last 5 years by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown has shows on June 27 – 28 and July 6, 9, 10, 11, and Edges by Tony nominees Benj Pasek & Justin Paul on June 13 – 15.