Friday, January 18, 2013

Something for the Weekend (January 18th - 20th)

Temperatures have plummeted in Paris over the last few days, and this weekend promises to be one of the coldest this winter, but nevertheless here a few ideas to get you out from under the duvet.

A Giant Pillow Fight
If you are sheltering under the duvet, why not instead pick up your pillow on Sunday and head out to this giant happening in Paris?

Details remain sketchy for the moment, but you can keep up to date with the event - including the meeting point and time - on this page:

Exploring a little-known Paris
Urbanism institution the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, along with the Promenades Urbaines association and the musée Carnavalet will be conducting 14 guided walks this weekend across a series of seldom-visited 'quartiers' in the north, east and south of Paris.

All walks are free, but you will need to reserve your place beforehand. See here for more information:

Paris Face Cachée
Although not taking place for another two weeks, it is very important to plan ahead if you want to be involved in any of the Paris Face Cachée events. Many have already been fully reserved, but another set of 'experiences' will be put online for reservation on Wednesday January 23rd. Be quick if you want to take part.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Something for 2013

A new year begins in Paris, and despite restricted budgets there are still many things to look forward to. Here is a small selection.

Architecture and Urbanism
With municipal elections looming in 2014, the current team are planning to get as many projects as possible finished this year. Here are just a few of the new developments that we can expect in the coming months.
The Seine riverbank
Some see it as mayor Delanoë's continued war against the motor car, others a necessary reclamation of the city's waterways, but a further chunk of the riverbank will be opened up to pedestrians this Spring. This section is close to the Musée d'Orsay, and will see floating gardens and a selection of sporting facilities.

For more information:

Place de la Republique

Another development with the needs of pedestrians firmly in mind is the regeneration of the Place de la République. Long a starting point for political demonstrations, it had also been a wasted - and rather ugly - giant roundabout. In June, over half of the Place will be pedestrianised, with artists' impressions showing cheerful people sipping drinks at cafés in the new piazza. The reality will probably be a new, more comfortable home for the drunks that have always congregated here, but at least it will better than before.

For more information:

The Carreau du Temple
To the south of the Place de la Republique is another long-awaited redevelopment, the reopening of the old Carreau du Temple market. In a zone that has become ever more fashionable since work began on this project, the opening of a new large space that will be able to organise exhibitions, live performances and sporting events is sure to be a successful one.

The Louxor cinema
One of the oldest surviving cinemas in Paris, Le Luxour, will re-open this Spring, 15 years after it last closed its doors. Completely reworked inside, but still proudly displaying its Egyptian-influenced facade, it will be dedicated to the 'cinema of the south'.

For more information:  

The Jardin Pajol

Described as being the first energy-positive large-scale building in a built-up city, the Halle Pajol is the regeneration of an old railway maintenance shed alongside the tracks leading to the Gare de l'Est. Although this building - which has kept the iron framework, but rebuilt with wood and other 'natural' materials - is already partially open, it is the indoor garden that people are particularly looking forward to visiting.

For more information:

With budgets stretched, there are no blockbuster exhibitions scheduled this year. Nevertheless, expect these shows to keep visiter numbers ticking over.

Chagall entre guerre et paix
From 21 February to 21 July 2013
Musée du Luxembourg

L'ange du bizarre
Gothic fans will be pleased with this investigation of the 'romantisme noir', with over 200 creations from Goya to Max Ernst featuring spirits, witches and demons!
From 5 March to 9 June
Musée d'Orsay 

Keith Haring
From 19 April to 18 August
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Roy Lichtenstein
From 3 July to 4 November
Centre Pompidou

Frida Kahlo et Diego Rivera 
Autumn 2013
Musée de l'Orangerie  

Regular events
It is the year of South Africa in France, so expect a regular season of events from May to December. In addition to this, there will also be the now traditional calendar or events and happenings in the city. See below for the dates.
  • Chinese new year: Feb 10th
  • Nuit des Musées: May 18th
  • Fête de la Musique: June 21st
  • Paris Plages: July/August
  • Journées du Patrimoine: September 14th/15th
  • Nuit Blanche: October 5th