A Case of Severe 'Event-Fatique'

Au Vieux Paris - wine bar
This restaurant and wine bar is in the
'island' part of the Ile-de-la-Cité.

Even Reading Invitations to Openings Wears Me Out

by Ric Erickson

Issue 2.24:- Metropole Paris - Monday, 16. June 1997:- June is a lunatic month in Paris. The whole purpose of France is either to get ready for the summer holidays, or recover from them. I don't know if it has always been like this - say - when the Romans were setting the tone 1,800 years ago, or is a fairly recent manifestation.

Every little neighborhood has its fêtes and the are even street-corner events. Schools have their annual pre-holiday galas, as do all clubs, associations and other odd groups and if there is no particular excuse at all, then there is a fireworks display.

Even in the tiny village where I hang my coat, there are too many events. What I originally thought was a one-weekend Seine quai, Ile-de-la-Cite festival in nearby Marly-le-Roi for its 1,300th anniversary, has turned out to be a long-run show, now in its second month.

More Seine, more quais and more of the small Ile-de-la-Cité.

The weekend editions of Le Parisien routinely carry a listing of weekend events. The edition I get on Saturdays, is for the Yvelines department, and this program alone is now running to two full pages - and doesn't include all the things that are going on - listed in the larger Paris section of the same edition of the paper.

Last night's evening TV news was almost fully devoted to the most outstanding events, but that might be because the politicos are worn out after their recent efforts to get re-elected.

I don't even try to keep up with it. It is over-stimulating. If everybody was out of work, then these things could be spread out over a whole week and there might be a chance to take in two features a day - if you are a real 'events' person - but I kind of think the powers would rather that we work.

If we went out to all the events we could, then we wouldn't have time to sit at home with our feet up, watching advertising on TV. If we didn't do that, then the whole funky western world would collapse, and we wouldn't be able to afford to buy new high-tech toothbrushes In the flower market or go to any events further away than walking distance.

Inside at the flower market on the Ile-de-la-Cité, while the storm blows overhead.

I do that sometimes. For you, dear reader, I sometimes I walk 250 metres on a weekend to the Mairie, to see a photo expo or a raffle or a jumble sale or kids dancing in our low-end town park; take a couple of shots, catch some ambiance, and wrap up the whole excursion up in 30 minutes.

Well, em, I did that last year. This year I've got 'event-fatigue.' There are about 30 days left to go this year: get the Bastille Day out of the way, and do the last loop on the Champs-Elysées with the Tour de France - and then off with the clothes and flop in the sun for a month.

The French call it 'bronzé-idiot' but I call it common sense. There is something very soothing about watching the horizon of the Mediterranean, while it doesn't do much.

Some More Coming Events:-

Fête de Saint-Jean

One night only: a week from Tuesday at 23:00, on the quai Saint-Bernard. This is by the Jardin des Plantes on the left bank and across the Seine from the Arsenal area on the right bank. What is it? Fireworks! Why? It's Saint-Jean's Day of course, or what's left of it.

The Foire Saint-Germain

This is an annual series of events, with 820 years of history behind it. There is singing, dancing, theatre, exhibitions of paintings and artists, and book sellers' stands - mostly located at the place Saint-Suplice. This 'foire' runs to the end of the month. Find the program at the Mairie of the 6th, at 78 rue Bonaparte, or phone 01 40 46 75 12 for more information.

César, the Sculptor

See examples of his heavy-duty modern works, done from the early 1950's through to the '70's; some of it done with welding torches.

Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume
Place de la Concorde, Paris 8. Until 19. October; from 12:00 to 19:00 weekdays, to 21:30 on Tuesdays, and 10:00 to 19:00 on weekends. Closed Mondays. Info Tel.: 01 47 03 12 50.

Acrobat Mime Parfait, l'Artiste en Figue Libre

This new show is another sculpture exhibition of the works by many artists, around the theme of the self-portrait, suggesting Statue of Henri IV the artists as acrobats. Works are from the first half of this century, and names such as Borofsky, Calder, Chagall, Klee, Klein, Léger, and go on with many more through Picasso to Ossip Zadkine. Judging by the names, maybe it isn't all sculpture - or even any; but all sorts of self-portraits. The openings are always on days when I can't go and when I can, there are no openings. This looks like it's one of the big summer shows, and I'll be sorry if I miss it.

Musée Zadkine

From Wednesday, 18. June until Sunday, 14. September.
100 bis, rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin - this museum is just to the south of the Luxembourg Gardens.
Open every day from 10:00 to 17:30, except Mondays and public holidays.

Fête des Tuileries

If your kids are wearing you out complaining about being dragged through modern art shows, get your credit charged up and take them to the annual 'fête forain' in the Tuileries Gardens; It starts next Saturday and runs until Sunday, 24. August.

Features rides, ferris wheel with good view of the Louvre and Rivoli, plus the usual ikky cotton candy junk. Open daily from 11:00 to midnight, and to 01:00 on Fridays, Saturdays and the eve of public holidays. Métro Tuileries will get you there. There are also plenty of other things to sneak off and do while your kids are whirling around, so let them have their wretched excesses.

Check out the World Cup France 98 Web site if you are seriously interested in this football extravaganza, which will be inescapable next summer, if it isn't ruined by overkill before then.

This site is in both English and French, so you can brush up on player's names in either language. I had a look at it and it seems to already have much more than I want to know about the event - but if you are a true fan, you can't get enough, can you?

Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 1.18 - 24. June 1996 featured the columns - Metropole 'Diary' - One to One: Reader-Editorial Interactivity; and 'Au Bistro' - France Is Holding Its Breath. Articles in the issue were: Lounging at Trocadéro and Former 'Bottle House' is Now Respectable, also about Trocadéro. There was a debut restaurant review, entitled 'Bring Little Money and No Tipping' and another film review, the "Conte d'Eté" - "A Summer Tale." A reader wanted to know if the avenue Foch was still intimidating; plus the week's Paris Posters and Ric's Cartoon of the Week.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 2000:

Only 929 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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