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La Poste Goes Into High Gear - Soon to be severed from the cash-cow of France Telecom, the French postal service is exapandingbrochure: la poste catalogue its business activities. One traditional area, philatelic services, have started their marketing machine by putting out new catalogues at a rapid rate.

Number one for 1999 has 60 pages and features this year's stamp for Saint-Valentine's Day, along with everything else. Also featured is the 'Cérès' issue that will be produced for 'Philexfrance,' to take place from 2 to 11. July. This international event will mark La Poste's 150th anniversary.

La Poste is also having an 'open doors' day next Saturday, 6. February, from 10:00 to 18:30. Location is 18. Rue François-Bonvin, Paris 15. Métro: Volentiers or Sèvres-Lecourbe. There will be a special exhibit of engraving on the third floor, as well as a buffet with hot drinks.

'La Poste's' services for philatelists are accessible by the Web to interested collectors. Although it is not explicit that La Poste takes foreign orders, it does offer information about its subscription service in English, German, Spanish and Italian, in addition to French. La Poste also accepts payments made with Visa or Mastercard.

Tropiques Métis - It is difficult to tell whether France belongs it its former colonies or the other way around; for they are very much present in everyday life. Guadeloupe, Guyane, Martinique and Réunion export not only people to France, but music, art, folklore, lifestyle and food too.

There is a program of plays and Carnaval workshops for the young, on Wednesdays in January and March. Toss in a bit - 400 years - of history, and you can find it all in one place until 12. April, at the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires. 6. avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris 6.

This is inside the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Métro: Sablons, in Neuilly, plus a seven-minute walk. Open daily except Tuesday, from 9:30 to 17:15. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Galleries Louise Weiss - The modern art galleries grouped in the rue Louise Weiss, Paris 13, are again staging a new collection of exhibitions. The latest inbrochure: bourgeat, louise weiss the series opened today, 30. January and runs until Saturday, 6. March.

Opening hours are usually from 14:00 to 19:00 daily, except for all of them being closed on Mondays. All galleries: métro Chevaleret. The illustration here is untitled, by Lilian Bourgeat. You can see it 'live' at the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

'Untitled,' by Lilian Bourgeat, at the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

I have also a special note, saying that there will be a special event, featuring the launching of four books. This is on Saturday, 6. February, from 17:00 to 20:00, at four of the galleries: the Galeries Jennifer Flay, Aimine Rech, Emmanuel Perrotin and at Art : Concept.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Painters At the Marine Museum - For a pleasant museum full of many wonders. For the 36th time, the Musée de la Marine is presenting its ever-growing collection of marine paintings. Many of these are done by 'official' navy painters, but the exhibition also shows works by independent artists.

Except for Tuesdays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:50. Musée de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro.

Royal Paintings: - actually in the Ile-de-France, at Fountainbleau, there is an exhibition of a collection of 48 paintings grouped together for the first time. Some of these are decor for royal surroundings, and Rubens was among the 'decorators,' which will give you an idea of the class of the act.

The Musée du Château de Fontainbleau, is in Fontainbleau with a lot of other sights to see, and is 65 km by road from Paris. Trains go there too, but my Michelin map does not say from where - except that I can see the tracks run along the Seine past Melun - I guess from the Gare de Lyon, since the RER line 'D' runs to Melun from there. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and open from 9:30 to 12:30, and from 14:00 to 17:00 all other days. Info. Tel.: 01 60 71 50 70.

23rd Paris International Marathon - The Marathon International de Paris - isbrochure: fetischfilm fest to be run on Sunday, 4. April 1999. To register, try the fax number 33 -1 41 33 15 69, or give the Web site a hit.

Until 19. March, the entry charges are 250 francs for residents, and to 370 francs - US$75, 115 DM - for visitors. The rates for signing up after 19. March are quite a bit higher and entries are limited to 25,000. If you wait and the quota is full on the sign-up deadline, you'll be out of luck.

The poster for FFF '99, the festival you don't want your kids to see.

If this big-time stuff is not your beat, there is also a Semi-Marathon; which will be run in Paris on Sunday, 7. March 1999. Take your pick.

Paris' Exceedingly 'Long' Mois de la Photo - 10th Edition: - This annual 'one-month' event kicked off late last October and is continuing well into the new year. Luckily we have the Web and the very long 'Mois de la Photo' has its own site, where there should be a complete program; possibly with dates running right up to the beginning of the 11th edition, in October.

If you are in Paris, some of the contents of the Web site above can been seen hanging on walls at the Maison Européenne de la Photo, 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Another Photo-Web sites worth a visit is Centre National de la Photo, which is located in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11. rue Berryer, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 53 76 12 32.

L'Antre Magique - is the 'first Magic theatre for enfants' where card tricks are shown with 'nothing up the sleeves' because the little dears don't have any. This has been dreamed up by Christian Gambin.

There are afternoon sessions from 14:30 to 16:00 and 'Soirées Fantastiques' at 20:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Afternoons are on Wednesday, Saturday, Sundays and holidays. L'Antre Magique, 50. rue Saint-Georges, Paris 9. Metro: Notre-Dame de Lorette. Info. Tel.: 01 39 15 84 48.

Giacometti, Richier, Gutfreund: - Exhibition 'Bourdelle et Ses Elèves,' at the Musée Bourdelle until Sunday, 7. February.

Don Juan by Molière - continues until Saturday, 13. February. This production is a 'création collective' by the Footsbarn Traveling Theatre. Performances are on Tuesdays at 19:00, the rest of the week at 20:00 and at 16:00 on Sundays. In the Grand Salle of the Athenée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet, Square de l'Opéra-Louis Jouvet, 7. Rue Boudeau, Paris 9. Métro: Harve Caumartin. Info. Tel.: 01 53 05 19 19.

Sauver Assise! - at the Musée du Petit Palais until Sunday, 14. February.

The Musée Carnavalet - has 'Le Vieux Moscou en photos, 1880 to 1915' and this continues until Sunday, 14. February, if you haven't seen it yet.

The Pavillon des Arts - has an exhibition of soviet views - 'Art for the Masses.' This show also seems to be called '1917-1991, La Photographie Soviétique - Mirroir de Son Temps.' It can be seen at the Forum des Halles on the Lautréamont Terrace, by the Porte Rambuteau. Until Sunday, 14. February.

Rembrandt et Amsterdam in Paris: - at the Institut Néerlandais, 121. rue de Lille, Paris 7. Métro: Assemblée Nationale. Except Mondays, daily from 13:00 to 19:00, until Sunday, 14. February.

La Fuite en Egypte - is by Bruno Bayen and most of the multi-page brochure about it is by him too, except for the parts by Robert Graves, Gérard Manly Hopkins and Georges Perec. The cast is four and there are 10 in the orchestra. Until Sunday, 14. February; from Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30 and on Sundays at 16:00. All of this can be found at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, 41. Avenue des Grésillons in Gennenvilliers, which is across the Seine from Clichy. Métro: Gabriel-Péri, on line 13. Info. Tel.: 01 41 32 26 26.

La Maison du Peuple - is a novel written by Louis Guilloux and it is being performed as a theatre piece on the 100th anniversary of the author's birth by the Companie Marcel Maréchal at the Théâtre du Rond-Point Champs-Elysées, from Wednesday, 27. January, but not continuously, until Saturday, 20. February; at 18:30. One price: 50 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 44 95 98 10, for exact dates and reservations.

Cashemires Parisiens: - Exhibition at the Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris. Final day is Sunday, 28. February.

Hôtel de Ville Skating Rink - Patinoire - Eisbahn:: Place de la Hôtel de Ville: the official Christmas decor is gone but the skaters keep twirling around; with two extra twirl-go-rounds at either end of ice-skating rink. No charge. Ice-skate rentals. Until 7. March 1999. Open from 9:00 to 22:00 daily.

Circus Alexis Gruss: - is Gruss senior and he goes in for 'classic' circus, elegant circus, circus with non-stop costumes and the main acts are done by dancing horses and lesser acts have lots of trained animals too. Until Sunday, 7. March; on the Pelouse de Madrid, in the Bois de Boulogne. Métro: Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 96 22.

Les Musées de France: - have a mail-order catalogue which you can order to have delivered to you. Write with your name and address to Les Musées de France, 60505 Chantilly Cedex, France. The catalogue can also be picked up at their shop, in the Forum des Halles, Porte Berger, level 2; from Monday to Saturday, from 10:30 to 19:15. Info. Tel.: 03 44 58 44 07 or Fax.: 33 3 44 62 80 25.

Long-Range Planning Department: - Makebrochure: zweig, guichet montparnasse a careful note and keep it where you can find it. There will be an eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August, between 12:16 and 12:32. In Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages, it will be total; in Paris only 90 percent.By Stefan Zweig - at the Guichet Montparnasse with two plays.

Baring dense clouds, this will be very visible - or is it nearly invisible? - in the Paris region; something which has not occurred since 1724 when Louis XV was a young lad of 14. Still undecided? The next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If eclipses are your bag, book your flight today!

Some of the above items have been carried over for many issues of this magazine. If you require more information - such as addresses or phone numbers - check 'Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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