Scene - Banlieues Bleues '99

photo: wet street near villiers

Ordinary winter in an ordinary Paris street.

And Other Marathons, Plus Year of the Hare

Paris:- Saturday, 13. February 1999:- If you like the Blues and you don't mind the 'Burbs, then you'll want to take in all or some of the 16th edition of Banlieues Bleues which takes off in various locations in Seine-Saint-Denis starting Tuesday, 9. March.

If you live in some place where you are blue but there are no Blues around, you may as well get yourself over here because this festival features 57 groups and lasts for six weeks, until Friday, 16. April. This is a lota Blues and a lota Banlieues!

Mal Waldron is coming with his new 'New York Trio' to add some Jazz to the Blues, and Archie Shepp will be here too along with Cecil Taylor. Other 'names' are Ali Farka Touré, Ahmad Djamal, Eddy Louiss, Dianne Reeves, and a whole lot of other good people.

Besides individual entries, there are combo tickets available. For reservations or more information, Info. Tel.: 01 49 22 10 10, or Fax.: 33 1 49 22 10 11.

Chinese New Year - festivities started tonight for the New Year, which is on Tuesday. The big Lion Dance parade will take place next Sunday, 21. February. Mr. Phi called me up to say it starts at noon, possibly on the Avenue d'Ivry, passes to the Avenue de Choisy, and heads for the Mairie at the Place de l'Italie.

To make sure I get everything right Mr. Phi sent me a fax that has suffered in transmission. Basically, the celebration is all of next weekend, from 9:00 to 18:00, on the streets mentioned above, with Kung-Fu and Chinese 'knots' included.

There will also be an exhibition of paintings and calligraphy at the Centre d'Animation le Rond-Point Baudricourt, whichbrochure: maison roue libre - ratp is at 6. Rue Simone Weil, and the entry is free. In addition, there will also be cultural happenings at the Centre Catholique Chinois, 29. Avenue de Choisy, on both Saturday and Sunday. Finally, a Chinese meal will be served at 12:30 on Sunday for 50 francs; most likely at the Centre Catholique Chinois. Thank you, Mr. Phi.

Paris' Bike Days - are coming around again and the RATP has opened up a new(?) centre in the centre of the city where bikes can be rented and tours can be joined. Bikes can also be parked and they can do small repairs too. So make a note of it: La Maison Roue Libre is at 95. bis, Rue Rambuteau, Paris 1. This is on the north side of the Forum des Halles. Open all the time from 9:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 53 46 43 77.

'Carnets' for Euros - if you have Euro cheques or Euro plastic, the RATP will start accepting the new currency on Monday, 15. March for payment when you buy métro tickets, carnets, weekly or monthly tickets, or any of the combo passes they sell. Apparently you can do this already, but on 15. March all prices will be posted in Euros and francs.

2nd Festival Japon - Up on the top of the Grande Arche, at La Défense. This large exhibition is the final show of a cultural exchange which started in May of 1997.

More than 300 works, honored in Yokohama, by bothposter: 2nd festival japon Japanese and French artists in all media will be on view. But you have to make a firm date to see this because it is only showing between this Tuesday, 16. February andSunday, 21. February. Organizers are Asahi Art Communication in Toyko, and Art Sanjo and Artec in Paris. 'Artec/Galerie A Part' has a hyperlink because it's on the same server as Metropole.

Festival Japon - Grande Arche at La Défense; métro and RER: La Défense. Entry seems to be free but the elevator costs 40 francs for the ride up. Open from 10:30 to 19:00.

The 7th Paris Semi-Marathon: - The Semi-Marathon de Paris - is to be run on Sunday, 7. March 1999. To register, try the fax number 33 -1 41 33 15 69, or give the Web site a hit.

This marathon is a mini one for those who don't like the mobs of the big one in April. (See last week's 'Scene' for details.) It starts and ends in the 13th arrondissement, west of Chinatown, goes through the lower 12th and around the Bois de Vincennes. The three catering locations are run by Chinatown's Tang Frères, so you may want to go along just for the food.

It's Still Carnival Time! - for a town which has no 'official' carnival, there is a lot of it around. Some of it was today in Dunkirk, and TV-news showed revelers there having a gaudy time, with the mayor throwing packets of stuff into a huge crowd from the city hall balcony.

Parisians, like you, like me, just wanna have fun like the good people in Dunkirk! There's some more in Paris on Tuesday, 16. February for Mardi Gras, and the last blast of it is next Saturday, 20. February.

The Divan du Monde is charging 100 francs for entry if you get tickets from fnac or Virgin; 120 francs at the door. There's lots of other carnival places too. Divan du Monde, 75. Rue des Martyrs, Paris 18. Métro: Pigalle. Info. Tel.: 01 40 25 47 31.

Richard Galliano - takes his trio for a concert trip for two shows nightly at the Sunset, 60. Rue des Lombards, Paris 1. From Wednesday, 17. February to Sunday, 28. February; except Sundays and Mondays. Tickets available at fnac, Virgin and Billetel. Info. Tel.: 01 40 26 46 60.

Un Ami de Cézanne et Van Gogh; le Docteur Gachet. The poster all over Paris features the Van Gogh portrait of the good Dr. Gachet, with whom Van Gogh stayed for the last 70 days of his life, at Auvers-sur-Oise.

Dr. Paul Gachet was probably the first 'fan' of the Impressionists. He urged Pissarro to organize sales of the 'co-operative' members paintings, to aidposter: semi-marathon de paris Daumier. Dr. Gachet suggested offering the paintings of Manet, Monet, Sisley, Piette, Gautier, Degas, Guillaumin, Cézanne... the whole co-operative. Before the first show of the 'Impressionists,' some of them were nearly starving; and Daumier was nearly blind as well.

Dr. Gachet tried to copy the styles of his friends. This has caused a problem, because most of the works in this exhibition from Gachet's collection of his friends' paintings and it is a bit unclear who painted what.

Exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, until Monday, 26. April. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 20:00; on Wednesdays until 22:00. Reservations required for visits before 13:00. Tickets available at fnac, Virgin and Carrefour. Resa Info. Tel.: 08 03 80 88 03.

David Hockney's 'Espace / Paysage' at Beaubourg - This is Hockney's first reappearance in Paris since 1974. Since then a lot of new water has been run through his ever blue pool; which now includes a hole no less than the Grand Canyon represented here with a panoramic collage of panels, 12 metres wide by three high.

The show continues until Monday, 26. April; from 10:00 to 22:00. Closed Tuesdays. This is in Beaubourg's Galerie Sud. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 46 25.

The The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg: is open from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53 and Fax.: 33 1 42 72 97 47.

There is also an exhibition of David Hockey's photographs, taken from 1968 to 1997, at the Maison Européenne de la Photo. The address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Until Sunday, 14. March. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Cent Ans d'Histoire de Paris - Is not just about the past 100 years, but about the efforts of the 'Commission du Vieux Paris' to save old Paris before the bulldozers turn it into first rubble, then into designer-plastic. Along the way, the Commission pushes Paris' history back 5,000 years, by showing a 7,000-year-old pot, found in a local building site. Great stuff!

Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, 5. Rue de Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. Until Tuesday, 31. March. From 11:00 to 19:00 daily, except Mondays. No entry charge. Exhibition catalogue available.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme - this museum opened for the first time in its new incarnation on 6. December of last year, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. This is 'in' the Marais, in the rue du Temple at number 71; Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Since it is a new museum, there is also an Internet address you can write to for information.

Oskar Kokoschka, 1906 - 1931 - North-Central Europe's master of the modern - no friend of Adolf Hitler, a failed fellow-Austrian - hmm, well, Oskar was IT! Oskar's times were tough and he painted them tougher. See this show. At the Musée-Galerie de la Seita, 12. Rue Surcouf, Paris 7. Métro: Invalides. Closed Mondays and holidays; open from 11:00 to 19:00. Entry: 25 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 45 56 60 17.

Mark Rothko at the Museum of Modern Art: 70 works are on display, done between 1935 and 1969. This amounts to a span of work covering 34 years and it is arranged in chronological order; so you can see either where the artist was going or where he came from. Until Sunday, 18. April.

Rosemarie Trockel and Casten Höller live and work in Köln and they have ten installations called 'Maisons' at the Musée d'Art Moderne until Sunday, 28. March. Also, until the same date, see the works of Peter Fischli and David Weisse, from Zurich. Focused on flowers, their work is made up of superimposed photographic projections.

Musée d'Art Moderne, 11; Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Place de l'Alma. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 1730 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

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