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 17:30 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

The Musée Zadkine - Strange Beds; I am going to take a look at this. Pierre-Claude de Castro andbrochure: l'euro pour bientot - ratp Alain Sonneville want me to see theirs. These two nighttime museum guards have some sort of exhibition which features their after-work fold-up or down beds, mixed with administrative notes about their jobs, against a background of Ossip Zadkine's 'Odalisque' and 'Dormeuse,' all under the subhead of 'Inactions Interpassives.' In short, it's all Dada!

Musée Zadkine, 100. bis, Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin or RER, Port Royal. Except Mondays, open from 10:00 to 17:30. After 17:30, Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville need the museum to guard.

Strange Movies - I guess this is what you may see if you intend taking part in the first 'FFF 99 Paris' which is shorthand for the 'Fetisch Film Fest.' Oops, I see that this involves 'alternative' sex, bizarre behavior and other weird strangeness, and would probably be banned if it were on the Web instead of in three Paris cinemas. For people who enjoy fantasies only.

The fifty non-U movies can be seen at L'Espace Saint-Michel, 7. Place Saint-Michel, Paris 5. - Tel.: 01 44 07 20 49; Le Latina, 20. Rue du Temple, Paris 4. - Tel.: 01 42 78 47 86; and Action Christine, 4. Rue Christine, Paris 6. - Tel.: 01 43 29 11 30.

Lettre d'Une Inconnue - is a play by Stefan Zweig that alternates with his 'Souvenirs d'Un Européen-Fragments,' until Saturday, 13. March. The first is on stage Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 19:00; and the latter plays on Mondays and Fridays, also at 19:00. At Le Guichet - Montparnasse, 15. Avenue du Maine, Paris 14. Métro: Gaité. Info. Tel.: 01 43 27 88 61, or get tickets at fnac, Kiosques or Crous.

Who Are The French? - This exhibition - called 'Toute la France' - is about all the people who immigrated to France from 1880 to the present, and there are around 700 items on view - quite a lot of them 'arty.' The names in a 'Who's Who' in France would look like they've come from the world's edition of a telephone directory.

Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, 129. Rue de Grenelle, Paris 7. Métro: Varenne or Solférino. From Tuesday to Friday, from 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:30; Thursdays to 19:00. On Saturday from 12:30 to 17:30 and on Sundays from 14:00 to 17:30.

The RATP's 'Winter Bus' Tours: - Some of these are to sites in Paris and some are further away; many tours cost about 200 francs, but there are some for less and some for more.

All of this can be found at a little RATP office, just to the right side of the Madeleine. At the same kiosk, there are also a series of attractive brochures for the RATP's regular Paris bus lines. If in need, but sure to check out the nearby public toilet; as it is a jewel and may be classed as a historical monument.

The 'Winter Bus' season continues until 30. March 1999. The kiosk is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The 'Summer Bus' season has longer opening hours and is open on weekends.

La Poste Goes Into High Gear - Soon to be severed from the cash-cow of France Telecom, the French postal service is expanding its business activities. One traditionalbrochure: fort - cite numerique - issy 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 '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.

Issy buys Army fortress, to build 'Cité Numerique.'

'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.

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. On account of the International peace talks taking place in Fontainbleau, be sure to phone first.

Tropiques Métis: - is a program of plays and Carnival 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.

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.

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.

Kafka - His 'A la Colonie Penitentiaire,' translated by A. Vialatte and directed by Yves Kerboul, started on the boards at the Théâtre du Tour Tour on 5. January, but does not seem to have an 'until' date - except for the mention that there will be no performances on 26 or 27. February. The address is 20. Rue Quincampoix, Paris 4. Métro: Châtelet. Resa and Info. Tel.: 01 48 87 82 48.

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: - Make a careful note and keep it where you can find it. Doposter: richard galliano trio not thumb-tack it to your refrigerator door. 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.

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. Can't make up your mind? The next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If eclipses are your bag, book your flight today for this year!

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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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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