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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!

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.

'18 Heures - 18 Francs' - is how the poster, which looks like it's a rerun from last year, puts it. Paris film houses, in cooperation with the city, will be offering 18 hours' worth of movies for only 18 francs. All yours, from Wednesday,10. March to Thursday, 18. March. At a cinema near you, if you happen to be in Paris.

Last Chance - 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. (Take a look at 'Scene' from several weeks ago 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.

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. What might have been better, is Dr. Gachet's death portrait of Van Gogh; one of the best paintings he did.

Dr. Paul Gachet was probably the first 'fan' of the Impressionists. He urged Pissarro to organize sales of the 'co-operative' members paintings, to aid 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.

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. This 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. Until Sunday, 14. March. Until Sunday, 30. May, you can also see the 'Courant Continu' show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. The address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. 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, thenposter: moliere rimbaud 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.

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.

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.

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 goingposter: musee zadkine to take a look at this. Pierre-Claude de Castro and 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.

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.

Paris 'Winter Bus' Public 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.

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.

'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.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Painters At the Marine Museum - For the 36th time, the Musée de la Marine is presenting new additions to its ever-growing collection of marine paintings. 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. The main 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.

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.

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. Entry: 12 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Paris' Exceedingly 'Long' Mois de la Photo - 10th Edition: - is declared 'over' by me. Luckily we have the Web and the very long 'Mois de la Photo' goes on forever. There should be a complete program; possibly with dates for the coming of the 11th edition, in October. Meanwhile, check on the current exhibitions.

The street name of the Web site mentioned above is Maison Européenne de la Photo and its address is 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.

Last Chance - 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 for the rink. Ice-skate rentals. Until Sunday, 7. March 1999. Open from 9:00 to 22:00 daily.

Another Last Chance - Circus Alexis Gruss: - is '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.

Closed - Temporarily - The Maison de Balzac is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen on Thursday, 20. May, for the exhibition, 'La Toise du Savant et de Vertige du Fou - Figures de l'Artisteposter: theatre athenee Chez Balzac.' The museum's library remains open until Saturday, 3. April; then it will close until 18. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Scheduled Eclipse Still On: - Do more than tie a string to your finger, to remember this. 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, which is not too shabby considering this is about the maximum amount of sun we see.

This sort of celestial event has not occurred since 1724 when Louis XV was a young lad of 14. If you can't make up your mind, 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 'All Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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