When in Rome, Do Paris

photo: ile saint louis

Hardly a 'Scene,' but high in popularity - the Ile Saint-Louis.

Not On this Summer - the World Cup

Paris:- Saturday, 3. April 1999:- Well, well, here we are, right after the beginning of the new year, in April already. The printing presses have rolled at last so now there are fairly complete programs for the coming months; to the end of June at least.

These are not all in this week's column because if I put them in now I wouldn't be working on anything else, and this page would be bigger than the whole rest of the magazine - so I'll continue feeding it in a bit at a time.

Paris will also have special summer events, and not all of these have been announced. One of these events this year is not the World Cup, although the FIFA football people are talking about having the big show every two years instead of every four. Paris will probably not get the Olympics it wants either, with Athens having wrapped them up for 2004 (is this the right year?), but rules can be changed if the bid it high enough.

The advantage of not having
really big over-organized events is having little, locally-organized events, which reflect how Paris and the Ile-de-France really are - as these are put together by local people for local people, and visitors get a 'bonus' show. These will be coming up for you this spring and summer.

Attention: Romans! - Paris and Rome were twinned a few years back. In Rome, residents can get a Paris museum pass, which allows free entry to most the city's museums - not the national museums - and of course it works in reverse for Parisians too. However, to get the 'Carte Paris-Rome' you need to be able to prove residence, so this is not for everybody. I for one, will have to pay to get into the Mercati Traianei e Foro di Traiano.

Les Hommes - in 100 films, starts on Wednesday with 'Husbands' by John Cassavetes and 'Women' by George Cukor - at theposter: les hommes, forum des imagesForum des Images, and continues until 29. June. This is in the Forum des Halles, by the Porte Saint-Eustache entry, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

La Poste is getting ready for its Philexfrance 99 exhibition in July with a three-stamp block, named 'Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'Art.' This block features the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Delacroix' La Liberté, on a sheet with the Chatte de Bastet. The face price of 50 francs also includes a pass to the exhibition.

'La Poste's' services for philatelists are accessible by the Web to interested collectors. La Poste offers 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.

Musée Rambolitrain - may be an odd name, but it is one of the very few model train museums around. It has more than 4,000 engines and wagons and 400 metres of tiny tracks. According to the photos, there are also steam trains for riding, and a special weekend for them is planned for Mayday. Open on holidays, but otherwise open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:30. Entry for big people is 22 francs and for normal people from four to 12 it is 14 francs. In Rambouillet, 4. Place Jeanne d'Arc. Info. Tel.: 01 34 83 15 93.

Jean Racine 1699-1999 - gets a big remembrance in the Yvelines department this spring, with theatre, conferences, tours, an exhibition and concerts being staged. For detailsbrochure: program ile de france of the full program, try the Web site for the Ile-de-France, which is not the same as the one mentioned in earlier issues.

In addition to the city of Paris, the Ile-de-France is composed of seven other departments. Yvelines gets mentioned a lot because of Versailles and Saint Germain- en-Laye, but the biggest department, Seine-et-Marne gets mentioned only seldom, even though it is the location of our local Disneyland. Check out the Web site for details.

Musée Française de la Photographie - is not in Paris but in Bièvres, which is in the Essonne part of the Ile-de-France. The museum is marked clearly on my map, but it must be a hard place to get to, as it is off the N118, on the D53, between Bièvres and the horrible intersection at Vélizy-Petit Clamart. There is a train line running through Bièvres, between Versailles-Chantiers and Massy-Palaiseau, but the museum is a good 1700 metres from the station.

But if you are brave enough to read this, then you are brave enough to go and see the exhibition of photos by Chrystèle Lerisse, which starts on Saturday and continues until 20. July. Although there will be 60 photos on view, all shot between 1995 and 1998, they will be presented in the format of the negative: six by six centimetres. If adventure is your game, the address is 78. Rue Paris, Bièvres. Info. Tel.: 01 69 35 16 50.

Le Béton à Paris - a few weeks ago I was the Pavillon de l'Arsenal to look for something and when I asked what the subject of their next exhibition would be, the fellows at the reception seemed to think reinforced-cement would not be particularly interesting. They may be right but you may be a fan of the stuff, so it's on show now. I have no start or end date for this, but it is at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, 21. Avenue Morland, Paris 4. Métro: Sully-Morland. Info. Tel.: 01 42 76 33 97.

Sporty Cars - with two doors, with and without roofs, will be on show at the Salon du Cabriolet et du Coupe from Friday, 9. April until Sunday, 11. April; from 11:00 to 22:00, Sunday only to 19:00. The 15,000 square metres of exhibition space will be devoted to some of the fancy old cars that were at 'Retromobile' but there will be plenty of new ones to see as well. At Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles.

Musicora and MusicMania - for its 15th edition the international Musicora salon celebrates voice, in addition to instruments, the artists, and the latest trends concerning the marriage of computers to music. This salon gives the visitor a chance to see France's production of musical instruments as well as hear a lot of musicians trying them out.

'MusicMania' is a parallel exhibition featuring today's sounds and Paris' own musical activities. In addition to showing instruments, music is performed in a variety of concerts, from Offenbach to classical, from jazz to children's choirs.

Musicora and MusicMania, at the Grand Halle de la Villette, Porte de Pantin, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de Pantin. From Friday, 9. April until Monday, 13. April. One entry is good for both salons. The Friday is reserved for professionals at both salons. Public hours are from 10:00 to 19:30; until 18:00 on 13. April.

Part of Musicora takes place at the nearby Cité de la Musique. Info. Tel. for Musicora: 01 49 53 27 00. Info at the Web site for MusicMania.

14th Paris Film Festival - this festival is often overlooked, but from Tuesday, 6. April until Monday, 13. April, it will be holding premieres for seven full-length feature films, which will be subject to a jury selection. For the public, the daily showing will be at 11:30, and the 'stars' will show up for autograph sessions at 12:45 and 14:00 daily. Including the 50 other non-competing films, all of this takes place at the Gaumont Marignan, 27. Avenue du Champs-Elysées, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 45 72 96 40.

The above are new or coming events. Below are events already mentioned in this column; minus the ones that have left the scene. Also below, are some of this week's new posters and other images so take a skim anyway.


Little Big Horn On the Pont des Arts - 11 near-full-size horses and 28 people are African sculptorphoto: pont des arts Ousmane Sow's representation of the principal actors of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

The Pont des Arts makes a good gallery; there is a lot of light, except at night. The bridge is a good open-air hang-out spot, and Ousmane Sow's sculptures make it very lively - his figures are very dynamic and strong.

This outdoor show is not only free, but you get to cross the Seine at the same time. The figures will remain in place until Thursday, 20. May. If you are in Paris, don't miss it - especially if you need to cross the river.

200 Years of Lithos - is a new exhibition featuring the short but revolutionary history of a modern form of art expression. At the Bibliothèque Historique, 22. rue Malher, Paris 4. The exhibition continues until Sunday, 4. April. Hours for the exhibition are daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00 and from 12:00 to 19:00 on Sundays. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 29 60.

Spring Is Here Now - and Parc Floral is having a spring bud show until 18. April. For this season, Paris has published a new edition of 'Les Jardins de Paris,' which is the practical program to the city's guided tours of its parks and gardens. The 70-page booklet is free and also contains information concerning visits for the deaf and those whose sight is not tip-top.

La Légende de Saint Julien l'Hospitalier - by Gustave Flaubert is a play, directed by Christian Rist. Flaubert was a bit depressed when he wrote this in 1877, with the title of 'Trois Contes,' so it has been around awhile. At the Théâtre de l'Aquarium, at the Cartoucherie in the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes. From the métro, there is a shuttle bus. Until 18. April, Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30 and on Sundays at 16:00. Resa Tel.: 01 43 74 99 61, or tickets at fnac outlets.

Molière et Lully - has two alternate titles of 'Le Sicilien' or 'L'Amour Peintre' and it is put on by the Théâtre de l'Impossible under the direction of Robert Bensimon. What might be giddy performances, are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at 18:00; beginning Thursday, 25. March and continuing until Sunday, 17. April. This takes places at the Théâtre Mouffetard, 73. Rue Mouffetard, Paris 5. Métro: Monge. Info. Tel.: 01 43 31 11 99.

Festival de l'Imaginaire - seems like a logical follow-up to the proceeding, and it has Chinese opera, Korean dances, African and Japanese stuff; as well as 'Vilokan' from Haiti and a Qawwali ceremony from Pakistan and a Riho de Mestia choir from Georgia, which is not the one in the US.

The Festival de l'Imaginaire has a Web site as well as an Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 72 30, to get the complete program. For reservations, call fnac at 01 45 44 41 42. At La Maison des Cultures du Monde, 101. Boulevard Raspail, Paris 6. This festival has already begun, but it continues until mid-April; so you haven't missed everything exotic yet.

A Demain Cette Nuit - is described as 'like' an 'impossible' rendezvous. If you've been to and survived the three events above, I can believe it. The best thing about this piece of musical and dancing Dada is that it comes to us thanks to Le Preau and the Centre Dramatique National located in Basse-Normandie.

Performances of 'A Demain Cette Nuit' begin on Tuesday, 23. March and continue until Saturday, 10. April; at the well-known Café de la Danse, 5. Passage Louis-Philippe, Paris 11. Métro: Bastille. Thisposter: arte - polars pur sang is the one you get to by taking the Rue de la Lappe and turning off at number 21. No show on Sundays. Tickets from fnac or Info. Tel.: 01 40 21 70 70.

On Arte TV - perhaps in your hotel room. Polars, Krimis, Cops and Robbers.

Today's Russians in Issy - this is how the announcement begins about our second lot of Russians - which is about the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Alexandr Pushkin's birth, which Issy intends to do in a big way until Sunday, 11. April.

Issy-les-Moulineaux gets this honor because of the many Russians who settled in the area after the Revolution. The show will be a double one: rare books illustrated by Russian artists and a hundred portraits by 36 painters. You will need to clear up what will be where - between Issy's Médiathèque and the Musée Française de la Carte à Jouer.

L'Age d'Or de la Céramique Chinoise - is a public exhibition of the private collection known as the Meiyintang Collection, and it features 99 selected pieces from the beginning of the Sui dynasty in 581 to the period of the Yuan dynasty, or about 1368.

Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays; until 27. June. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Autour de l'Ordonnence de Villers-Cotterêts - In August of 1539, the Chancellor of François 1st composed a general order concerning justice and the police. For good measure, two articles of this order - the 110th and 111th - also laid down the rules for the usage of the French language for the writing and editing of administrative, judicial and notarial laws or decrees.

At the Archives Nationales, Musée de l'Histoire de France, Hôtel de Soubise, 60. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Closed Tuesdays; open Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 17:45; and weekends from 13:45 to 17:45. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

The '10th Biennale de Danse' goes on in 20 towns with 50 performances, in the Val-de-Marne until Friday, 16. April. For the complete program, dates and locations, Info. Tel.: 01 46 86 70 70, or hit the Web site.

'Vivre Paris' - is an exhibition featuring 30 artists from Latin America who live and work in Paris. From the description, 'grand masters' are placed beside upcoming 'young Turks' and varying styles are placed edge to edge.

Latin-American artists have a long history of coming to Paris for inspiration, and art historian Patrick Vyvyan in Santiago is currently working on a series of articles for Metropole, detailing their history here - watch for them soon.

'Vivre Paris' can be seen at the Fondation Electricité de France's Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Until Sunday, 18. April. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Banlieues Bleues '99 - 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. 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.

David Hockney's 'Espace / Paysage' at Beaubourg - This is Hockney's first reappearance in Paris since 1974. This exhibition scenes of the Grand Canyon represented with a panoramic collage of panels, 12 metres wide by three high.

Metropole reader John McCulloch has shot similar scenes around Las Vegas with a digital camera, and these can be seen on his Web site right now.

The Hockney 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.

At the Maison Européenne de la Photo you can see the 'Courant Continu' show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. On show until Sunday, 30. May. The address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

'Saint- Pétersbourg/Vavin - is about the first lot of 'Russians' artists to invade Paris. From Vasilieff, Chagall, Soutine, Orloff, Zadkine and all the others, here are 40 of their works.

Many came from Saint Petersburg and stayed first at the atelier-village of La Ruche, to form the first 'Ecole de Paris.' Later they took over the area of the Champagne-Première and danced at the Bal Bullier.

A parallel exhibition features the little-known Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. He began at the Beaux-Arts in Florence and washed up in Paris in 1926. From the remains ofposter: carte sesame, gachet the eastern empires, he settled into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and recorded it in line, portraits and photographic halftones - the terraces and the artists.

Musée du Montparnasse, 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. The Russian show continues until 1. August. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 19:00. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

Les Rues de Paris au XVIIIe Siècle - 'As seen by Louis Sébastien Mercier.' In the years before the Revolution, the writer Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814) ploughed the streets of Paris, threaded his way through the crowds, looked in shop windows, observed the work of artisans, heard the cries of street vendors - 'for 30 years.'

Not content with this, he set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789. In 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. He knows whether Parisians were eating cakes, bread or nothing.

Paris' history museum, the Musée Carnavalet, is showing a selection of Mercier's works - reduced to 8,000 pages - along with a whole assembly of paintings, household objects and even pots and bones dug up by the Vieux Paris commission.

Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris - from Thursday, 18. March until Sunday, 20. June. 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Entry: 35 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Le Théâtre du Châtelet - will not reopen until October of this year, but the reception area of the Hôtel de Ville now has an exhibition featuring the history of Châtelet and the theatre. This exhibition is certainly worth a look even if there is no entry charge and it is open daily from 9:30 to 18:00, except on Sundays and public holidays. This exhibition continues until 15. May. At the Salon d'Accueil, 29. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 4.

The Musée de la Poupée - the Doll Museum - is hiddenphoto: musee poupee at the end of a dead-end alley, about two minutes' walk from the Pompidou Centre. The current special exhibition features rabbits and other long-eared 'objects' - until 30. May.

Photo: Janne Le Moine©1999 Musée de la Poupée

There is also a permanent exhibition of over 300 dolls, dating from 1850. These are presented in 36 scenes, along with model period furniture. The boutique, which has a separate entrance, features items made especially for the museum, and has doll parts for collectors as well as general doll souvenirs. If you have found a rare head, you can get a body for it here.

The current temporary exhibition features 'Lapins' with the subtitle, toys and objects with long ears. This continues until Sunday, 30. May.

Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Except Monday, open daily from 11:00 to 18:00. Boutique next door. From the métro stop, go up Rue Beaubourg a few metres on the east side, and turn into the alley, where you will see signposts for the museum. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Un Ami de Cézanne et Van Gogh; le Docteur Gachet. - this exhibition is 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.

Georges Pompidou - was instrumental in creating new links between the state and culture, especially in the area of contemporary art - for which Paris has the Pompidou Centre, currently undergoing extensive renovations. However, until Sunday, 18. April, there is an exhibition demonstrating the 'art-links' instituted by President Pompidou, at the Jeu de Paume, right beside the Place de la Concorde. Check opening times: Info. Tel.: 01 47 03 12 50.

Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne - 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.

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.

50 Créateurs de Mode - These 50 fashion designers have put together a collective of nine boutiques and called it the 'Espace Créateurs' - which you can find in the Forum des Halles, near the Porte Berger and one floor down. Open from 11:00 to 19:00, from Monday to Saturday.

The Musée Zadkine - Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville want you to see their 'Strange Beds.' 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, 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.

Laves Emaillées - Prolongation - until Sunday, 2. May. See them in the atelier of Ary Scheffer, at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Pigalle. Except Mondays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Historic Writer's Route - is a tour of 12 famous French writer's homes, located west of Paris on both sides of the Seine valley, as far as Normandy. Even if you don't actually visit the houses, this would be a good trip and would probably take a couple of days of wandering around. There may be more information about it on the Web site of the Ile-de-France.

Closed - Temporarily - The Maison de Balzac is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen on Thursday, 20. May. The museum'sbrochure: musee rambolitrain 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.

Standing Room Only for Scheduled Eclipse: - Seats may not be available for the scheduled eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August, between 12:16 and 12:32, but there's still plenty of standing room left between Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages.

In Paris, the eclipse will be only 90 percent, which is not too shabby considering this is about the maximum amount of sun we ever see. This sort of celestial event has not occurred since 1724. If you are having trouble deciding to catch this one, the next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If you are an eclipse collector, 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.

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