Less Than ALL of the Events

photo: may day parade w balloons

An annual event for Parisians - the May Day parade.

Three Francs and Being In Paris, Gets You More

Paris:- Saturday, 1. May 1999:- While I took my 'week off' no great flood of new PR releases announcing new events arrived, and I did not spend a lot of time prowling métro tunnels seeing new posters for events.

There is a right way to do a column like this one and there is the way I'm doing it, which I am coming to realize is less than 'right.' Although I decide what to put in it, out of all the information I have on hand, I do not really know what 'should' be in it and what should not be. What I try for, is variety rather than sheer volume. What you get is what I've got time to find lying around here.

Paris' weekly program magazines, which hit the newsstands on Wednesdays, are pretty good for basic information. The two main ones are thick, pocket-sized, and also contain the film listings for about 350 cinemas, and a couple of pages are devoted to various astrology services as well. All of this is not for this column.

These magazines are written in French, but it's not too hard to understand their listings. Movies, even foreign ones with their original sound-tracks, often have new French names and these can be confusing. But the bulk of the information is about dates, times and addresses; and this is easy enough to figure out.

There are a lot of other 'program' magazines too - different shows for different folks - for art events and exhibitions and other subjects. To get full value from these, you have to be able to understand French. But if you do, then you are set.

For younger people, I recommend 'Nova' which looks like 'Pulp Fiction' dressed up as a lifestyle; but it does show the latest tatoos, hairstyles and lists the hottest dance joints - different strokes for different folks - too. It has a daily events guide, divided by city areas, plus wacko features; but uses a vocabulary about fifty years ahead of the Academie Française's. Buy it at the airport, and look at its 'pulp' photos even if you can't read it; now 15 francs.

'Nova' moans a bit about nightspots that disappear for one reason or another, but this turnover is pretty regular. No matter how many new clubs open in Paris and regardless of how many close their doors, the total number of them remains constant - I think I read the number 550 somewhere - an unchanged total going back to the last century.

New Events:

Jean Moulin, 1899-1943 - This is a special exhibition, on the occasion of the anniversary of his birth. A pre-war government administrator, Jean Moulin was one of the most important leaders of the resistance, until captured and executed in 1943. More biographical than the permanent exhibit; many private papers and photos are presented, along with a new film, in super-panoramic-format, narrated by Robert Hossein. At the Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris et Musée Jean Moulin, Jardin Atlantique, above the Gare Montparnasse. Until 2. January 2000, daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40. Catalogue available, 80 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 64 39 44.

Les Trésors du Sultan Topkapi à Versailles - is a sample of Topkai's collection, going back through centuries to the treasures of Suleiman, the First as well as the Magnificent. At the Château, starting Friday, 7. May and continuing until... when? Info. Tel.: 01 30 84 74 00. Also in Versailles, the musical Festival des Yvelines has a date for classical on Thursday, 27. May, in the Royal Chapel of the chateau at 20:30. Reservations required: Info. Tel.: 01 39 07 70 92.

Roll'Heures 1999 - If the SNCF strike, mentioned elsewhere in thisposter: roller days in versailles issue, is still on you might want to ride your bike out to Versailles next Sunday to take part in a roller derby over a 14 km route through the town. Meet at 13:00 for the big start at 14:00. For the less adept, there is a second start at 14:30. For little kids there's a short course of 500 metres, and it kicks off twice; once at 11:00 and again at 14:45. I won't bother mentioning all the rules. Info. Tel.: 01 39 50 36 22.

Bon Appétit Mon Roi - For a change, some theatre for little kids; directed by Lucette Grimault. The king loses his appetite and 'Grandma Tartine' goes on a voyage, looking for new taste sensations for the poor guy. On Wednesdays at 15:00 and on Sundays and holidays at 16:30; until 29. June. At the Théâtre Astral in Paris. Info. Tel.: 01 42 41 88 33.

A la Rencontre des Dieux Gaulois, un Défi à César - is about an old story of an Italian visitor's problems with local Gods on a visit to Gaul; backed up by history and archeology. At the Musée des Antiquités Nationales, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. At the western terminus of the RER 'A' line. The exhibition continues until Monday, 28. June. Info. Tel.: 01 39 10 13 00.

La Bohème - by Giacomo Puccini willphoto: foire de paris, sausages be on at the Opéra Bastille from Tuesday, 12. May until Thursday, 27. May. Under the direction of Daniel Oren; directed by Jonathan Miller. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 78.

More sausages than you can eat unless you have a big head.

88th Foire de Paris - Paris-Expo - at the Porte de Versailles, all of it - until Sunday, 9. May. Daily from 10:00 to 19:00; weekends from 9:30 to 19:00. Friday, 30. April and Tuesday, 4. May, open until 22:00. Usual entry charge is 50 francs, but after 19:00 it drops to 25 francs.

Paris' Ottoman Springtime

'L'Art Ottoman' is a show currently on at the Trianon de Bagatelle. With the 'Temps du Maroc' and the Egyptian mixup, I neglected to mention the details for this one.

Paris is celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire, which started with Sultan Mehemet II in Constantinople - an 'open' city, lavishly decorated according to the seasons, with a passion for nature. Objects from various collections make up the show as well as an exhibition by 70 photographers, who have rendered Istanbul in all of its variety.

Trianon de Bagatelle, Parc de Bagatelle, Route de Sèvres, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Métro: Pont de Neuilly and then bus 43 for the rest of the way. This exhibition continues until 1. August. Entry to the park is 10 francs, and to the Trianon, 28 francs.

The Other Related Shows:

Meknès Gate at Concorde - was featured in issue 4.15. Its full name is 'La Porte de Meknès Bab El Mansour.' Its 3000 square metres of complex decor is being recreatedbrochure: exhibition maroc by Catherine Feff - in France - but in inspired directly from the original at Meknès, and it will only be fully complete in June. As it is already 15 metres high, it is hard to overlook - but don't miss it!

Maroc - les Trésors du Royaume - is an exhibition featuring more than 400 works from Morocco's long prehistory, up to the Islamic period. A final part of the exhibition deals with European painters who worked in Morocco in the late 19th century, such as Matisse and Dufy.

'Le Temps du Maroc' - until Sunday,18. July - can be visited at the Petit Palais, Avenue du Winston Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Except Monday, open from 10:00 to 17:40; to 20:00 on Thursdays. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

L'Art Egyptien au Temps des Pyramides - by total coincidence, this exhibition is across the street from Morocco in the Petit Palais, at the Grand Palais. Paris exists in a fever of constant Egyptomania. This Egyptian exhibition focuses on the time of the pyramids - from 2700 to 2100 BC. This is also one of the 'big shows' and exhibits have been borrowed from the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Royal Ontario Museum.

L'Art Egyptien - until 12 July, at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Square Jean Perrin, Paris 8. Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Closed on Tuesdays, otherwise reservations are required for visits from 10:00 to 13:00 - no reservations required from 13:00 to 20:00; 22:00 on Wednesdays. Entry: 56 francs with reservations, 50 francs without. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17.

Coming Shows, Events and Exhibitions:

Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne - 'Painting After Abstraction, 1955 to 1975' is the coming exhibition. The painters Martin Barré, Jean Degottex, Raymond Hains, Simon Hantaï and Jacques Villeglé will be featured. Beginning Thursday, 20. May and going through to Sunday, 19. September.

The above are new or coming events. Immediately below are long-running events which are nearing their final days. These are followed by current events and way down at the end you will find events that still have a long time to run.


Coiffures / Sculptures d'Océanie - features two series of spectacular headgear and hairdos from the South Pacific areas of Nouvelle Bretagne and Irian Jaya, which is western Indonesia. These objects cannot be done justice in photographs, so it is a rare occasion to be able to see them in Paris. At the Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, 293. Avenue Daumesil, Paris 12. Métro: Porte Dorée. Except Tuesdays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends until 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 74 84 80.

'Le Vagabond du Surréalisme' - is Georges Malkine's nickname for this coming exhibition, which begins on Wednesday, 28. April. Malkine is considered to be one of the founders of surrealism. He lived in the USA from 1949 until returning to Paris in 1966. The exhibition will feature 70 works, from the periods of 1925-30 and 1960-70. In the '20's, he was the first 'informalist.' Coming to the Pavillon des Arts, Les Halles, Porte Rambuteau, Terrace Lautréamont, Paris 1. To be open from 11:30 to 18:30, except on Mondays and holidays.

Little Big Horn On the Pont des Arts - 11 near-full-size horses and 28 people are African sculptor 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 official opening day for the public was on Saturday, and the figures will remain in place until Thursday, 20. May. If you are in Paris, don't miss it.

Paris Uni - if somebody comes up to me and asks me where to find the Sorbonne, I am going to tell them the go to the Mairie - the City Hall - of the 5th arrondissement. This is not actually far from the Sorbonne, but what is better, it has an exhibition about the Paris universities and 'Grandes Ecoles.'

I may even go myself, because the 'University of Paris' is like a huge campus, spread all over the city. This exhibition puts it virtually in one place, with three main themes; all illustrated by many photos. On show until Monday, 24. May; at the Mairie of the 5th, 21. Place du Panthéon, Paris 5. Info. Tel.: 01 43 25 30 30.

Around the Death of Richard, the Lion-Heart - is actually about the original document for the peace treaty between Richard the Lion-Heart and Philippe Auguste, concluded at Louviers on 15. January 1196. The exhibition also includes related documents and other graphic souvenirs.

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. Until Monday, 31. May. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

La Poste - will be at the Foire de Paris (see above) with its own 'Collector's Fair' for the duration of the fair. Look for La Poste in Hall 5, at number 21 in corridor 'U.'

'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.

La Maison Européenne de la Photo - is featuring 'Courant Continu,' a show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. On view 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.

Touhami Ennadre - is a photographer who has given up all narrativeposter: theatre nationale chaillot to concentrate on the subjects of his images of things - religious. Until Wednesday, 30. May, 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.

The The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg:- is mostly closed but the part that's open, 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.

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.

Last Chance for 'David Hockey - Dialogue avec Picasso' - is a small exhibition I should have mentioned earlier, as it has been running for a long time at the Musée Picasso. The 20-odd works will be displayed for the last time on Monday, 3. May. Musée Picasso, 5. Rue Thorigny, Paris 4. Métro: Filles du Calvaire or Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 42 71 25 21.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Attention: Romans! - 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 in one of these two cities, so this is not for everybody. I for one, will have to pay to get into the Mercati Traianei e Foro di Traiano.

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 details 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.

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.

Les Hommes - in 100 films, at the Forum des Images - 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.

'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 Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. He began at the Beaux-Arts in Florence and washed up in Paris in 1926, to settle into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and he 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) ploughedpostcard: art concept louise weiss 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.'

Mercier set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789, in 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. He set down whether Parisians were eating cakes, bread or nothing.

Until 29. May at the Art : Concept Gallery, rue Louise Weiss - whatever it is, by Bieffer / Zgraggen©

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 - 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.

Catacombs Photo Show - Once upon a time, Parisians were buried near where they lived, worked and worshiped. Then came another, later time, when cemeteries took up too much valuable downtown real estate, and the poor bones had to find other lodgings.

Some of the bones are on permanent view at Paris' Catacombs. These are adorned with pithy signs and the photographer, Jean-Yves Le Roy had recorded some of them for this exhibition, which can be viewed before actually viewing the actual bones. The texts are not only in French, but in Latin, Greek, Italian and even Swedish - so take a translator.

"Arrête! C'est ici l'Empire de la mort," is one example that has been photographed at the Catacombs, 1. Place Denfret-Rochereau, Paris 14. Métro: Denfret-Rochereau. Open from Tuesday to Friday, from 14:00 to 18:00; and on weekends from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. On view until 14. February 2000, no less.

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 hidden 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.

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 features items made especially for the museum, and has doll parts for collectors as well as general doll souvenirs.

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 east side of the Rue Beaubourg, turn into the alley, where you will see signposts for the museum. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

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.

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. Accordingposter: france miniature 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.

Either for little people, or big people in a hurry - the France Miniature amusement park is again open for the season.

Closed - Temporarily - The Maison de Balzac is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen on Thursday, 20. May with an exhibition entitled 'L'Artiste Selon Balzac.' The museum's library has closed until 18. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Sunglasses On for Scheduled Eclipse: - Sunglasses may be necessary for the scheduled eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August - between 12:16 and 12:32 - which will be total in Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages.

In Paris, the eclipse will be only 90 percent-complete, which will probably require some lights to be turned on for 16 minutes. A celestial event of this type has not occurred since 1724. If in doubt about attending this worthwhile event, the next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If you are indifferent to eclipses, plan to see a movie instead.

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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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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