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 putsit 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.


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