Paris Issues 'User's Guide'

photo: spectators, steps grande arche

In the case of the steps at the Grande Arche,
the 'Scene' is lunch.

Toyota Issues Fancy Sandwiches

Paris:- Saturday, 22. May 1999:- I was not alone during the week while cruising likely spots on the lookout for Paris' monthly magazine for residents, called 'Paris - Le Journal.' It has a new layout, lots of city information and it usually appears at mid-month.

booklet: paris, mode d'emploiOne place it is never found is the Paris Tourist Office on the Champs-Elysées. Where it is supposed to be available, in all of Paris' 21 city hall receptions, it was not. 'Next week,' they said.

Instead, I found a new booklet - probably at the tourist office - which has changed its name to 'Office de Tourisme et des Congrès - but not its address on the Champs-Elysées. So what I used to call the 'PTO' is now the 'PTOC.' I think there is a new Web site to go with the new name too.

The booklet, with about 130 pages is full of up-to-date practical information for visitors, plus quite a number of ads. The title is 'Paris, Mode d'Emploi, User's Guide' - and since it is well-done in French and English, I'm sure it will be snapped up in no time because it is also free. Um, I see it has a nominal price of 10 francs - so if you can find it, buy three copies.

New Stuff:

I have seen posters announcing that Monet's 'Nymphéas' are playing now in the Musée de l'Orangerie, until Monday, 2. August. All the five-star hotels are reported to be booked solid on account of the air show and high-budget arms-sale fair at Le Bourget, which kicks off on Sunday, 13. June.

Hommage à Jean Marais - is an exhibition about this famous French actor, which will start on Friday, 28. May and continue until 5. September. Details are scanty as I have only received the invitation to the vernissage, but the expo will be in the Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptel, Paris 9. Métro: Saint-Georges. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Festival de Saint-Denis - which began on 20. May, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. For a month, Saint-Denis will be home to classical music, flamenco, music from Morocco, some Spanish 'palm' music, which is part of much else 'arabo-andalou.'

After the exotic there will be accordions, dance, 'Magic Mirrors,' cabaret, jazz, classical soloists - both musicians and singers, and much more until the last performance on Thursday, 1. July. Visit the festival's Web site, or Info. Tel.: 01 48 13 06 07.

Les Jardins 'Allegoria' - these are made up of five imaginary but real gardens, symbolizing the five senses, by Jean-Paul Guerlain. In fact, these gardens are much more than symbolic because you can visit their 400 square metres at the Longchamp racetrack, from Thursday, 27. May until Monday, 1. June - and see their sculptures, donebrochure: guerlain, les jardins allegoria by Nathalie Decoster as well. Pascal Gasquet helped with the gardens. After a two week break, the gardens move to the Boutique Guerlain, 68. Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8 - until 28. August.

Illustration, 'L'Art du Jardin Guerlain'©1999

24 Heures du Mans - Once every year on a weekend about this time I look out the window and if it is pouring cats and dogs, I know it is the weekend of the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race. By then it is too late to announce it.

This year - by special exception only - I can say the date for the big race is from Saturday, 12. June to Sunday, 13. June. The event actually gets underway on Monday, 7. June, with technical inspections.

Saturday's race is supposed to begin at 16:00. Somewhere in the centre of the race area, there is a village which hosts visitors, which may number 185,000. As there are only 2500 rooms available and nearly 4500 camping spots, a little planning is required for a successful weekend of racing at Le Mans.

'Taïkos' - Tambours Japonais - The Cohan group, from the famous 700-year old school of Osuwa Daiko, will be bashing away at their big drums. Two locations and two dates - at the Centre Culturel Georges Pompidou in Vincennes, 142. Rue de Fontenay, on Saturday, 29. May at 20:30. Info. Tel.: 01 43 98 65 79. And at the Centre Culturel Franco-Japonais, at 8-10. Passage Turquetil, Paris 11; from Monday, 31. May until Saturday, 5. June at 19:30. No show on Friday, 4. June. Tickets for both shows, 60 and 80 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 43 48 83 64.

'Le Rendez-Vous Toyota' - when I saw this place on - in this issue you are going to see 'Champs-Elysées' 49 times! - in the rain on Wednesday, I thought, "Toyota has a sandwich shop here?" Because this is what the two-story place looks like.

However, inside there was a display of artists' renderingbrochure: festival st denis of car hoods, called 'Reflects Argentés.' New cars themselves were hard to find, but a café area with Internet terminals was prominent - you pay for a sandwich to have online access. Upstairs about 20 kids were being shown how to do tricks with iMacs and around a corner, there is a bar with a view of not much.

Some light bulb told me to poke my nose into the Club Med to find out if they have a 'Club Med' in Paris. Surprise! It is about to open at Bercy; but will not have sand on the floors. For some reason I also glanced into Planet Hollywood, which had a gang of loud kids in its dim celler.

Thus, the Toyota showroom-cum-cybercafé with playroom and cocktails came off best, with all its light and large windows. Although welcoming kids, a Coke costs 22 francs while a Kir was posted at 20 francs. At 79. Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8.

The Big Shows:

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. 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 Portebrochure: 24 heures du mans de Meknès Bab El Mansour.' Its 3000 square metres of complex decor is being recreated 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. 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.

Les Trésors du Sultan Topkapi à Versailles - is a sample of Topkapi's collection, going back through centuries to the treasures of Suleiman, the First as well as the Magnificent. At the Château, 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.

Coming Shows, Events and Exhibitions:

Coming Soon: 'Wouah! Wouah!' - is a comedy adapted from Roland Topor's novel, with direction and music by Jacquesbrochure: hommage a jean marais Coutureau. Love causes imaginary crises and over-reactions, depending on different countries at different times; and this is put together by the creator of the Grand Magic Circus.

To be at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, in the Salle Gémier, on Thursday, 27. May. Showtime will be Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30, and this piece will run until Saturday, 26. June. 1. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro. Ticket at the theatre or at fnac, Virgin and other agencies. Info. Tel.: 01 53 65 30 01.

'L'Artiste Selon Balzac' - The 'Maison de Balzac' reopened on Thursday, 20. May with a new exhibition of artistic works relating to an article published in 1830, in which Balzac defined the creative aspects within artists. On show will be Raphael, done by Ingres, La Fontaine and science types such as Descartes and Newton; to illustrate Balazc's argument.

The museum's library is closed, but will reopen on 19. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

The above are new, recently started 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.


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 Bohème - by Giacomo Puccini will be on at the Opéra Bastille until Thursday, 27. May. Under the direction of Daniel Oren; directed by Jonathan Miller. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 78.

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.

Touhami Ennadre - is a photographer who has given up all narrative to concentrate on the subjectsbrochure: cohan, tambours japonais of his images of things - religious. Until Sunday, 30. May. Also at the

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.

Dali Folies - is a dance and comedy show, adapted from Salvador Dali's writing; somewhat concocted and directed by Jacques Darcy. This started last week and runs for about a month, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, 1. Avenue Gabriel, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde. From Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30 and on Sundays at 15:00. Tickets: fnac, Virgin and France Billet. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 27 35.

Jean Moulin, 1899-1943 - This is a special exhibition, on the occasion of the anniversary of his birth. 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 4 39 44.


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