Midday Blackout

photo: salt works, day 199 tour eiffel

By walking around the Chaillot buildings, you can
still get to the view with the terrace closed.

Free Celestial Show

Paris:- Saturday, 19. June 1999:- When this summer's coming eclipse was first mentioned at the end of this column in this year's first issue on Monday, 4. January, I did not realize it was going to be a big deal in the sky.

Last Monday, the Hôtel de Ville's reception area was turned into an eclipse exhibit, with the title 'Ciel une éclipse' which means either an 'eclipse in the sky' or 'Heavens! An Eclipse.'

Astronomers think eclipses are grand occasions for viewing moons, planets and suns; and when it comes down to it, they are fairly common occurrences. You might not notice many of them, because they often happen wherever it is you are not.

But when a near-total eclipse is combined with the last or second-last year of a millennium, then it is truly a special occasion.

Aztecs liked them as did Mayans and Egyptians, and Vietnamese think the sun or the moon are being attacked by giant frogs. In many places, making a lot of noise is supposed to 'fix' eclipses and if you have nothing handy to bang on, simple shouting or screaming is acceptable.

Lawrence of Arabia pulled off an eclipse on 4. July 1917 and with a small band of 50 captured a well-guarded Turkish fortress, while the defenders all shot their guns in the air or banged on pots.

There was a good and total eclipse in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 17. April 1912, which lasted a little less than two seconds. According to Camille Flammarion - a certified eclipsist - the black disk of the moon seemed to have been 'ringed with an illuminated necklace of irregular and changing pearls.'

While this summer's eclipse is scheduled for Wednesday, 11. August, between 12:16 and 12:34, in Paris it will not be total. For this, go to Chantilly or Senlis, to the north.

If you do intend to - look - at the eclipse, be sure to be wearing proper eye protection. Ordinary sunglasses or ski glasses are not sufficient. The eclipse exhibition in the reception office has special glasses available, for about 60 francs I think.

Since the next eclipse after this one will not be until 2081, to find out more about this one or to get prepared to view it, check out the following Web sites: the Université de Strasbourg, the Institut de Mécanique Céleste and one known simply as the 'Eclipse Solaire '99.'

Salon d'Acceuil, Hôtel de Ville, 29. Rue de Rivoli,Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. Open daily except for Sundays and holidays, from 9:30 to 18:00. No entry charge for the eclipse exhibition, which continues until 25. September. A free brochure about the eclipse is available.

Renan by Nadar At Issy - I promise you I am not in the pay of Issy-les-Moulineaux although it must seem like it. Last week I reminded you that Issy had won some championship for PR. Despite this I never run more than 10 percent of what they send me.

It is, therefore, pure co-incidence that I mention Issy's Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer for two consecutive weeks. Starting on Thursday, 23. June, there will be an exhibition of about 30 photographic portraits by Nadar, of his contemporaries. Issy's connection is Ernst Renan, who grew up there, and was born three years after Gaspard Félix Tournachon, who was known as Nadar - an extraordinary character, who Renanbrochure: nadar, ernst renan thought, ended up as a refugee in the 'Botony Bay' of photography. Other faces on show are Dumas, Hugo, George Sand, Balzac and Thiers.

Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer, 16. Rue Auguste Gervais, Issy-les-Moulineaux. Métro: Mairie de Issy. Until 28. November; open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 10:00 to 19:00.

Painting of Nadar©Musée Française de le Photographie. Painting of Ernst Renan©Photothèque des Musées de la Ville de Paris

Le Mois de L'Estampe - Engraving produces multiple copies but in recent times has been abandoned for commercial uses and is now largely utilized as a medium for artists, although this has been going on since the time of Rembrandt, Dürer and later, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Joan Miro; up until the time of Alechinsky, Tapies, Garouste, Di Rosa and others.

The Month of Engraving in Paris permits the public to visit the ateliers of engraver-artists, the galleries where their works are shown and the institutions that support the artbrochure: mois de l'estampe form. The Month of the Engraving has two Websites dedicated to it. The 'month' continues until Wednesday, 30. June. Info. Tel.: 01 43 21 15 10.

Palais de la Cité - Sainte-Chapelle - has a full musical program for which I have the tail-end. On Tuesday, 22. June Vivaldi's Four Seasons will be performed, with repeats on Friday, Saturday, and on next Monday and Tuesday. In between, there will be Mozart - Haydn. Info. Tel.: 01 42 50 96 18 and 01 42 77 65 65.

Fête des Saints Populaires - will feature Bruna and Liliana, Miguel and André, Rebeca, Miléno, Luis Represas, Carlos Mendes, Tony Carreira and the Sope de Pedra. All of these, one time only, on Sunday, 27. June at the Stade Paul Meyer which is on the RER line 'A' at Sucy-Bonneuil. The show starts at 11:00 with a 'Festival Folklorique' and I don't know when it ends. I don't have any Info. Tel. number either.

Furia - The Party - says it is 'live' and has DJs and features acts with the names of Tipper, Spaceheads, Tao Paï Paï, Meï Meï Shô, Volta and Pushy, to name a few. If you think you'll need earplugs, don't go. This is on at the Furia Dance Hall, also normally known as the Salle des Fêtes, in Saint-Ouen-L'Aumone, which you can get to by taking the autoroute A15 in the direction of Cergy-Pontoise; or by train from either Saint-Lazare or Gare du Nord. Be there on Saturday, 26. June at 21:00 and stay until the trains run again at 06:00 on Sunday. Entry: 60 or 80 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 30 37 59 50. Good luck!

Zorro el Zapato - is a Mexican musical comedy, played by 24 coyotes, aged six to eleven, from the eastern wilds of Belleville. Of course the actor who will be representing Zorro himself isbrochure: zorro el zapata unknown. The 'and with' list is impressive with names such as Antonio Banderas, Arielle Dombasle, 'Uno, dos trés' Ricky Martin, Dario Moreno and Juan Kpou. The Compagnie Tamèrantong! is directed by Christine Pellicane. On Saturday, 26. June at 20:30; Sunday, 27 June, at 17:00 and Monday at 20:30; at the Café de la Danse. See address below.

Nuit du Caire - features Fawazy Al-Aiedy who does Oud-Chant and percussions with a partner, and the Awalem Company, who do Egyptian 'Raqs Sharqi' dancing. This is in two parts: the music and dancing is at the Café de la Danse, Thursday and Friday; 24. and 25. June - and the 'Soirée Orientale' is on Friday, 25. June, starting at 23:00; at the Espace Montorgueil, 34. Rue Montorgueil, Paris 1. Métro: Etienne-Marcel.

Café de la Danse, 5. Passage Louis-Philippe, Paris 11. Métro: Bastille. Info. Tel.: 01 44 75 37 82. Tickets at fnac, Virgin, and Café de la Dance. The two events: 130 francs.

Hommage à Moustapha Dimé - will feature an Senegalese pal of Ousmane Sow's, who currently lives on the island of Gorée, out in the Atlantic off the coast of Dakar. Dimé, who died in 1998, is not as well-known as Sow but was picking up prizes for his sculptures at Johannesburg and at the Biannual of Venice. See the present exhibition at the Hôtel de Ville's Salle Saint-Jean, 5. Rue Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. The hours are from 11:00 to 19:00 daily except Mondays, until 19. September.

Demures - is the name of the new exhibition at the Musée Zadkine. Two invitations to the vernissage have arrived before the press release so I can't tell you what this is about yet. This exhibition of sculpture will continue until 17. October. At the Musée Zadkine, 100 bis, Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Open daily from 10:00 to 17:30, except Mondays.

Posters by Jacques Nathan-Garamond - if you like dramatic posters this is an exhibition to see; and this sort of graphic show is a specialty of this city library. At the Bibliothèque Forney, Hôtel de Sens, 1. Rue Figuier, Paris 4.. Métro: Pont-Marie or Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

Lord of the Dance - is signed Michael Flatley and comes from Ireland to do some Celtic stomping for a short run at the Zénith, 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris 19. Dates: Friday, 25. June and Saturday, 26. June; at 20:30. Tickets at fnac, Virgin, Carrefour. Info. Tel.: 01 42 08 60 00.

Italian Theatre - if, by chance, you feel like hearing a bit of spoken and sung, or poetic Italian while you are in Paris, then you should check out the program for June at the Théâtre du Rond-Point. Pieces include 'Pulcinella,' 'Pinocchio' and 'Una Disperata Vitalià.' There are 15 different shows in all, lasting until Saturday, 26. June.

Théâtre du Rond-Point, 2. bis, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin Roosevelt. Resa. Tel.: 01 44 95 98 10. Tickets also available at fnac, Virgin, France Billet and other agencies.

Festival Musique à Sully - features a long classical music program, lasting until Sunday, 27. June. This takes place in Sully-sur-Loire, which I think is close to Orléans. There are combo tickets-hotels for weekends, when most events at the festival are scheduled.

Festival de Saint-Denis - 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 and see their sculptures, done by Nathalie Decoster as well. Pascal Gasquet helped with the gardens. The 'gardens' are at the Boutique Guerlain, 68. Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8 - from about mid-June until 28. August.

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 Porte 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.

Casablanca - or 'Birth of a Modern City On African Soil' is an exhibition about how Casablanca camebrochure: le temps du maroc to be and what it like today. Somewhat similar to Americans settling their west coast, the Moroccan city of Casablanca has become the 'Far West' to all North Africans and peoples from all around the Mediterranean.

With an entire continent at its back and the Atlantic Ocean as its front door, Casablanca has welcomed all religions and all forms of art and architecture - most of it relatively modern, as Casablanca is a 20th century creation. While Hollywood helped make Casablanca famous - or notorious - with a stage set; the real is many times more intriguing.

Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Until Sunday, 18. July. Open from 12:00 to 19:00, except Mondays and public holidays. Entry: 20 francs. Publication 'Portrait de Ville,' 100 francs. Info. Tel. 01 53 63 23 45.

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