Eclipsogoggle! Is Here

photo: visitors, tour eiffel

If it were not for four elevators, this would be
one very long line.

Plus Some Other Events Such As Paris 2000

Paris:- Saturday, 7. August 1999:- Ready, set, eclipse-you! The long-awaited event is finally almost here.

Next Wednesday, normally sane people in France, in other European countries, on ships at sea and in aircraft in flight, will witness a fairly common celestial phenomenon - made unique by being the last one officially scheduled for this millennium.

Many people have allowed themselves to be pushed by the media into states of high anxiety. Fears of cloud cover abound - although not for those booked on three Concorde flights; presumably to be above any lurking murk, under which are ordinary folks.

Thousands of scientifico fans have planned to settle themselves on the path of the 'big dimness' for the event, which will be heavily covered by radio and TV, as well as soothsayers and juju-men.

But eclipses do not last forever, or much more than a few minutes at most. As soon as this one is over, there will be a two-week pause in which nothing much happens in France or Paris except a big whewww...

The end of this pause will be signaled on Wednesday, 1. September by the beginning of 'Paris 2000,' which is nothing more or less than Paris' 16-month 'Fête de Millennium,' slated to end on or about 1. January 2001. See the first details below, after 'Eclipsomania!'

This Is Eclipsomania!

This is the 32nd - and perhaps final - week that the 'Eclipse' will be mentioned here. The first time was in this year's first issue.

Wednesday's eclipse is now getting the full-Larry extreme-roto promo - especially for warnings about wearing the special glasses - and the right special glasses - the ones you normally can't see anything through.

So I warn you: sunglasses, even multiple layers of them, are not enough. If you dophoto: official eclipse shades, ric intend to - look - at the eclipse, be sure to be wearing proper eye protection. Ski glasses are not sufficient.

The proper shades - marked with a 'CE' - are widely available in Paris. Do not use substitutes or counterfeits. Get the right ones, use them. Your eyes are worth more than five francs. Many places offer them gratis.

Ed wears official 'CE' eclipse shades; brand-name: 'Trocadéro Plage.

''Ciel une Eclipse' - the Hôtel de Ville's reception area has been turned into an eclipse exhibit. The title of the exhibit either means an 'eclipse in the sky' or 'Heavens! An Eclipse.' Astronomers think eclipses are grand occasions for viewing moons, planets and suns; but this year the general public is invited too, because a near-total eclipse is combined with the last or second-last year of a millennium.

This summer's eclipse is scheduled for Wednesday, 11. August, at lunchtime between 12:16 and 12:34. It will not be total in Paris. For total, go to Chantilly or Senlis, to the north. Noyon in the Oise department is reported to be the nec plus ultra of eclipse watch-points.

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.

Solaire - is a current, and free, exhibition at the Observatoire de Paris. It is a great chance to see the inside of this building which is open only rarely. Did you know our planet is speeding along in 'our' galaxy at the rate of 250 kilometres per second? Find out more about 'our' sun and the eclipse at the Observatoire de Paris, 61. Avenue de l'Observatoire, Paris 14. Métro: Denfert-Rochereau or RER Port Royal. Robot Info. Tel.: 01 40 51 21 74.

The Palais de la Découverte - is doing the eclipse act too, with a series of exhibits, displays, and a planetarium visit, all concerning heavenly activities surrounding this otherwise free celestial show. Palais de la Découverte, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin Roosevelt. Open 9:30 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Saturday; from 10:00 to 19:00 on Sundays. Entries, 30 or 45 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 74 80 00.

L'Etoile - is 'Star' in English and another scene of eclipse mania, but down deep underground in the RER station where there is an inflated planetarium; in which astronomers answer spacy questions, via a 3-D voyage 'on the Internet.'" In this way, you can relive an eclipse in 'only' ten minutes, 'thanks to a video.'

I hope all who are here to see the eclipse get what they want out of it. What I want is for it to be over, so I can reduce this column by 2000 words.

Paris 2000

Once every millennium about this time, people start making plans to visit Paris, to be here when the tired old '99 rolls over into the brandnew '00. Next Wednesday's eclipse has jump-startedlogo: paris 2000 this time of heightened interest and prompted server-lady Linda Thalman to ask me what I am going 'to do' about it.

Without waiting for an answer, she compiled a list of events, for her own 'Paris In Sites Newsletter.' Many of the planned events are coupled to occasions that Paris has long celebrated, but many more are special events - which Paris is officially characterizing as the 'choix du cúur. No new, hyper-gigantic Stade de France in other words.

The Balloon Goes Up - without even waiting for September, the tethered balloon at the Parc André Citroën took its first flight on Thursday, 1. July at 18:00. A brief overview:

September:
  • The giant sundial at the Place de la Concorde is in place, but it is so big that it can only be seen from the:
  • 'The Big Wheel' - 60 metres high - which is to be erected at the beginning of the month.
  • Les Fêtes de la Seine have been expanded from one day to three. From Thursday, 2. September until Sunday, 5. September. Water sports will be one of many features.
  • Les Champs de la Sculpture open-air exhibition is scheduled to begin in mid-September; to continue until mid-November.
  • Spaceship II Thousand - Le Vaisseau II Mille - is under construction by students from seven technological high schools in the Paris region. This nine-ton thingee will be complete at the year's end and will be on view at La Villette.
October:
  • Robert Hossein presents a huge spectacle entitled "The Man Who Said 'No'" - about Charles de Gaulle and his wartime followers. At the Palais des Congrès.
  • The first exhibition of 'Fauvism' in 30 years begins at mid-month at Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne. Over 200 works by Matisse, Derain, Marquet, Manguin, Puy, Camoin, Vlaminck, Van Dongen, Braque, Friesz and Dufy.
  • The theatre at Châtelet re-opens, with the opera 'Outis' created by Luciano Berio for La Scala, beginning in November. The 'Nutcracker Suite' - 'Caisse-Noisette' - follows in December.
  • Les Enfants du Monde
November:
  • The 20th Anniversary of the annual 'Mois de la Photo,' calls for a more ambitious program than usual - one that continues to the 'Month of the Photo' in November, 2000.
  • 4. November at Saint-Germain-des-Prés; the International World Tour of Sacred Songs, presents the first of eight concerts in historic Paris locations.
  • Paris, known as the 'City of Light' due to its early adoption of electric street lighting, turns on many, many more lights, everywhere.
December:
  • From 20. December to 5. January 2000, Paris does its traditional Christmas season - see past Christmas issues of Metropole - with the addition of a new children's village at Trocadéro, to be packed with new snow daily.
  • 'Capitales' is a giant book 15 metres high, to be set up at Palais-Royal. On hand will be hundreds of authors and artists from all over the world. The event is on 31. December and 1. January.
  • 'Countdown 2000' calls for gathering mankind at the base of the Tour Eiffel to help the countdown time display reach zero. An extra 20,000 flash-lights have been added to the tower; set to blitz every hour until 1. January 2001.
January 2000:
  • New Year's Day - Saturday, 1. January 2000:- 'The Great Parade of Paris.' Enjoyed by Montmartre alone for the past six years, this edition will parade through all Paris - with all of the world's marching bands invited.

These are only the barest details of some of the events of the 'Paris 2000' program. Watch this space for additional information. Although seemingly modest, the 'Paris Lights Up' alone will be worth seeing. The plans for Bastille Day 2000 call for the re-enactment of the history of Francebrochure: paris visite 1999, 2000 and Paris, to be produced - again - by Robert Hossein. Following the show, there will be three 'grand balls,' at Concorde, Invalides and the Champ-de-Mars.

Paris Visite 1999-2000 - The famous 'Visite' pass may be worth the price of its booklet, if you don't mind a lot of very small print. This is not for the 'ifs,' 'ands' and 'buts' - but for all of the information included, as well as the descriptions of the museums, monuments and visitor attractions listed in it. Showing the pass where you see its logo displayed will be worth something too.

The pass is available in three flavors of transport zones, and for periods of one, two, three or five days' duration. Half price for children from four to 11. All you have to do is buy it, write your name on the card, the number on the ticket and the dates for which it is valid.

Elton John's Shades - is a musical comedy about rock-n-roll dreams of love and football, by ordinary people like you and me; by Davis Farr; adapted by Attica Guedj and Stephan Meldegg. Starting Monday, 23. August, at the Théâtre Tristan Bernard, 64. Rue du Rocher, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers or Europe. Info. Tel.: 01 45 22 08 40.

Mariage / Marriage - fashion illustrates the sentimental history of marriage, from the Middle Ages to our times. Like a fiction with the wedding costume as its leading prop, this exhibition tells all about the ritual, until Sunday, 29. August. At the Musée Galliera, 10. Avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna. Info. Tel.: 01 47 20 85 23.

Viaduc des Arts - the 46 artists and artisans who have showrooms in the Viaduc des Arts are showing a selection of costumes, wigs, and accessories in their windows - all made by the ateliers of the Paris opera and ballet during their first 10 years of production. Until Tuesday, 31. August. Viaduc des Arts, 9-129. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Ledru Rollin or Gare de Lyon.

Don't Walk Around Naked - by Feydeau, is called 'Mais n'te promène donc pas toute nue!' in French, and is called a 'Boulevard Comedy.' Never on Sundays, but otherwise at 20:00, at the Théâtre Lucernaire, 53. Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Paris 6. Métro: Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 57 34.

La Poste - is celebrating its first postage stamp, the 'Cérès' and the dates 1849-1999. This stampbrochure: ceres stamp, la poste features a hologram, which doesn't quite show up in the reproduction here. This stamp is available with a first day notice and an accompanying document for collectors.

'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. La Poste also accepts payments made with plastic cards.

Le Parc de la Villette - in Paris' northeast 19th arrondissement has a variety of summer-only attractions in addition to its year-round Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Grande Halle, Zenith concert hall, and the Cité de la Musique. It doesn't like itself to be referred to as an 'amusement park' but that is exactly what it is - even if it leans towards Science! Industry! Culture! Serious Music! in all has Rock and Circuses! See last week's 'A Multi-Theme Park' for full details.

Paris Quartier d'Eté - is all over town with at least a dozen live-performance events daily. Watch for signs of it wherever you are in the city. More than good enough to keep us away from cablo-TV re-runs and new TV game shows.

Août au Ciné - is a special deal that starts on Sunday, 1. August. It allows the under-25s entry to 150 independent cinémas in Paris for 25 francs. Find the little brochure at any one of Paris' 21 city halls, stick your photo on it and hide out watching the movies and eating popcorn until Tuesday, 31. August.

Etoiles Filantes - cinema figures never die, but this cycle of films features actors and actresses who had their rising careers cut short for various reasons. Some foreign, some French; some well-known, some not so. At the Forum des Images in the Forum des Halles. Grande Galerie, porte Saint-Eustache, Paris 1. Métro: Les Halles. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Du Rififi Chez les Hommes - is a movie made by Jules Dassin in 1954 which falls into the 'film noire' or 'polar' category. Re-mastered in black and white, for showing in Paris, starting Friday, 13. August.

Quelques Pas Dans les Etoiles - is an exhibition featuring legends and myths 'between the earth and the heavens,' from the planets and stars. From 10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:00 daily except Sunday. At Hermès, 24. Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde or Madeleine.

Bazart - is in a new space at Samaritaine's building two on the 5th floor, surrounded by its inner iron architecture. The 'Bazar' features 1600 original works by 32 artists, from about 400 to 1000 francs. Self-service, and a framing service is at the same location. From 9:30 to 19:00 Monday to Saturday; Thursday evenings until 22:00. Continues until 4. September at Samaritaine: métro Louvre and Pont-Neuf.

'Palmiers' - Between Sun and Shade - is an wildly sublime palm tree exhibition I visited early in June and wrote about as 'The Year-Round Winter Garden.' This exhibition is continuing until Sunday, 10. October. At the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil, 3. Avenue de la Porte d'Auteuil, Paris 16. Open daily from 10:00 to 19:00. Métro: Porte d'Auteuil or Michel-Ange Molitor. Info. Tel.: 01 40 71 76 07.

Keith Haring - 'Made in France' - shows how far you can get with kid stuff if the experts call it art instead of doodles. It is funny enough, so I say it's art too. Haring worked a lot in Paris too. See the exhibition until 22. September at the Fondation Dina Vierny, Musée Maillol, at 59-61. Rue de Grenelle, Paris 7. Métro: Rue du Bac. Info. Tel.: 01 42 22 59 58.

Métro Closed: - the elevated part of line two of the métro Porte Dauphine-Nation is closed for renovations between the stations of Belleville and Blanche until Saturday, 28. August. A free bus is available, but has trouble with traffic. Take this into consideration for connections at Pigalle, Barbés, La Chapelle, Stalingrad, and Colonel Fabien. Reach the Place Clichy with métro line 13, Pigalle with métro line 12 and Barbés with métro line 4.

Paris' Photo Summer:

Geo Is 20 - Europe's answer to the National Geographic magazine is not exactly its equivalent. Geo's texts are more 'social' and its photographers are less factual and more impressionistic. For Geo's 20th, fnac Saint-Lazare presents a 'portrait' of Geo - until Saturday, 4. September. Except Sundays, daily from 10:00 to 19:30; Thursdays until 21:30. In the Passage du Harve, Paris 9. Métro: Saint-Lazare.

Sam Levin - left behind 600,000 negatives when he died in 1992. This summer, 160 prints in black and white and in color feature many famous people as captured by Levin, including many French and foreign movie stars. The exhibition is on view at the Hôtel de Sully, 62. Rue Saint-Antoine, Paris 4. Métro: Bastille. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:30. Entry: 25 francs. Continues until Sunday, 19. September.

Petits Poèmes Photographiques - Edgar Degas was born at the right moment to live at the time of photography's infancy, and he took it up as an aid for painting and as an end in itself. The Bibliothèque Nationale has two exhibitions, one at 58. Rue de Richelieu and the other around the corner in the Galerie Colbert, at 2. Rue Vivienne; both Paris 2. Métro: Bourse. The first, at Richelieu, from 10:00 to 19:00 until Sunday, 22. August. In the Galerie Colbert, from 12:00 to 19:00 until Saturday, 7. August.

De Flêche en Cime, les Fréres Bisson - brothers who were contemporaries of Nadar, photographed Europe's big monuments, plus the snows of Mont Blanc. At the BN-Mitterrand, Quai François-Mauriac, Paris 13. Métro: Bibliothèque National de France. From 10:00 to 19:00.

Rembrandt - by Charles Matton - who is the director of the film about Rembrandt, which debuts on 8. September. Photographic results of eight months' film production shows the models, sets, decors, actors, with the film's background music. At the same location, portraits by Roberto Pellegrinuzzi shows faces in bone and flesh. Until 26. September.

Portraits Croisés - Us and Them - is an exhibition by Helmut and Alice Springs, aka Mrs Newton. Faces of each other as well as the famous and notorious. Until 12. September.

Topor Rit Encore - with ID photos this illustrator, screenwriter and author laughs again and we laugh with him. Until 12. September.

'Rembrandt,' 'Portraits Croisés' and 'Topor Rit Encore' are all at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5-7. Rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul. Except Monday and Tuesday, daily from 11:00 to 20:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 00.

Les Enfants de Sumer et de Babylone - Doctor turned photographer, Yves Gelie's camera was a witness to the results of the Gulf War in Iraq. At the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1. Rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, Paris 4. Except Monday, open daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Free entry. Métro: Cardinal Lemoine or Jussieu.

1970-1990 - Twenty Years of Photos presented by Frankfurt's DG Bank include 3000 prints by 300 photographers, showing trends in recent photography. 'The Promise of Photography' is at the Centre Nationale de la Photographie, 11. Rue Berryer, Paris 8. Except Tuesday, from 12:00 to 19:00. Métro: George V or Ternes.

Renan by Nadar At Issy - there is an exhibition of about 30 photographic portraits by Nadar, of his contemporaries, at the Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer. The connection is Ernst Renan, who grew up in Issy, and was born three years after Gaspard Félix Tournachon, who was known as Nadar - an extraordinary character, who Renan thought, ended up as a refugee in the 'Botany 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.

Catacombs Photo Show - some Parisians have their bones on permanent view in the Catacombs. These are adorned with pithy signs and some of these can be seen in this exhibition. 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.

The Catacombs, 1. Place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris 14. Métro: Denfert-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.

Festival Polar - is another name for films 'Noir,' essentially US productions made in the '90's. Twenty-five films are on the program, including a few European productions. Until Tuesday, 10. August, at the MK 2 Quai de Seine, 14. Quai de Seine, Paris 19. Métro: Jaurés or Stalingrad. Info. Tel.: 08 36 68 14 07.

Fête des Loges: - has been playing in the forest of Saint-Germain every year at this time since - oh - decades? four-scores? of years and this year is no exception. The forest it is in is pretty old too. This is a 'Fête Foraine' so don't dress up and make sure your small coins are safe before taking some of the rides. There is a combo price of 125 francs, which is good for 18 rides, or 18 goes on one ride. 14 Restaurants, 150 attractions. Continues until Sunday, 15. August. Fête des Loges, Saint-Germain- en-Laye, at the western terminus of RER line 'A.'

Amusement Parks - are all open. They include France Miniature which is miniature France, the Mer-de-Sable which is Paris' closest outdoor Sahara, Parc Asterix which is all about France's oldest and shortest hero and his fat pal, and Disneyland Paris which used to be called Euro-Disneyland until it was discovered that 'Euro' doesn't sell but 'Paris' does. In the order above, Info. Tels. the minis at 08 36 68 52 35, dunes away at 03 44 54 00 96, 03 44 62 34 34 for Obelix and 01 60 30 60 30 for Mickey and his many friends. Ah, the reason for this is: each park has new attractions.

In the Tuleries Gardens - you will find the traditional summer amusement attractions in the form of hairy rides for children and adults. For the latter there is a the big ferris wheel, from which there is a good view. Located along the Rue de Rivoli side of the gardens. For cotton-candy fans - which in French is called something like 'Your Old Man's Beard.' Sticky goo!

Summer Festivals Everywhere - are featured on Télérama's Web site, after clicking on 'Festivals.'

Abstract Summer is now on the walls at Beaubourg with the exhibition of Robert Delaunay's hyper-cunning color sorties. Spots of round, twisted Tour Eiffels, all in eye-popping color, and all painted before 1914. This is not any second-hand stand-by exhibition, but one for a major talent; a show to make you stand up and put on your sunglasses.

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. The exhibition continues until Monday, 16. August. Hours for it are given as daily, from 10:00 to 22:00. Info Tel.: 01 44 78 12 33.

Did I Mention - the Paris Jazz Festival at the Parc Floral de Paris? I've now found a tiny mention of it in Paris' magazine 'Paris le Journal.' The dates are - 'every' Saturday at 16:30, until 25. September - and the concerts are free and no less good because of it. The 30th birthday of the Parc Floral also marks the 6th edition of its Festival 'Classique au Vert,' which features free concerts on Sundays at 16:30. 'Les Pestacles' are on every Wednesday at 14:30 for children from three to ten. Métro: Château de Vincennes. Info. Tel.: 01 43 43 92 95.

1 Monde Réel - the Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain was created in 1984 and since 1994 has been in its present location. The current exhibition asks itself the question about 'the dialectical relations and infinite riches between imaginary and act, known and unknown territories, present and dream, experience of the real and fiction.' In other words, this is a science fiction show because its objects were created by artists instead of engineers.

Trust me - this stuff is pretty good and may well give you a good laugh or two, which I think is permitted - if not necessary.

Until 14. November. Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain, 261. Boulevard Raspail, Paris 14. Métro: Raspail or Denfert-Rochereau. Except Mondays, open daily from 12:00 to 20:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 18 56 51.

Domingo de la Rumba - Every Sunday in July and August, check into rumba rhythms at the Divan du Monde at 19:00 to take an hour's course in salsa followed at 20:00 by an hour's course in salsa to finish off with a final hour's course in salsa beginning at 21:00. After the evening's third course of salsa and if you are still standing, feet twitching, the air-conditioned joint stays open until dawn, serving platos typicos, and muchos musicas along the lines of 'noches de Cuba y América Latina.'

The Divan du Monde Does Morocco - in addition to 'Domingo de la Rumba,' above, the Divan du Monde also has 'Bab el Baraka,' which is Moroccan culture. Music and dance, but also displays of crafts and specialty foods. From Tuesday to Saturday, until 11. September; from 20:30 to 5 in the morning. At the Divan du Monde, 75. Rue des Martyrs, Paris 18. Métro: Abbesses, and walk down. Info. Tel.: 01 44 92 77 66.

Molière et Ses Médecins: - is a musical-comedy by Molière, directed by Rosine Margat with choreography by Virginie Tocque. Starts on Tuesday and runs until 29. August. No show on Mondays in July; none on Monday to Wednesday in August; weekdays at 20:30 and Sundays at 15:30. See it at Le Tambour Royal, 94. Rue du Faubourg du Temple. Paris 11. Métro: Belleville or Goncourt. Tickets at fnac, Virgin, Kiosque and agencies. Info. Tel.: 01 48 06 72 34.

Yves Mikaeloff Meets Kids - and likes telling them what his artistic installations are about, but talks about almost everything else too. Until 30. September, at the Orangerie in the Parc de Bercy, 31. Rue Paul-Belmondo, Paris 12. Métro: Bercy. For times, call Info. Tel.: 01 53 46 19 04.

Raphaël & les Marsouins - is about Raphaël beating everybody else to Mars and the Martians he meets there. For kids, from three to nine years old. Tuesday to Friday, at 14:30; until 3. September. At the Petit Hébertot, 28 bis, Boulevard des Batignolles, Paris 17. Métro: Rome or Villiers. Info. Tel.: 01 44 70 06 69.

Long-Range Planning Dept - in past years, during the chaos of the 'rentrée' inposter: fetes de la seine September, I have managed to remain supremely unaware of three early-early-September events.

'Les Fêtes de la Seine' - start on Thursday, 2. September and continue until Sunday. Last year I think this was only on one Sunday, but Paris is upgrading its river to be a water-sport-and-leisure attraction, so this year the festivities will last for four days.

Starting as a one-day event, a 'Fête des Jardins' is scheduled, I think for the first time, for Sunday, 12. September. Watch this space for details.

Paris Sheep Day - Feel like you've been clipped? Then see how French sheep like it on Sunday, 5. September, at the Ferme de Paris. This is just to the west of the Vincennes racetrack, in the Bois de Vincennes, by the Route de Pesage. Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes or Charenton-Ecoles.

Back To Our Regular Program:

Beneath the Maps - maps can contain more information than may be apparent, and for this reason they were once jealously guarded by those in power. A history of maps, especially those of Paris, are featured in all their details in a current exhibition lasting until October at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, 21. Boulevard Morland, Pa ris 4. Métro: Sully Morland. Info. Tel.: 01 42 76 33 97.

Theatre In the Green - Four shows will be presented outside, weather permitting, between now and 3. October. 'Une Chaise Anglaise' will be on until 29. August; onposter: la villette, 'le grand frisson' geode Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. 'Volpone' runs concurrently, from Tuesdays to Saturdays, also until 29. August. To close, there will be Shakespeare's 'Peines d'Amour Perdu,' from 4. September to 4. October, on Saturdays and Sundays. All in the magical Shakespeare Garden, within the Jardin du Pré-Catelan, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 40 19 95 33.

Hommage à Moustapha Dimé - will feature an Senegalese pal of Ousmane Sow's, who lived 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. Now extended until 14. November.

Les Perles de Bahrein-Dilmoun: - is one of a continuing series of exhibition being staged at the Institut du Monde Arabe, to round-out Paris' 'Ottoman' season. This exhibition continues until Sunday, 29. August.

Dilmoun comes to us as the general name of a civilization which began 5,000 years ago and flourished between 2,500 and 1,200 BC. Study of this civilization only started 30 or 40 years ago. After being asleep for a long time, Bahrein flourished again under the name of 'Tylos' from 300 BC to 400 AD. Almost forgotten, but now on view at the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1. Rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, Paris 5. Info. Tel.: 01 40 51 38 38.

Demures - is the name of the new exhibition at the Musée Zadkine. 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.

Fêtes de Nuit - is the name of Versailles' super spectacular fireworks displays, traditionally put on every summer. Okay, there's dancing and music too, plus special effects and water stuff, all to make you think of the good old Louis' days when taxpayers stood in long lines to see the royal show. Coming dates are 28. August, 4. and 11. September at 21:30. Tickets are from 70 to 250 francs. Info. Tel.: 08 03 80 88 03. Check out Spectacles au Château for more details.

Visit the Opéra(s) - is an invitation to view the insides of their buildings. If you like late 19th century bombast worthy of Hollywood, you'll like the real thing at the Palais Garnier, which is at métro Opéra. The Opéra Bastille is at métro Bastille and is in a modern building and I don't know anything about its interior, except it is somewhat techno. Visits to both are daily and begin at 13:00. You must bring nine friends and make reservations in advance by calling 01 40 01 25 14. Entries are 60 and 45 francs.

Seine Cruising; Bike Cruising

Rent-a-Bike - details about the RATP's 'Roue Libre' and other bike rental possibilities are included in a previous 'Scene' column.

Rent a Bullfrog Bike - four Texas dudes are offering guided bike tours, lasting three to four hours, which stop at everything famous, including cafés. Two tours are available each day; at 10:30 and at 14:30. Find Bullfrog in the middle of the Champ de Mars, by the central fountain. Get a souvenir Bullfrog t-shirt. Join the Bullfrog team for 'flag football' every Tuesday at 18:30, at their bike location. Rah! Rah! Continues until Tuesday, 31. August. Tour price is 120 francs. No credit; no cards accepted. No phone either, but you can write to these good ol' boys at BullfrogBikes@hotmail.com

Vélo Taxis - the Vélo Taxis are stationed in the Place de la Concorde by the Tuileries - and follow a fixed one-hour route in the bike lanes, around the centre of Paris, on both banks on the Seine. The fare is 170 francs for a one-hour tour for two, and 100 francs for a 30-minute one-way trip to the Tour Eiffel. This is a heck of a good deal if your feet are flat and tired. There are usually one or two stationed at Concorde, but there are many in reserve - for group excursions. Info. Tel.: 01 47 42 00 01.

Batobus - the city's bus on the Seine is something to think about trying if your feet get tired from walking beside it. Down on the water there is a different view too. All-day tickets are not overly expensive and allow getting on and off as often as you wish. From the Tour Eiffel to Saint-Michel there are about four landings and there are two on the right bank at the Hôtel de Ville and the Louvre.


Paris' Ottoman Summer

Paris has been celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire, which started with Sultan Mehemet II in Constantinople. Except for the item below, this series of exhibitions is nearly over. One is still listed with last week's feature about the multi-function park at La Villette.

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 Sunday, 15. August Info. Tel.: 01 30 84 74 00.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

'L'Artiste Selon Balzac' - The 'Maison de Balzac' reopened with a new exhibitionposter: 'mais n'te promene donc pas toute nue' by feydeau, theatre lucernaire of artistic works. On exhibit will be Raphael, done by Ingres, La Fontaine, and Balzac by Picasso, plus science types such as Descartes and Newton; to illustrate Balazc's argument. Balzac's missing statue by Rodin at Vavin can be seen at the exhibition.

It is also the bi-centenary of Balzac's birth - which was on 20. May 1799 - so the Web has swung into gear. In addition to the Web site above you may want to take a look at this other one, to see complete texts and illustrations. These amounted to, at his death, 10,816 pages in 97 volumes.

The exhibition continues until 5. September. The museum's library is currently closed, but will reopen on 19. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Jean Moulin, 1899-1943 - This is a special exhibition, on the occasion of the anniversary of Jean Moulin's birth. It is more biographical detailed than the permanent exhibit. 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.

Hommage à Jean Marais - is an exhibition about this famous French actor, which continues until 5. September. Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptel, Paris 9. Métro: Saint-Georges. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

The Musée de la Poupée - the Paris' doll museum has an exhibit of the 'Les Plus Belles' dolls, dating from 1899 to 1957. Many of these are from private collections. These are on show at the museum until 12. September.

Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Except Monday, open daily from 11:00 to 18:00. Boutique next door. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Homage à Jean Rigaud - presents 80 years worth of this marine painter's production in an exhibition lasting until 23. August. While you do a tour of this museum, there is also a show called L'Ile au Trésor for kids every Wednesday, starting at 14:45. By reservation only: for the 8-12s, 25 francs. Tel.: 01 53 65 69 53. For the museum, open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 17:50. Musée de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro.

'Le Vagabond du Surréalisme' - is Georges Malkine, considered to be one of the founders of surrealism. At the Pavillon des Arts, Les Halles, Porte Rambuteau, Terrace Lautréamont, Paris 1. Until 29. August. Open from 11:30 to 18:30, except on Mondays and holidays.

Jean Racine 1699-1999 - gets a remembrance in the Yvelines department this summer, with theatre, conferences, tours, anposter: aout au cine exhibition and concerts being staged. For details of the full program, try the Web site for the Ile-de-France. While at the site, check to see if the 'Historic Writer's Route' program is still operating.

'Painting After Abstraction, 1955 to 1975' is the current exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne. It features Martin Barré, Jean Defottex, Raymond Hains, Simon Hantaï and Jacques Villeglé. Until Sunday, 19. September.

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.

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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