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 ossés-Saint-Bernard, Paris 4. Except Monday, open daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Free entry. Métro: Cardinal Lemoine or Jussieu.


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