newyear redstar
new years logo scene

New Year 2000 Yipee!

photo: montmartre steps

Just how many photos are taken on the Montmartre
steps evey year?

Last Chance Call

newyear greenstar

Paris:- Sunday, 26. December 1999:- For New Years Eve, Metropole adds its invitation to the mayor's, below. I am personally dubious about big crowds, but have routinely mixed in with them.

In the case of New Years Eve, the weather will be a determining factor. One year I had a small party planned, and the guests decided to take in an afternoon movie. When they left the cinema, their car was covered in a sheet of ice and they couldn't open its doors. All of Paris was covered with ice that New Years Eve, and very few people went anywhere - except with the métro.

With this in mind, I'll let you consider the following invitation:

A few days from now, around midnight on Friday, 31. December, Paris' Mayor Jean Tiberi wants everybody to be closephoto: poster: rendezvous at the tour eiffel enough to the Tour Eiffel to see it 'set the sky aflame' on the stroke of midnight. Metropole adds its invitation to the mayor's.

Then he wants all of you to hotfoot it over to the Champs-Elysées to see the opening of the 'Doors of the Year 2000,' in front of a giant spectacle 'celebrating the wheel of infinite time.'

This is a personal invitation from the mayor of Paris to all Parisians, and since visitors will help to foot the bill for this, you are invited to share it with them and each other.

In this way you will be able to cross the bridge between the past and the future, the bridge betweenposter: aaliyah'com reflection and fête, and the three-way bridge between variety, balance and the riches of humanity that Paris embodies.

Taking up this generous invitation from the mayor is something for you to decide. I will do it in order to make a report about it.

I hope that we, in all our millions, will find the way from the Champ de Mars, cross the real Pont d'Iéna, and go up the Avenue George V to the Champs-Elysées.

Along the way, I hope all the cafés remember to stay open to offer refreshments and that the army of security services are polite enough to keep us safely on the right path. I hope that when we all get to the Champs-Elysées, we can all get on it - that there is room enough left for the pilgrims from the Champ de Mars.

If all of this turns out to be the case, I will see you there.

Fooey - This is Metropole's last pre-New Years 'sort of' program for Paris this year. It does not contain everything. And I do not feel like putting any more into it.

In addition to the usual skating rink and two merry-go-rounds in front of the Hôtel de Ville, Paris will also have a 'mountain' village at Trocadéro this year. It will continue until Monday, 10. January. As usual, other traditional merry-go-rounds will be distributed around Paris, in 17 of its arrondissements.

'Snow' in cubes is imported from Savoie. Pine trees have been planted to accompany 25 wooden 'mountain' chalets; there will be an ice-skating rink and a 'Marché de Noël' featuring the traditional Christmas fare.

The children's village will be animated by various commercial concerns - for discrete 'show' and 'sell' - plus there will be a 300-seat restaurant. In the ski area there is limitedbrochure: disney village downhill, cross-country - at Trocadéro! - snowboard, dogsled and bobsled areas; all of which together seemed to be the size of an average five-franc piece. Part of the receipts will be going to UNICEF so I shouldn't sneer. The skating rink at this 'village' may be closed if it is raining.

La Crèche de l'Espérance is Notre Dame's annual creche and this year it features nine pa intings inspired by 12th century originals from the roman church at Zillis in Switzerland. Also new this year, this creche is inside the cathedral. Continues until Tuesday, 2. February. Entry - for a donation - from Monday to Saturday; from 10:00 to 17:30; on Sundays from 14:00 to 17:30; and on Wednesday nights from 19:00 to 22:00.

La Madeleine - has two shows this year; one starts on Saturday, 4. December and involves 20 illustrations projected onto the facade facing the Rue Royale. This lasts daily from 17:00 to midnight, until Monday, 3. January. There will be another giant painting on the opposite end too.

Eglise Saint- Pierre de Montmartre - has a Russian New Years, directed by Père Alexandre Kedroff on Sunday, 9. January at 17:00. Advertised as being 'since 1898' the poster also says, heated. Saint- Pierre de Montmartre, 2. Rue du Mont-Cenis, Paris 18. Métro: Lamark or Abbesses. Info. Tel.: 01 42 64 83 16.

American Cathedral - There will be a 'Worship for the Millennium' service on Saturday, 1. January, at 12:00. Atposter: le rossignol de l'empereur de chine the American Cathedral, 23. Avenue George V, Paris 8. Métro: George V or Alma-Marceau. Info. Tel.: 01 53 23 84 00.

Eglise La Madeleine - For New Year's Eve, Handel's Messiah will be performed at 19:30 by a cast of 150. This is a big, popular show, so order your tickets early for this. Tickets at fnac, Virgin and agencies.

Les Crèches du Bout du Monde - is merely 200 creches from Brazil, for big and small, that feature items made by children and artisans from the 'end of the world.' Free entry. Open Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 to 19:00; until Saturday, 8. January. Closed Christmas Day and New Years Day. At the Espace Vivendi, 6-8. Rue de Tilsit, Paris 8. Métro: Etoile.

Fêtes Outside Paris - can be found in the vast Ile-de-France as I mentioned in last week's 'Scene.' I am overloaded with Paris items, so it will be a help to me if you try the Web site yourself.


Opéra Palais Garnier - Ballet: Balachine-Kelemenis-Montalvo; from 20 to 24 and 26 to 30. December at 19:30. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Opéra, Bastille - Verdi's 'Falstaff' is on Friday, 31. December, at 19:30. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Théâtre du Châtelet - 'The Nutcracker Suite' choreographed by Maurice Béjart, features Yvette Horner and a big cast. Last chance is Friday, 31. December at 20:00. Info. Tel.: 01 40 28 28 40.

Note: storm damage may affect the circuses listed below. Be sure to call for information.

Nouveau Cirque de Pékin - features a two hour show with 45 artistes, animals, allposter: henry v from Canton. As seen on TV-news, this is a very spectacular show. Until Sunday, 9. January, in the Zavatta tent at the Pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes. Métro: Porte Dorée and Porte de Charenton. Prices from 85 francs for kids up to 225 francs for adults. Info. Tel.: 08 25 03 90 40.

Salto - for circus history, there is a special show at the Cirque d'Hiver, which pays tribute to the Bouglione circus - of which the latest version is also playing out at Issy-les-Moulineaux. For the history, see 'Salto' at the Cirque d'Hiver, 110. Rue Amelot, Paris 11; Info. Tel.: 01 53 94 59 10. Until 30. January. Out at Issy, the address is 24. Boulevard Galiéni. Until Sunday, 9. January. Info. Tel.: 06 80 11 11 98; plus tickets at agencies.

Alexis Gruss - after 25 years of the 'Cirque à l'Ancienne' which follows a tradition established in 1770, to have lots of horses. Until Sunday, 20. February, at the Allée de la Reine Marguerite in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 45 01 71 26.

Arlette Gruss - seems to do everything except horses, with tigers that menace and clowns, trapeze acts, more clowns, and so on. Until 31. December, with a circus 'of the future' festival until Friday, 31. December. On the Pelouse de Reuilly, Paris 12. Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 30 82.

Pinder - Jean Richard - a circus with 140 years of tradition, that everyone had seen rolling around Europe non-stop - for a long time; takes its usual holiday place in Paris. Until Monday, 3. January, at the Pelouse de Reuilly in the area of the Foire du Trône, Pais 12. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 09 09.

Pinocchio - based on Goldini's famous piece about fibbing and long noses; directed by Yves Le Guillochet. For enfants from three to 10. On Wednesday, Saturday and school holidays. Until 12. April. Resa. Tel.: 01 42 54 77 77. Playing at theposter: kedroff same theatre, 'Le Rossignol de l'Empereur de Chine' by Hans Christian Andersen; for kids three to nine. Resa. Tel.: 01 42 54 58 14. Théâtre Pépinière Opéra, 7. Rue Louis-Le-Grand, Paris 2. Métro: Opéra.

'Les Fabulettes' - Metropole had this last year and here it is again: a musical for kids, with Jacques Haurogné singing the 'Fabulettes.' Until Friday, 31. December, daily at 14:30. At the auditorium Saint-Germain, 7. Rue Féliben, Paris 5. Métro: Mabillon. Info. Tel.: 01 44 07 37 43. Tickets also at agencies.

Les Noces de Jeannette - is also a repeater from last year; an opera dated 1853 - 'vraiment comique! - by Victor Massé, performed by the Nadia Baji company. On Saturdays, 4. and 25. January; at 19:00. On Sunday, 9. January; at 16:00. Théâtre Maurice Ravel, 6. Avenue Maurice Ravel, Paris 12. Métro: Porte de Vincennes or Porte Dorée. Info. Tel.: 01 44 75 60 14.

The Musée de la Poupée - this small museum is showing Bécassine, Bluette and the dolls that were featured in the 'Semaine de Suzette,' a weekly magazine for girls that was published from 1905 to 1960. Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. In a dead-end opposite the métro exit at Rambuteau. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

The Mystery of the Enchanted Garbage Can - is a new show, described as 'clownesque.' It takes classical fables, adds a giant rabbit and the 'green line' to its ecolo theme. At the Théâtre du Trianon, 80. Boulevard de Rochechouart, ¨Paris 18. Métro: Pigalle. Info. Tel.: 01 40 86 74 33.

At the moment nobody knows just how many people are going to go to the Tour Eiffel to see it pop its cork. The same thing goes for the Champs-Elysées. Public security authorities are taking no chances, so they are preparing for the biggest crowds in history.

It should be pretty obvious you can't be in two places at the same time. If you opt for the public events takingposter: messia, madeleine place outside, you may to have to forego the all-night galas taking place inside.

Generally speaking, big crowds in Paris are well-behaved. There will be an exceptionable police presence - 73,000 cops, gendarmes and soldiers - to make sure it stays this way. If you happen to have some portable Champagne with you, I do not think they will take the trouble to notice.

It is too early to tell how easy or difficult it will be to make reservations for public New Years Eve fêtes in Paris.

Metropole readers are interested, judging by emails I've received. Answering these individually is difficult, because many writers include no details about their tastes or budgets. If you are arriving in Paris, hit the magazine stands in the airports and get a copy of 'Pariscope' or the 'Officiel des Spectacles.' These city guides have a lot of listings, for everything - and are not difficult to decipher.

For New Years gala evenings I may have a lesser number to choose from, and te range has increased by 50 percent to 'under 750 francs.'>/P>

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