A Smidgen of Christmas

photo: boulevard arago

Quiet times in the Boulevard Arago.

Searching For the Rest

Paris:- Saturday, 25. November 2000:- If you thought I had on my 'Three-Penny Eddie' trenchcoat and spent my 'week off' searching for the coming holiday season program for Paris, then you thought wrong. But that was last week.

Readers are getting seriously worried about this, I am getting seriously worried about this - and, if you've been looking like I have, you'll know the Web is no help. The Ville de Paris' own Web site laconically says it has no events available for this coming season.

However, as little as they are - and some are already known to club members in Paris - there is a short list of minor 'illuminating' items below. Meanwhile 'Three-Penny Eddie' goes out this week, with a big magnifying glass. Watch for next weeks' report.



Christmas and New Years - the complete program for the 2000/2001 holiday season is somewhat elusive. Some of you are planning to pass this season in Paris, and I guess you want to nail down your reservations.

Metropole has featured holiday issues in the past. You can look these up to get an idea of a typical holiday season in Paris because the details don't change radically from year to year. On account of the extra attention given to last year's so-called 'Millennium' thing, the best past issues to consult are 1998's. These are the '3'-series numbers.

Here is a short list of links to these issues. In 1998 the 'pre-Christmas' program started - somehow - with Issue 3.46 on Monday, 16. November. But the issues that will probably be most useful are numbers 350, 351, and 352, for the New Year's tips. The big 'deuxmille' was with us last year, but take a look at issues 451 and 452 all the same. Coming soon, one of these fine days, this year's program. Until then:

Paris' Christmas Tree - is in front of the Hôtel de Ville until Monday, 15. January 2001. Métro: Hotel de Ville.

Christmas Lights
  • Rue Royal, until the beginning of January
  • Avenue Montaigne, from 17:00 until midnight; until Friday, 5. January
  • Place Vendôme and Rue de la Paix, until Friday, 5. January
  • Avenue des Champs-Elysées, from 18:00; until Sunday, 31. December
  • Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Christmas Windows
  • Bon Marché, Rive Gauche, until Sunday, 26. December. At 24. Rue de Sèvres, Paris 7.
  • La Samaritaine, until Sunday, 31. December. At 19. Rue de la Monnaie, Paris 1.
  • Printemps, Haussmann, until Sunday, 31. December. Theme - 'Glam'rock.' At 64. Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9.
  • Aux Galeries Lafayette, until Sunday, 31. December. Theme - 'Alice au Pays des Merveilles' which is otherwise known as 'Wonderland.' At 40. Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9.

Le Théâtre de la Ville - has its usual ambitious program featuring theatre, dance, music and 'world' music. The 40 page brochure is too much to condense here, so here is the Web site. At Le Théâtre de la Ville, 2. Place du Châtelet, Paris 4. Métro: Châtelet. InfoTel.: 01 42 74 22 77.

Festival d'Art Sacré - takes place for the 23rd time in the 10 Paris churches with antique organs, and in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées - for a total of 20 performances, continuing until Saturday, 16. December. At the Saint-Eustache church, also see Bill Viola's video 'The Greeting,' until Sunday, 7. January. Order tickets from the Festival d'Art Sacré, 14. Rue de Madrid, 75008 Paris. Also available at fnac. InfoTel.: 01 44 70 70 64 10.

Génies Timbrés - is an exhibition of postage stamps featuring lesser-known inventors and other egg-heads who have brought us things like the sewing machine and the tube radio. Until 24. February; open from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 18:00. At the Musée de la Poste, 34. Boulevard de Vaugirard, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. InfoTel.: 01

5th Salon d'Art - of 'Histoires Naturelles,' features works of artists who have lent their talents to nature. The exhibit's poster photo is by Sarah Moon, for example. Except Tuesday, open from 10:00 to 17:00; until Sunday, 14. January. Free entry; part of the catalogue's price goes to replacing plants damaged by last December's storm. At the Galerie de Botanique, Jardin des Plantes, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, 18. Rue Buffon, Paris 5. Métro: Place Monge. InfoTel.: 01 40 79 37 69.

Catacombs - a very long time ago Parisians were buried near where they lived, worked and worshiped. Then came another, later time in 1810, when cemeteries took up too much valuable downtown real estate, and the poor bones had to find other lodgings. Some of the bones are on permanent view at Paris' Catacombs. These are adorned with pithy signs with texts that are not only in French, but in Latin, Greek, Italian and even Swedish - so take a translator. Open Tuesday to Friday, from 14:00 to 16:00; on Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. At 1. Place Denfert-Rochereau, Parisposter: expo beuville, l'atelier an girard 14. Métro: Denfert-Rochereau. InfoTel.: 01 43 22 47 63. Note: the Catacombs will be closed from some time in December until April 2001.

Beuville - exhibition of the works of an illustrator, cartoonist, painter of the air and of nature, but basically a funny guy. Until the end of January 2001. Open Tuesday to Friday, from 12:30 to 18:30; or by appointment. At L'Atelier An. Girard, 7. Rue Campagne Première, Paris 14. Métro: Vavin or Raspail. InfoTel/Fax.: 01 43 22 01 16.

'To Dare...' - "De l'audace, toujours de l'audace..." is a medical exhibition at the Musée de l'Assistance Publique featuring four examples of operations performed by Dr. Jules-Emile Péan, who died in 1898. Ahead of his time and daring, Dr. Péan was much envied by his contemporaries. Until Sunday, 31. December. At the Musée de l'Assistance Publique, Hôtel de Miramion, 47. Quai de la Tournelle, Paris 5. Métro: Maubert-Mutualité. InfoTel.: 01 40 27 50 05.

Salon Nautique - despite Paris' inland location, it is the nautical centre of France and the world for this international salon lasting nine days. From Saturday, 2. December until Sunday, 10. December, from 10:00 to 19:00 daily; until 23:00 on Friday, 8. December. Salon Nautique, at Paris Expo. Paris 15. Métro: Porte de Versailles.

Le Dessin Pour Passion - some artists stayed in Paris during the war and some were 'invited' to Germany, and Paul Belmondo was one of these. The time seems right for the 'rediscovery' of this sculptor's designs, with an exhibition of 60 of them. Continues until Wednesday, 21. February. Except Monday, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Avenue Winston-Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau. InfoTel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

L'Ecole de Paris 1901-1929 - is a big expo devoted to artists who arrived in Paris before 1914, and photographers who showed up in the '20's - until it was mostly over in 1930. Based on the twin peaks of Montmartre and Montparnasse, these 'visitors' had a tremendous influence on French art. From Wednesday, 29. November until 11. March; exceptposter: salon d'art, histories naturelles, jardin des plantes Monday, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Musée d'Art Moderne, 11. Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Paris, la Rue: Un Autre 1900 - exhibition of photos of Paris mostly shot from the 1890's until 1913, continues until Wednesday, 20. December. This exhibition will reopen on Tuesday, 2. January and will continue until Wednesday. 3. February 2001. At the Archives de Paris, 18. Boulevard Séurier, Paris 19. Métro: Porte des Lilas. IntoTel.: 01 52 72 41 23, and from abroad, InfoFax.: 33 1 53 72 41 34.

Mois de la Photo 2000 - this year is the 20th edition, with Paris as the main subject, divided into three sorts of views: Paris, Paris and Photography, and the Foreigner's Paris. In addition to young photographers, old photos never seen before will be shown. Watch for 40 - or 69! - related photographic exhibitions to go along with this - some are elsewhere in this issue, in Issue 5.46 and others are in this column below. Principal outpost is La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5-7. Rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. InfoTel.: 01 44 78 75 00.

Paris en 80 Quartiers - in a year of big shows, this may be the biggest of all, and it's all about Paris and Parisians. Lots of photos, lots of neat and zoomy multimedia. The '80 Quartiers' are divided into the 20 arrondissements, and each one is featured in their 'City Halls.' Now showing at the 1st, and in the 2nd beginning on Wednesday; the 8th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 19th arrondissements. It all wraps up on Saturday, 6. January when it finishes in the 13th. All Mairies are open on weekdays and Saturday mornings. A free catalogue of 130 pages is also available in the Mairies.

This item closes the 'opening' events for this week. You will find some other new items below. The images are of posters that are around Paris, but some are for events - not necessarily listed in the text.

Paris Pour Escale - or, 'Passing Through,' features mostly non-western modern artists who are migrating through the art scene, from there to here and beyond. From Wednesday, 6. December until 11. February; except Monday, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Musée d'Art Moderne, 11. Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Angoulême 2001 - for its 28th edition, this international comics festival has a lady cartoonist as its president for the first time; Florence Cestac. From Thursday, 25. January until Sunday, 28. January; from 10:00 to 19:00. Saturday until 21:00. The easiest way to get to Angoulême is via the TGV 'Atlantique' that departs from Montparnasse; the trip takes two hours and 20 minutes. By the autoroute A10, it is 445 kilometres. Thebrochure: pre program, angoleme 2001, design f cestac SNCF has a general 25 percent and special 50 percent reduction offers for festival visitors. Tickets for the festival, InfoTel.: 08 20 07 20 20. 'Passport' for three days, 150 francs. Hotel accommodations, InfoTel.: 05 45 69 48 65; from outside France, 33 5 45 69 48 65.

Diner des Cons - by Francis Veber was a hit on stage and in the flicks, in French; and now it has been adapted by Barbara Bray and the Dear Conjunction Theatre Company for a production in English. Beginning on Thursday, 21. December, the run is scheduled to continue until 21. April. Showtimes are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at 21:00. At the Sudden Théâtre - instead of the Petit Hébertot - at 14. bis, Rue Sainte-Isaure, Paris 18. Métro: Jules-Joffrin. InfoTel.: 01 44 70 06 69

La Gloire des Empereurs - China's last big exhibition in Paris was in 1973; this major one presents the considerable finds since then; from the Bronze Age to the Liao epoque. Also featured are the photographs of Roland Michaud. This new exhibition continues until Sunday, 28. January; from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:40; on Thursdays until 20:00. At the Petit Palais. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau. InfoTel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

Manet, les Natures Mortes - is French for 'still life' so it is not as sinister as you may have thought. Impressionistic apples and pears by the square metre, but a major show all the same. Until Sunday, 7. January; open daily except Monday; from 10:00 to 18:00, to 21:45 on Thursdays, and from 9:00 to 18:00 on Sundays. Musée d'Orsay, 1. Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, Paris 7. Métro: Solférino or RER 'C' Musée d'Orsay. InfoTel.: 01 40 49 48 14.

Visions du Future - is a really big show which presents an entire history of mankind's hopes - and fears. Except Tuesdays, the hours are from 10:00 to 19:15; on Thursdays until 21:45. Reservations required before 13:00. Until Monday, 1. January 2001, when the world is not coming to an end again. At the Grand Palais, 3. Avenue du Général-Eisenhower, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau. InfoTel.: 01 44 13 17 17.

Méditerranée - 'from Courbet to Matisse,' is a visual 'first take' to the shock of light that greeted a group of 39 painters between 1850 and 1920 when they discovered the Mediterranean sun and sky. An explosion of discovery, from the Gulf of Genoa to Catalonia. "Quel soleil ici!" Monnet wrote to Rodin in 1888. Until Monday, 15. January 2001; except Tuesday, daily from 10:00 to 20:00; on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 22:00. Reservations required before 13:00; none afterwards. At the Grand Palais, 3. Avenue du Général-Eisenhower, Square Jean-Perrin, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 10.

Fra Angelico to Bonnard - features 106 major paintings from the extraordinary Rau Collection - by El Greco, Tiepolo, Millet, Fragonard, Pissarro, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, to name a few. Until Thursday, 4. January 2001. Daily from 11:00 to 19:00; on Thursdays until 22:00. In the French Senat's Musée du Luxembourg, 19. Rue Vaugirard, Paris 6. Métro: Saint-Suplice, Odéon or Mabillon. InfoTel.: 01 42 34 25 95.

Monet At Marmottan - an exhibition showing a fairly complete collection of paintings by Claude Monet. A special section is set aside for the Giverny paintings. Degas, Caillebotte, Sisley and Gauguin are also present, but this is nearly a mono-Monet show. Until Sunday, 31. December; from 10:00 to 17:00, except Mondays. Musée Marmottan, 2. Rue Louis-Boilly, Paris 16. Métro: La Muette. InfoTel.: 01 42 24 07 02.

Le Coton et la Mode - ordinary cotton may form most t-shirts, but this material has a long and rich history that is not particularly well-known. Until Sunday, 11. March; daily except Monday; from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Musée Galliera, 10. Avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 47 20 85 23..

Argenterie d'Usage - 'Argenterie de Prestige' is an exhibition of the best French silverwork from the 18th and 19th centuries, assembled from the collections of the city's Petit Palais and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Until Sunday, 25. February 2001; from Tuesday to Sunday; from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Musée Cognacq-Jay, 8. Rue Elzévir, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul. InfoTel.: 01 40 27 07 21.

L'Arche Ethiopienne - Exhibition of works from the 14th to 18th centuries, from Ethiopian and European collections, featuring African Christianity which dates to the 4th century. Until Sunday, 7. January. At the Terrace Lautréamont, Porte Rambuteau, Les Halles, Paris 1. Métro: Les Halles. InfoTel.: 01 42 33 82 50.

Notre Peyre - 'Qui êtes odieux,' features the works of Gilbert Peyre who does funny stuff that critics might not think is art - which is serious business. See his 'King Pig.' Until Sunday, 31. December. At Paris' weird art centre, the Halle Saint-Pierre, 2. Rue Ronsard, Paris 18. Métro: Anvers or Barbés. InfoTel.: 01 42 58 72 89.

Archéo 2000 - launches the opening of the restored Orangerie, which is Paris' only 17th century example - in the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau. On show: a collection of the archeological finds from the recent Bercy digs; featuring in whole or parts, ten 4-6000 year-old canoes. These have become part of the Musée Carnavalet - Historie de Paris permanent collection. Open Tuesday to Sunday; from 10:00 to 17:40. At 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert. InfoTel.: 01 44 59 58 58.

Sam Szafran - 'L'Atelier dans l'Atelier' presents the artist with his pastels and watercolors of interiors andbrochure: danse, theatre de la ville stairways, in Ary Scheffer's recently renovated atelier. Besides 50 well-known works, 50 other images are from private collections. This exhibition continues until Sunday, 14. January. At the Musée de la Vie Romantique, Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Blanche or Pigalle. InfoTel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Sous le Ciel de la Peinture - Paris - 150 works; oils, aquarelles, drawings, from the 17th century to today; by David, Corot, Delacroix, Picasso, Matisse and others, all showing the 'light' of Paris. This is a highly interesting show, with some seldom seen rare views of Paris. Until Sunday, 17. December. In the city's own Salle Saint-Jean, Hôtel de Ville, Rue de Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville.

"Du chaos dans le pinceau..." - is from Victor Hugo's 'Les Misérables' as is this exhibition of his little-known designs, paintings, furniture and other elements point towards surrealism. Featured in a recent issue. Until Sunday 7. January; from Tuesday to Sunday; from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Maison de Victor Hugo, 6. Place des Vosges, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Bastille. InfoTel.: 01 42 72 10 16.

Le Diable Sucré - features cakes, cannibalism, death and... no, it's not the same show as Halloween or Toussaint. Tuesday to Friday, 14:00 to 19:00; weekends, 13:00 to 19:00. Until Sunday, 28. January. At the Pavillon Paul Delouvier in the Parc de la Villette, 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurés, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de Pantin. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 75 75.


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