Choo-Choo Champs-Elysées

photo: tgv, champs elysees, train capitale

A new-model TGV locomotive, not quite going 300 kph towards Concorde.

Trains on the Brain

Paris:- Saturday, 10. May 2003:- The show of the week is obviously going to be 'Le Train Capitale' on the stretch of the Champs-Elysées from Rond-Point to Concorde, which is to continue until Sunday, 15. June. Either coupled or by chance, there is also an artistic show with trains in Paris as the theme, until Friday, 18. July.

The city has plenty of pretty fancy train stations, but Le Parisien insists that the Champs-Elysées is the 'most luxurious one in the world.' The paper is guilty of hyperbole, because the railroad equipment is merely parked under the trees lining the avenue - on rails to be sure - but everything was trucked in and isn't about to go toot-toot and chug off to Marseille.

A lot of the equipment in place so far consists of the SNCF's latest transport creations. Yet to come - being trucked in, in bits every night - are some historical engines, right back to toot-toot number one. Also, some track is going to laid on the southern sidewalk for little trains to huff-puff up and down the avenue.

It is definitely not hyperbole to say that one can see some pretty odd sights on Paris sidewalks, but I think this one is going to get a prize. And I'll get some photos I'll treasure forever.

Le Train Capitale - to be on outdoor view on and along the Champs-Elysées from Rond-Point to Concorde - whole trains, old trains, TGVs, mini streetcars - from Saturday, 17. May until Sunday, 15. June. With a little help from the SNCF, the RATP and the national railway museum in Mulhouse.

Paris et Ses Chemins de Fer - within 30 short years Paris evolved from being an old but important barge stop to becoming the utopian railroad roundhouse of France. See this historically-oriented exhibition organized by the Action Artistique de Paris, until 23. May, from 11:00 to 17:00, and until 19:30 on Thursdays, at the Mairie of the 10th, 72. Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin, Paris 10. Métro: Château d'Eau. Then from 11:00 to 17:00, and until 19:30 on Thursdays, from Thursday, 5 June until Friday, 18. July, at the Mairie of the 12th, 130. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Dugommier. For group visits, InfoTel.: 01 43 25 30 30.

Les Pestacles - is for kids, with free shows featuring clowns, music, puppets, music, magic, clowns, music and so on. On Wednesdays at 14:30, beginning 14. May and continuing until 24. September. At the Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. InfoTel.: 01 55 94 20 20.

Designer's Days - is supposed to be a weekend show featuring French designers and what they are doing. Set aside the long weekend of Thursday, 15. May to Sunday, 18. May for this. The exhibits are on view in major fashion-conscious stores and boutiques. InfoTel.: 01 42 59 73 40.

Saharas d'Algerie - is a show about a lot of sand. As advertised in the métro, until 21. October. The garden is open from 7:30 to 19:45. If the expo is in the Grandeposter: expo, susanna fritscher, mus zadkine Galerie de l'Evolution it is closed on Tuesdays, but open from 10:00 to 18:00, and on Thursdays until 22:00. In the Jardin des Plantes, 57. Rue Cuvier, Paris 5. Métro: Jussieu or Austerlitz. InfoTel.: 01 40 79 30 00.

Susanna Fritscher - will be having an exhibition beginning on Friday, 16 May, to continue until 5. October.from Tuesday to Sunday; from 10:00 to 18:00. At the Musée Zadkine, 100-bis. Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Notre-Dame-des-Champs or Vavin. InfoTel.: 01 43 26 91 90.

L'Esprit fe la Forêt - features Yanomani and other artists in this new show beginning on Wednesday and continuing until 12. October. From 12:00 to 20:00 except on Mondays. At the Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain, 261. Boulevard Raspail, Paris 14. Métro: Raspail or Denfert Rochereau. InfoTel.: 01 42 18 56 50.

Music Posters - are supposed to be 'contemporary' but some may be not so. Take a look at the Galerie Grand Monde, in the Cour Damoye, entry via 12. Place de la Bastille, Paris 11. Métro: Bastille. InfoTel.: 01 48 05 51 30. The Cour Damoye has several other galleries and shops, so a visit to all of it will be worth your while.

Foire du Trone - if rides that jiggle the money out of your pockets are your thing, they are happening at the annual bit of traditional carny that always features one of the newest, most hair-raising, scariest - well, whatever you want. From 14:00 to midnight. Until Sunday, 1. June, at the Pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Porte de Charenton. InfoTel.: 01 46 27 52 29.

Himalaya - Tibet - or, 'Le Choc des Continents' is an important exhibition, most likely featuring very high mountains. Continuing until 4. August. Closed Tuesdays, its hours are from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Thursdays until 22:00. At the Muséum National d'Historie Naturelle, 57. Rue Cuvier, Paris 5. Métro: Jussieu. InfoTel.: 01 40 79 36 00.

Paris-Saint Petersbourg - "when Russia spoke French..." is the subtitle for this exhibition timedposter: expo, affiches musique, gal grand monda to coincide the 300th year of the founding of Saint-Pete. From Wednesday, 21. May until 31. August, from 10:00 to 18:00. Closed on Mondays except in July and August. At the Hôtel National des Invalides - Musée de l'Armée, 129. Rue de Grenelle, Paris 7. Métro: Latour-Maubourg or Varenne. InfoTel.: 01 44 42 37 72.

Big Shows - include Leonardo de Vinci's designs at the Louvre which are on view now and the exhibition 'Daguerréotype Français' at the Musée d'Orsay, starting on Monday, 12. May.

La Ruche - was officially named the Villa Médicis by its founder, the sculptor Alfred Boucher - but its artistic inhabitants called it the 'beehive' because of its shape, and the shape of things that went on there - mainly artistic, by Chagall, Modigliani, Léger. Since it still fills this function, the exhibition about its past is at the Musée du Montparnasse, until Wednesday, 14. May. Except Mondays, from 12:00 to 18:30. In the alley off 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. InfoTel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés - although called 'Esprit' it is also called Festival, so I think this involves a lot of live jazz, films and photos. Until Saturday, 17. May. In and around Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Paris 6. InfoTel.: 08 92 68 36 22.

Poupées de Poche - not 'pocket Barbie' but 'Polly Pocket' and friends are on view until Sunday, 18. May. Also see the permanent collection all-year round. From 10:00 to 18:00 daily except Mondays. At the Musée de la Poupée, in the Impasse Berthaud, just off 22. Rue Rambuteau, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Bertien Van Manen - is an exhibition by Dutch photographer, continuing until Sunday, 18. May. From Wednesday to Sunday, from 13:00 to 18:30. No entry charge. At the Centre Photographique d'Ile-de-France, 107. Avenue de la République, in Pontault Combault. By SNCF train for 30 minutes from Gare de l'Est, in the direction of Tournan or Coulommiers and get off at Emerainville or Pontault-Combault. InfoTel.: 01 70 05 49 80.

Paris en Piste! - is subtitled 'L'Aventure du Cirque à Paris,' and traces the 200-year history of the circus in Paris. Until Saturday, 31. May. Except on Sundays and holidays, from 10:00 to 19:00. In the Salon d'Acceuil of the Hôtel de Ville, 29. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. InfoTel.: 01 42 76 43 43. Free entry.

The Year of Algeria - this is a multi-month multi-cultural series of dance, music and theatre events continuing until July.

Des Arts de la Marionnette - is biannual and international and happens this year from Monday, 19. May until Saturday, 7. June, at a variety of times. At the Parc de la Villette, 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de Pantin. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 75 75.

Table Tennis Championships - these are the world championship variety, and do not cause as much neck-twisting as tennis but require keen eyes to follow the light-speed pings and pongs. From Monday, 19. May until Sunday, 25. May. At the POBP-Bercy, 8 Boulevard de Bercy, Paris 12. Métro: Bercy. InfoTel.: 08 25 03 00 31.

Foire du Livre Ancien - is a major weekend buy, sell and trade fest for the collectors of rare paper, books, cards, maps. From Thursday, 22. May until Sunday, 25. May, and from 17:00 to 21:00 on the first day and from 11:00 to 19:00 thereafter. At the Maison de la Mutualité, 24. Rue Saint-Victor, Paris 5. Métro: Maubert-Mutualité or Cardinal-Lemoine. InfoTel.: 01 43 29 46 38.

Belleville's Artists - open their atelier doors to all comers from Friday, 23. May to Monday, 26 May, generally from 15:00 to 21:00. In the Belleville Quartier. Paris 19 and 20. Métro: Belleville, Pyrenées, Jourdain or Télégraphe. InfoTel.: 01 46 36 44 09.

Printemps des Rues - it's party time in the streets of Paris on the weekend of 24-25. May. Bring your dancing shoes and a friend. InfoTel.: 01 47 97 36 06.

La Fête du Vélo - this party takesposter: cannes 2003, viva il cinema, fellini place on the following weekend - on 31. May-1. June. Unlike the Paris fête above this one is France-wide and has offical hours, which are from 9:30 or 10:00 to 18:00. If you have one, bring a bike. If you don't, rent one from Roue Libre. InfoTel.: 01 49 35 69 25.

Roland Garros - the annual neck-twisting grand slams happen as usual from Monday, 26 May until there's a winner on Sunday, 8. June. At the Stade Roland Garros. For the curious, the tennis mecca plans to open its own museum, on Sunday, 25. May - but it will only be open to tournament ticket holders. The general public is invited, starting Tuesday, 17. June. At 2. Avenue Gordon-Bennett, Paris 16. Métro: Porte d'Auteuil. InfoTel.: 01 47 43 48 48. If even more curious, see a bit of a bio for Roland Garros in last year's Metropole.

Bright Lights - starting in June the Tour Eiffel will be twinkling again, after have being rewired and re-bulbed to twinkle on forever. The effort made for the year 2000 was only temporary, but twinkle fans liked it so much that it has been made a permanent 'icing-on-the-cake' at a huge cost to its operators and us taxpayers. It's a free show too that can be seen from many locations besides the Champ de Mars. Paris 7. Métro: Trocadéro or Ecole Militaire.

40th Foire-Photo Bièvres - is a big event where you shouldn't go if your credit is dodgy. Antique photos and equipment, buyers and sellers, and classy photo expos. One day only, Sunday, 1. June, starting at 9:00 and continuing until 18:00 - and only a short way from Paris in Bièvre. Hit Foire-Photo Bièvres. This will be at the Place de la Mairie in Bièvres, which can be reached with the RER 'C' from the Gare d'Austerlitz. There is supposed to be a train every hour. By car, leaving Paris by the Porte de Chatillon, take the RN 309 straight ahead about nine kilometres. In Bièvres, look for the parking lot and a shuttle-bus to the Place de la Mairie. Infotel and InfoFax.: 33 1 43 22 11 12.

Jacques-Henry Lartigue - is featured in an important exhibition beginning on Wednesday, 4. June, continuing until 22. September. From 11:00 to 21:00 daily except on Tuesdays. At the Centre Georges Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, Paris 4. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 44 78 12 33.

Lost, Beat and New - to fill a gaping void in the world's lit-life, Shakespeare & Co. will be hosting its first literary festival. Three sections will feature the 'Lost Generation,' the 'Beat Generation' and today's 'Something Generation,' and it will all come to a climax with 'Bloomsday,' to remind everybody how or why we have gotten where we are, if anyplace. Dates are from Monday, 9. June until Monday, 16. June. For some events there may be small entry fees for this otherwise non-profit festival. Places will also be limited, so come early. Shakespeare & Co., 37. Rue Bucherie, Paris 5. Métro: Saint-Michel. InfoTel.: 01 43 26 96 50.

Marlene Dietrich - in an exhibition subtitled 'creation of a myth,' will be on view from Saturday, 14. June until 12. October. Daily except Monday; from 10:00 to 18:00. At the Musée Galliera, 10. Avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 56 52 86 00.

Fête de la Musique - music all day and all night all over Paris is scheduled for Saturday, 21 June, the first day of 'official' summer. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 94 70.

Fête du Cinéma - all of France is supposed to turn out to watch as many movies as we can from Sunday, 22. June until Tuesday, 24. June. At any nearby or far off cinema.

Air Show - Le Bourget - this semi-annual affair has a huge official name, and hundreds of exhibitors from many countries. If you need an air force, this is the place to get one. Daily air shows will be featured, but the public will be restricted to visits on Sunday, 15. June, plus Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22. June. At Le Bourget. InfoTel.: 01 41 69 24 82.

100 Years for the Musée Gustav Moreau - inaugurated in January of 1903, Moreau's reception room has remained closed for 100 years until its coming reopening on Tuesday, 17. June. Restoredposter: les designers days francais, 15-17 may to its original condition in every detail for this occasion, resulting in an extraordinary museum within the museum with its exceptional collection. Open from 10:00 to 12:45 and from 14:00 to 17:15 except on Tuesday. [See the Gustave Moreau exhibition coming in July, below.] At the Musée Gustave-Moreau, 14. Rue de la Rochefoucauld, Paris 9. Métro: Trinité or Saint-Georges. InfoTel.: 01 48 74 38 50.

Gustave Moreau - Mythes et Chimères - an additional centennial exhibition for this ultra-productive painter of myths and antiquities, with all pieces of show on loan from the Musée Gustave-Moreau, including some never shown before in public. From Tuesday, 22. July until 9. November. Hours are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily except Mondays. At the Musée de la Vie Romantique - Hôtel Scheffer Renan, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Saint-Georges, Blanche or Pigalle. InfoTel.: 01 55 31 95 67.

The Gay Market - is known this year as 'La Marché des Fiertes, Lesbiennes, Gaies, Bi & Trans!' after having names in past years like 'Lesbian And Gaypride Paris,' which was a jolly parade not quite ever matching the huge event in Berlin. The date for it is Saturday, 28. June, and here is its Web site URL if you want to know more.

Paris Plage, Summer 2003 - is a bigger and better replay of 2002's smash hit, to feature three kilometres of right-bank beach front beside the Seine especially for pedestrians, sunbathers, bikers, strollers, rollers - from Sunday, 20. July until Sunday, 17. August. There will be China palms, sand, striped deckchairs, entertainment and dance floors, with some pétanque players, and 'clubs' for kids, as well as refreshment kiosks. Fishing and tango lessons are also in the program. In principle, to be open 24 hours daily, but most entertainments will shut down by 23:00. InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.

Notes - Coming Up - More about Paris' mines at the Catacombs, was to begin in March, but no details are available.
The Musée Carnavalet will host the cartoonist Plantu from May to September. Roughly at the same time - Lucien Jones and 'Shanghai.' Photographs by Marc Riboud will be on view from May to September in the Crypte de Parvis de Notre-Dame.
Jean Moulin's traces will be exhibited at the Mémorial Leclerc from May to October.
Also in the future - Victor Hugo by Rodin will be at the Maison de Victor Hugo starting in September.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - 'De Qui s'Agit-il?' is a exhibition not to be missed, on show until Sunday, 27. July. Except Mondays, from 10:00 to 19:00 and from 12:00 to 19:00 on Sundays. At the Mitterrand site of the Bibliothèque Nationale, at the Quai François-Mauriac, Paris 13. Métro: Bibliothèque Mitterrand or Quai de la Gare. InfoTel.: 01 53 79 59 59. This photographer also has a foundation with an exhibition space in a villa in the 14th arrondissement, was scheduled to open on Friday, 2. May. In the Impasse Lebouis, Paris 14. Métro: Gaité. InfoTel.: 01 42 75 59 15.

From Cézanne to Dubuffet - is an exhibition that will feature 170 paintings and a dozen sculpture from the private Jean and Suzanne Planque Foundation collection, which contains many of the masters - many - of the 19th and 20th centuries. Continuing until Sunday, 27. July. Except Mondays, from 11:00 to 19:00. Free entry. In the Hôtel de Ville's Salle Saint-Jean, entry at 5. Rue Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. InfoTel.: 01 42 76 51 53.

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