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Only Five Days Until Summer

photo: buvette, paris plage, 2002

A Café terrace on Paris Plage last summer.

Major Highlights

Paris:- Sunday, 15. June 2003:- Last week the city announced its plans for your summer in Paris. This did not involve anything about the weather, so city spokesmen concentrated on the 'reception ambassadors,' who were successfully introduced last year.

These will number 170 this year, composed of young Parisians, some of whom are employees of the RATP. This makesbrochure: les ambassadeurs 2003 sense, because 23 of their info kiosks are within the public transport system, while the other ten are located at sites handy for visitors. Together, the ambassadors speak 13 languages. Individually, they are bilingual or trilingual.

This years' ambassadors took up their posts on Saturday and will continue to dispense their aid and services until Sunday, 31. August - which is a three-week extension over last year. Basically, instead of asking hapless residents, policemen or roller-flics questions, you are supposed to ask the ambassadors, who have been given enough training to know the right answers.

You can easily spot the ambassadors because they will be wearing prune-colored polo shirts and orange caps. They did not chose these colors. The info kiosks have the same color schemes. Also, you can request the free brochure entitled 'Vote été à Paris,' which has been published in French/English and Spanish/Italian. It's a handy, info-packed booklet, but get yours soon because only 400,000 copies have been printed.

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Contents of Scene II last Week
  • Coming Events, Exhibitions, Salons
  • Fête de la Bastille
  • Summer 2003
  • Some Kid Stuff
  • Unclassifieds + Bikes
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Contents of Scene I last Week
  • This Week's 'Openers'
  • Last Chances
  • Major Events, Exhibitions, Salons
  • More Events, Exhibitions, Salons
  • Photo, Cinema and Multimedia
  • Dance, Music, Opera, Theatre
  • Culture, History, Science
  • Commercial Salons
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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, with the shortest Sunday morning of the year with the 2nd-earliest sunrise. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 94 70.

Bright Lights - at 23:00 on Saturday, 21. June, the Tour Eiffel will be sparkling again. Paris' mayor Bertrand Delanoë, assisted by tourism czar Jean-Bernard Bros, will throw the switch for the new 20,000-bulb installation. This event will be accompanied with - what else? - music at the foot of the tower while the lightsphoto: event scene, evening, paris plage twinkle into Sunday morning. Thereafter, more twinkle lights every night on the hour for ten minutes, until 02:00 in summer, and until 2013. It's a free show that can be seen from many locations besides the Champ de Mars. Paris 7. The show opener will be broadcast on France-2 TV too. Métro: Trocadéro or Ecole Militaire.

Paris Jazz Festival - cool music in the park every Saturday and Sunday from 15:00, with this year's edition continuing until the last set on Sunday, 27. July. Major artists will be on hand, so the trip out east will be worth it. At the Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.

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. I think there are special, low, entry prices for this.

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 Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22. June. At Le Bourget. InfoTel.: 01 41 69 24 82.

Sous La Plage - with 'Piratages Meets Cake & Milk,' starting on Saturday, 21 June with the Fête de la Musique. Usually from 14:00 to 21:00. Other dates are the Sundays of 6. July, 10 and 31. August, and 14. September. In the Parc André Citroën, Rue Cauchy, Paris 15. Métro: Javel or Balard. InfoTel.: 01 43 49 68 68.

The Gay Parade - is known this year as 'La Marché des Fiertes, Lesbiennes, Gaies, Bi & Trans!' after having names in past years like 'Lesbian And Gaypride Paris,' whichphoto: pools, louvre, pyramid 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, as you will surely want to know more.

Miouzik' - this an exhibition especially for kids from 4 to 12 years. The entire park is for kids in fact. Daily from 10:00 to 18:00 all during school holidays. Also on view Gauguin par-ci, Gauguin par-là, startng on Thursday, 26. June. At the Musée en Herbe, in the Jardin d'Acclimatation just inside the Bois de Boulogne. Paris 16. Métro: Sablons. InfoTel.: 01 40 67 97 66.

Tour de France - this is an expo about 100 years of two-wheeled legends, from Thursday, 26. June until Saturday, 30. August. Except on Sundays and holidays, from 10:00 to 19:00. At 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.

Théâtre de Guignol - Shows at 15:00 and 16:00 on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and on all days during school holidays, which are from Monday 30. June until Wednesday, 3. September. 'Guignol' continues until Sunday, 28. September. At the Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. InfoTel.: 01 49 23 94 37.

Paris-Cinéma - the 1st edition of this movie festival starts on Wednesday 2. July and continues until Tuesday, 15. July. To be in 34 cinemas spread thoughout Paris' 20 arrondissements. Films from Cannes 2003 and films not shown before are on the program. Entry for each - 4euro 3 sign. InfoTel.: 01 42 76 49 61 or 08 20 00 75 75.

Meet International Films - from Wednesday 2. July and continues until Sunday, 13. July. InfoTel.: 01 42 76 63 24. This has been listed as a separate item, but may be related to the above 'Paris-Cinéma.'

90th Tour de France - this bicycle classic started in 1903 so this is its centennial year. After a prologue on Saturday starting from the Tour Eiffel, the race starts from the Stade de France north of Paris on Sunday, 6. July, 'Le Tour' runs around France for three weeks before returning to the finish line on the Champs-Elysées on Sunday, 27. July. Paris 8. InfoTel.: 01 41 33 15 00.

Walk-In Outside Fresh-Air Movies - are now an open-sky tradition at the Parc de la Villette, which has a big grassy place for you to watch movies projected on a huge inflated screen. High quality 'Monde d'Orages' films roll nightly except Mondays from Tuesday, 8. July until Sunday, 24. August; and start about 22:00, when it's dark enough. Deckchairs are also available. Prairie du Triangle, Parc de la Villette, 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurés, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de Pantin. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 75 75.

14th Quartier d'Eté - offers a variety of events to make up this summer's Paris program of artistic treats - from techno to opera to circuses - to be performed on streets, places and unusual locations throughout the city. This program - so far, incomplete - begins on Thursday, 17. July. Some of these events are free and others are not. Last year's Quartier d'Eté Web site should have complete details. InfoTel.: 01 44 94 98 00.

Scènes d'Eté - on Saturday afternoons at the Parc de la Villette, artistic tours, featuring 40 artists. In addition, on Sunday afternoons beginning at 17:00, musical scenes will be on hand free for all at the bandstand near where the canals meet. Come expecting 'World' music and do some dancing. Snacks and refreshments available. Starts on Saturday, 19. July and continues on weekends until Sunday, 31. August. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 75 75.

Paris Plage - will be a bigger and better replay of 2002's smash hit, to feature three kilometres of right-bankphoto: sunset, pont neuf, seine beach front beside the Seine especially for pedestrians, sunbathers, bikers, strollers, rollers - from the Tuileries to the Quai Henri-IV. To be from Sunday, 20. July until Sunday, 17. August. There will be China palms, more sand - playa! - striped deckchairs, entertainment and dance floors, six cool-off spray stations, with some pétanque players, and 'clubs' for kids, as well as refreshment kiosks. Fishing and dance lessons are also in the program. In principle, to be open 24 hours daily, but most entertainments will be shut down by 23:00. InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.

Moonlight Cinéma - all around Paris, as might falls there will be open-sky film projections, featuring 18 movies shot on location in the city. Starting on Wednesday, 6. August and continuing until Sunday, 24. August. 'Moulin Rouge' opens the the series, on Montmartre. InfoTel.: 01 44 76 62 18.

Singing In Paris - 50 years worth of chansons from the memories of France's most popular performers - Edith Piaf, Charles Trénet, Yves Montand, Charles Aznavour, in a hôtel in the Marais. From Thursday, 7. August to Saturday, 9. August, at 19:00. At the Atrium Musical Magne, 12. Rue Charlot, Paris 3. Métro: Filles-du-Calvaire. Tickets available at agencies.

L'Incroyable Rallye - starts at 11:00 on Saturday, 12. July at the Mairie of the 11th, and resumes on Sunday at 10:00 at the same place. A reception follows between 17:00 and 19:30, and the awards are given out from 19:30 until 02:00 on Monday, followed by a 'Grand Bal' the same day. Check out L'Incroyable Rallye if you don't believe this. 12. Place Léon-Blum, Paris 11. Métro: Voltaire. InfoTel.: 01 43 57 49 85.

Les Sapeurs-Pompiers - have a tradition of opening their firehalls for celebratingphoto: parasols, paris plage the Fête de la Bastille. The 'bals' will be held on the evenings of Sunday, 13. July and Monday, 14. July. At various locations in Paris and throughout France. Initially held in 1937, the first 'bal' lasted until the afternoon of the next day, and everyone at it missed the Champs-Elysées parade.

Mairie de Paris - the city hall organizes its Bastille fête at the Place de la Bastille, because there's enough room for it. During the evening of Sunday, 13. July. Paris 4 or 11 or 12. Métro: Bastille. Come as you are.

Place Maurice Chevalier - why this 'bal populaire' gets a special mention I know not. On Sunday, 13 July, from 19:00 to 23:00. Paris 20. Métro: Ménilmontant. InfoTel.: 01 40 33 50 50.

Military Parade - this always takes place on the whole Champs-Elysées, from Etoile to the Place de la Concorde. The parade begins at 10:00 and will last until about 11:30. This is a rain or shine affair, so be prepared. To be on Monday, 14. July. The official viewing stand is usually set up at the Place de la Concorde. Paris 8. Métros: count on the métro stops at Etoile, George V, Franklin Roosevelt, Clemenceau and Concorde being closed - arrive by foot or from the next nearest ones.

Fireworks - fans will have their night on Monday, 14. July, beginning about 22:30. The rockets will be fired off from the Trocadéro's gardens, so the best place to be is across the Seine on the Champ de Mars, with possibly 350,000 other Fête Nationale fans. The show usually lasts about 40 minutes, and is held rain or shine. Paris 7. Métros: Alma-Marceau, Ecole Militaire, Bir Hakeim or La Motte-Picquet- Grenelle - also the RER 'C' line stops of Pont de l'Alma and Champ de Mars.

Soldes d'Eté - if there's anything left, buy your Summer 2003 gear at deep discounts, starting from Wednesday, 25. June until Saturday, 26 July. The 'sales' may last a week longer, according to another source. 'First come' gets the best stuff. These dates are for Paris and may vary elsewhere in France.

Un Eté Russe à Montmartre - could produce all sorts of surprises, but I have no details yet. Continuing until Monday, 29. September - on Montmartre. Paris 18. Métros: Abbesses or Lamarck-Caulaincourt.

Musique Côté Jardin - are a series of free concerts performed on the bandstands in Paris' parks. Continuing until Sunday, 28. Sepember. InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.

Fête des Tuileries - sticky food and tricky rides with lots of boom-boom sounds.photo: concert, luxembourg From Saturday, 21. June until Sunday, 31. August. Daily from 11:00 to midnight, and to 01:00 on Friday, Saturday and the eves of holidays such as Sunday, 13. July. In the Tuileries garden.Paris 1. Métro: Tuileries InfoTel.: 01 46 27 52 29.

Fête des Loges - is the same as above, but with more food on offer, and is set in the forest at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. From Friday, 27. June until Sunday, 17. August. Daily from 15:00. RER: Saint-Germain-en-Laye. InfoTel.: 01 30 87 20 88.

20th Chopin Festival - is for you if you feel like hearing a little music in a comfy park. From Thursday, 19. June until Monday, 14. July. Times are in the afternoons and evenings. At the Orangerie de Bagatelle, Route de Reine-Marguerite, in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Nearest métros: Pont de Neuilly, and bus 43 or from Porte Maillot, and bus 244. Park entry - 1.50euro 3 sign. InfoTel.: 01 45 00 22 19, Fax.: 01 40 67 70 08.

L'Octuor de France - offers chamber music concerts in the Orangerie in the Parc de Bagatelle with several concerts beginning on Thursday, 17. July and continuing intil Sunday, 17. August. Calculate concert prices with the extra 1.50euro 3 sign for entry to the park. From Thursday, 18. July until Thursday, 15. August. In the Parc de Bagatelle, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16.Nearest métros: Pont de Neuilly, and bus 43 or from Porte Maillot, and bus 244. InfoTel.: 01 42 29 07 83.

Ca C'est du Cirque - is the name for the Cirque Diana Moreno Bormann, which performs allphoto: sunset, paris plage year long on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 15:00 with a second Saturday show at 20:30 twice a month. Other performanes on all holidays. Most likely like real circus. Find it at Rue de la Haie-Coq, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de la Chapelle or bus 65. InfoTel.: 01 64 05 36 25.

In the Land of the Clowns - by the Cirque Phenix Junior, just right for kids 4 years old and up. Until Monday, 14. July. On Wednesday at 14:45, and at 14:30 and 16:30 on weekends and holidays. In the Jardin d'Acclimatation just inside the Bois de Boulogne. Paris 16. Métro: Sablons. InfoTel.: 01 56 29 19 10.

Nuit Blanche - is not Paris' only sleepless 'Nuit Blanche' during the summer, but its second official one in October. Beginning about 19:30 on Saturday, 4. October and continuing until - who knows? - 8:00 on Sunday. All Paris will be be involved. This year more of the 40 events will be out in the open, rather than in closed spaces. Last year's overly successful event showed that it needs lots of elbow-room. The métro should be running all night, thanks to a sleepless RATP. InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.

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Need to Know More?
Here are the major Web sites, other than Metropole:-
The Tourist Office - InfoTel.: 08 92 68 31 12.
Public Transport - RATP - InfoTel.: 08 92 68 46 14.
The Ville de Paris - InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.
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Hop up to 'Summer '03' Contents, on this page
Skip over to the 'Scene I' events page.
Jump to the 'Scene II' summer events page.

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