You’ve got some warm Scottish tweed or a few vintage French ribbons you need to measure? Then pass by the pretty arcades of Rue Vaugirard, just opposite the Luxembourg Gardens, and you will find exactly what you’re looking for – a meter!
This historical prototype of a “mètre étalon” is the real thing! Feel free to use it, it is pretty much fit for its purpose.
But why and how did it get there in the first place?
In order to promote the use of the metric system, The National Convention had 16 marble metres installed in the most popular and busy Parisian areas between February 1796 and December 1797.
Unfortunately not many of them survived.
The fascinating historical artifact you can inspect on 36, rue Vaugirard, however, is one of the two proud survivors today and actually the only one still located in its original whereabouts!
Full of croaking ravens and whirlwinds of dancing yellow, red, copper and orange leaves, this is one of the best times to go admire the colour palette of Parisian parks. You’d better go fishing for ravishing images soon, as it might be too late before long! Grab your favourite autumn read and go lie on the grass-woven carpet one more time before Grandma Winter tucks it all in under her snow-laced crochet-work…
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Enter Monsieur Chat.
The mustard-coloured tomcat (and his 60 stand-ins strolling across the French capital) is now a reputable Parisian resident, who tends to smile down on us from its haven of roof gables and chimney pieces.
Characterized by its large Cheshire grin, the friendly cat is often portrayed running, but you can also see him practising various activities, such as bouncing on a ball, sporting angel wings, waving signal flags or greeting the travellers entering a certain train station.
This cartoon charmer started his travels in Orléans in 1997 and has since spread to the four corners of the globe, sparkling the curiosity of travellers and residents alike.
For many, the grinning feline has come to be one of the most pleasant, positive, and vibrant tags to be seen posted around the city. Locating Monsieur Chat has become a popular urban treasure hunt, open to the interpretation of those who spot it. Because there certainly must be something to decode about Monsieur Chat’s enigmatic and catchy smile.
What is that special something that he knows and we don’t, I wonder…?
Les Studios de Paris Guest Services:
The reliability of a hotel, the intimacy of a personalized guest experience
Les Studios de Paris is a “Cloud-Hotel”  with some 300 rooms scattered around the city of Paris.
What makes us better than a hotel, however, is that each of our apartments has a personality and a story to tell.
What differentiates us from the mainstream of other Parisian rental agencies is that most of them don’t bother providing customer services after having you let their apartment. We do.
With Les Studios de Paris, you enjoy the best of both worlds – the reliability of a hotel and the intimacy of a custom-made guest experience.
A major challenge of management, but also an indispensable advantage for customers, our guest services help our tenants’ problems get solved swiftly, without disturbing the lives of apartment owners.
Whether you’ve lost your key, had your Internet connection drop or urgently need a cab, your issue will be handled. With a bespoke approach offering a varied brand of services, our clients are safe in the knowledge that – should they have a question or problem – they will be taken care of.
After booking an apartment with Les Studios de Paris, you will be assigned a personal local host to address to, should you need assistance.
Highly experienced, friendly and reliable, Golan is one of our local hosts, determined to render your trip pleasant and stress-free. We invited him to share his professional experience in the blitz interview below.
What does a local host do exactly?
We try to help our guests make the most of their stay. We enhance our clients’ well-being and make sure that they have what they need for a pleasant stay. We welcome our guests, help them check in, familiarize them with the apartment and the area and become their personal contact, the person they can count on during their stay. We always aim to make ourselves available for resolving their questions or doubts.
What kind of hotel services do you provide to your guests?
We can help with all those things you don’t have the time, inclination or expertise to do yourself. We can resolve technical problems in the flat, such as mending the air conditioning, replacing a lost set of keys, reminding you a forgotten door code, re-establishing a dropped Internet connection, fixing a leak in the apartment, etc. We can run miscellaneous errands for you, like calling a cab, booking theatre tickets, making dinner reservations, etc. Or we can provide you with expert hints and share our insider knowledge about Paris and Montmartre in particular. A great restaurant, a historical café or a delightful local find – our guest know they can reckon on us for all this and more.
What is the client’s benefit of having a local host available?
We try to help our guests enjoy their life in Paris instead of organizing it. It’s about providing this extra level of service that makes our guests feel special and cared for. For us, this is part of what we call hospitality. Good quality and valued travel experiences have always been high on Les Studios de Paris agenda.
 Similar to the concept of “cloud computing”, where all your personal electronic devices are synchronized and interconnected, the concept of the “cloud hotel” seeks out all possible resources of inspiration in order to create a unique world, a shrine of creativity and imagination, an inhabitable idea. Read more about this unique concept, authored by Les Studios de Paris, in our article “HACK YOU” – Reverse Engineering Reality through Art”
HACK YOU: Reverse-Engineering reality through ART
…with artist Enrique Rosas
Seeing a thought, touching an idea, creating music from the silence of movement, feeling the outlines of your etheric body… This is not an extract from a Ray Bradbury’s science fiction book. It’s the reality of experimental artist Enrique Rosas and the subject of “HACK YOU”, his latest exhibition organized parallel to the context of FIAC 2012 (International Contemporary Art Fair Paris).
“HACK YOU” makes the invisible perceptible and the immaterial tangible and invites you to experience a handful of the Future. Now.
In an exclusive statement, Enrique Rosas discloses details on his future artistic collaboration with Les Studios de Paris.
“Consider everything an experiment…
…a writing on the wall in Enrique’s office says. And then…
Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail, there is only make.
An artist, an architect and a tireless researcher, Enrique Rosas is a Renaissance man of the 21st century. Graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, he is experienced in the fields of architecture, cinema, art, science, technology and urban planning since 1997.
As a creator inspired by the era of the Enlightenment, Rosas explores the relations between art, science and technology, dwelling on various fields such as electromagnetism, biomimetics and alchemy. His works range from sculptures, video projects and installations to 3D prints, stereoscopic and lenticular images.
Rosas has participated in projects with internationally renowned architects, among which Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito, Jean Nouvel and Coop Himmelblau.
His proficiency and particularity of style have been recognized by his colleagues through the numerous awards he has received throughout the years.
A repeated winner in many audiovisual media contests, organized by the Rockefeller Foundation, Rosas is the winner of the International Architecture Competition for the design of the National Library of Mexico “José Vasconcelos” /2003, along with Alberto Kalach/ and the title-holder of the Vida 4.0 competition for the production of his dynamic, electronic sculpture “El Continuo”, selected by the members of the jury, impressed by its approach for creating artificial life.
From October 18th to 21st, the artist opens the doors of his studio Cosmonautica and invites you to discover a glimpse of his world, dedicated to blending art and technology.
The occasion: his exhibition “Hack You”, realized with the support of InC France-Mexique, a non-profit organization, promoting the cultural and artistic exchanges between France and Mexico.
We took the chance to meet Enrique and browse his artistic laboratory, probe into his current exhibition and ferret out more about his future projects, among which an artistic project conceived by Les Studios de Paris, in which he was selected to take part in.
You have been invited by Les Studios de Paris to cooperate in an artistic project they’ve authored. What’s the focus of this creative collaboration?
Les Studios’ desire to provide an aesthetic experience for their guests has led them to consider creating a new generation of apartments. Those “mini-universes” will be like living organisms, in which decoration, music, special effects and lights will all be synchronized to establish the soul and the mood of a single place, centered on a specific idea. Those studios will be curated and conceptually intervened, so as to provide customers with a type of holistic experience. Renting them will be like living in a spectacle, totally immersing yourself into a particular idea. Similar to the concept of “cloud computing”, where all your personal electronic devices are synchronized and interconnected, the concept of the “cloud hotel” seeks out all possible resources of inspiration in order to create a unique world, a shrine of creativity and imagination, an inhabitable idea. This state-of-the-art concept emanates from Les Studios de Paris and I was invited to contribute to their innovative incentive as an architect and creator. It is a project both Les Studios and I are looking forward to with great enthusiasm and excitement.
Your studio COSMONAUTICA is a real creative alchemy lab where everything seems possible. Tell us more about its philosophy and activities.
Today, passing from the real to the virtual and vice versa is a simple, quick and efficient way to help present your projects and ideas. COSMONAUTICA develops innovative artistic projects, inspired by scientific research. We provide design services, the core of which is using 3D technologies as a vehicle between the worlds of ideas and reality. Our technology gives us the opportunity to study and reproduce nature’s forms, physical and natural phenomena, which serves as a great source of inspiration for innovative ideas and discoveries.
We explore different environments (3D acquisition), materialize them in three dimensions (3D materialization) or create new forms and species by manipulating the scanned data (3D transduction). This opens a whole new world of possibilities. It creates enormous complexity with very simple elements. This built-in logic allows us to work in a variety of sectors, such as luxury/lifestyle, architecture, cinema, advertising or archeology.
You named your latest exhibition “HACK YOU”. What kind of security codes do you try to crack with it?
Just like a hacker, who seeks out the faults in a system in order to break its security codes, I created “HACK YOU” to fiddle with our old perception of the world and to propose a new perspective to human society, one that we usually neglect.
Today’s obsession with technology and its tools is a reflection of modern society. Ultimately, we have been taken by our tools. We’ve been reduced from humans to consumers. The potential of modern technology is vast, the tools for our Enlightenment are present, we just need to find a better way to exploit them, reconsider their use, redefine our goals and reframe our mindset.
The way human society is thinking is the source of its alienation, which will consequently cause the destruction of the planet. Our actions are just a materialization of our thoughts. If we change our thoughts, reform our perception and purify the interior of our Being, then the environment will follow this process of “exorcism”.
As Human and Nature are two interconnected systems and the Individual is a micrography of the Cosmos, the self-healing of the human body and spirit will lead to the self-healing of the collective consciousness and the material resources of the planet.
It’s time to open our eyes and start seeing things differently, Enrique Rosas summons us
Now, more than ever before, human perception needs to be urgently regenerated. It needs to relive a second “renaissance” that will start from within, so that the human Being can be lifted above its actual stagnation.
“HACK YOU” unleashes all resources of creativity in order to defy the constraints of reality, go beyond the frontiers, explore what’s on the other side and revolutionize the realms of the possible.
Enrique Rosas is on display at:
COSMONAUTICA 8, Rue du Bourg l’Abbé, Paris, 75003
October, 18th through 21st, from 10am to 20pm
(Until November 11th under appointment)
Metro: Etienne Marcel, line 4
And also at Galerie Janos – collective show “Autour du psychedelisme” 1970-2012 Les Affiches de San Francisco et Quatre Artistes Contemporains: Miguel Chevalier, Pascal Dombis, Dominique Fury, Enrique Rosas.
9 Rue Christine – Paris 75006 (Metro Odeon / Parking Mazarine)
October 13th through 27th 2012
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A tourist can wander around the labyrinths of Montmartre for days and never know it’s there! A true Montmartrois, however, is well acquainted with the hill’s hidden gems. Le Clos Montmartre, today’s sole remaining Parisian vineyard, was originally planted in 1933 and is still alive and kicking today. One of the hill’s prides and most indigenous landmarks, this tiny steep vineyard is just about the most astonishing sight you can stumble upon while exploring the hill.
les vignes” = the vineyards
Vineyards have long thrived on the hill of Montmartre. Back in the Middle Ages, the hill was covered with grapevines. They were introduced to the region by the Romans, who built a temple there, commemorating the god of wine, Bacchus. Then a 12th century Benedictine abbey had its wine press on the hill and although the abbey was demolished during the French Revolution, the vineyards remained.
In the early 20th century, however, phylloxera destroyed all vines and the territory almost became a victim of property developers. A group of local artists, led by the famous illustrator Francisque Poulbot, then petitioned the government to save the land and have it replanted again. The plan was approved and Le Clos Montmartre was renewed in 1933.
The fact file:
The vineyard stretches over 1556 m2 on a steep hill, grows 27 varietals and yields 1500 half-liter bottles of gamay and pinot noir per year.
Le Clos Montmartre, as is the famed wine’s name, is not to be found in any restaurants or shops. Produced under firm control in the cellars of Hôtel de Ville, it is then sold at an annual auction and the income is put into social works in Paris’ 18th district. A bottle of the famous Clos is expensive beyond its quality, but then buying it has always been more about getting a collector’s item and supporting a local charity.
A blessing or a curse, there’s an omen for all drinkers of Montmartre’s wine. According to a popular 17th century saying:
Whoever drinks a pint (0.93 l), will pee a quart (67 l)
Not to be missed:
The most exciting time to visit the vineyard would definitely be during the annual Grape Harvest Festival (10-14 October). La Fête des Vendanges takes on a different historic theme each year and features a celebrity godmother and godfather, invited to lead the festivities.
The current 79th edition is themed “Montmartre celebrates the Delicacies” and this year’s special guests are the singer Anggun (who represented France in the Eurovision Song contest 2012) and the culinary critic and TV/radio host Jean-Luc Petitrenaud.During the 5-day feast, Montmartre’s cafés and restaurants will promote the godmother’s and godfather’s favourite dishes by featuring them on their menus.
Throughout the festival you’ll see members of fraternal orders from other winegrowing regions of France and the world walking around in traditional attire and unusual hats.
You can also explore the vineyard from within, lick your fingers during the Chocolate Day, witness the coronation of the Harvest Queen and, should you wish, even bid in the auction for the famous Clos Montmartre!
Saturday is the big day with the parade and fireworks, but with all the music, marching bands and street theatre, you’ll find it hard not to get swept up in the merrymaking during all the other days, as well!
How to get there:
14-18, rue des Saules, 75018, Montmartre, Paris
Metro lines: 12
Metro stop: Lamarck-Coulaincourt
NB ! The Montmartre Vineyards are usually closed to visitors. Your chance to getting in is the annual Fête des Vendanges. Otherwise, entry to the vineyard can be arranged through the Montmartre tourist Office at Place du Tertre, provided you are in a group of 12. Once inside, you will pay for a tasting, although the tour is free.
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We won’t be using the metro in this field trip of ours. Instead, we’ll hop on the time machine for a change. Destination: the pre-Roman era, 1st century AD. A time of gladiatorial combats, athletic competitions and the tragedies of Plautus. Please fasten your seatbelts, as travelling through time might be bumpy and could take a while…
Paris is so rich in history we are sometimes likely to forget that beyond the severity of Haussmannian buildings, the lavishness of Renaissance palaces and the grimness of Gothic cathedrals sleeps another Paris – lesser known and frequently overlooked.
For those willing to open the door to this mystery closet, Les Arènes de Lutèce are the perfect occasion! Join me in this archeological stroll and we’ll do some digging into the city’s Roman heritage.
Beautifully hidden in the 5th arrondisement, Les Arènes (or the Lutetia Arenas, as they are alternatively called) are one of the most important and rare remnants of the Gallo-Roman era in Paris. Nowadays, they are also a really agreeable place to take a Roman break from the traffic of the 21st century busy streets.
Built in the 1st to 2nd century A.D. on the slopes of the Sainte-Geneviève mountain, just outside the town of Lutèce (today’s Paris), the Arenas were used as a theater, sporting arena and circus. The amphitheater – reportedly one of the largest of its kind ever built by the Romans – seated up to 15 000 spectators. From its slant, the arenas benefitted from an outstanding view of the Seine and Bièvre rivers, the latter of which is today underground.
The place endured as an amphitheater for a few centuries, but was ruined around the end of the 3rd century and ultimately became a cemetery. By the year 1210, it was completely filled in. Centuries later, despite the fact that the surrounding quarter had kept the name Les Arènes, no one really knew where the exact whereabouts of the ancient arenas had been.
Curiously, the site was rediscovered in the 1860s during the building of a tramway depot on Rue Monge. Writer Victor Hugo and a couple of other intellectuals embarked on a campaign to save what was left of this archaeological treasure.
If you dare to go down to the center of the arenas today, you will still be able to see a number of remnants of the once imposing amphitheater – some parts of the stage, the barred animal cages and the niches under the bleachers are still there.
Nowadays, the Arenas are no longer a site for gory gladiator matches. You are more likely to encounter students enjoying an outdoor break, couples having a picnic, kids playing ball or elderly men engaged in the ever so popular French game of pétanque.
The amphitheater is backed by an enjoyable little park (Square Capitan), where you can sit with a book or – even better – explore a handful of the biosphere inside the mini “garden of the world”.
This small green square displays different natural landscapes (the forest, the jungle, the marsh, the desert, the pond) and the flowers typically flourishing in those natural habitats.
So when you get an adequate amount of History and yellow Roman sands, you can opt for this rewarding and green change of scenery instead.
How to get there:
Metro line: 7, station Place Monge
Hours: 8 am – 5.30 pm, in winter
The Arenas are accessible by 3 public entrances:
– a passageway through the building at 47, rue Monge (look out for the gladiator’s helmet over the doorway)
– a long open corridor reached by Rue Navarre
– from the garden of square Capitan at 10, rue des Arènes
Perched on top of Montmartre and snugly sheltered in the bosom of the hill, the Star Rain Duplex offers you a unique opportunity – to experience Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” live! You simply need to climb as high as the sky and set up a cozy nest beneath the stars of Paris…
Once you enter the building, you are instantly taken aback by its vintage, movie-like charm and by the beauty of the rare old-fashioned elevator. Does it offer a ride up or a journey back in time, you wonder? You take the risk to find out. You go inside, pull back the metal grill, press button number 7 and wait. As soon as your “time machine” stops and the charismatic voice of a French lady reassuringly announces your floor’s number (instead of the year 1876), you step back into the present and enter The Star Rain apartment.
“After two years of constant searching, I came across Star Rain. I saw it, fell in love with it and bought it at once. It was “coup de foudre”, love at first sight!” the owner of Star Rain confesses.
Probably one of the reasons he feels this way is that “When in Star Rain, you don’t feel under a roof, but over a cloud above Paris. And this is one unique and unforgettable experience”, he adds on.
Actually, the person who first chanced upon Star Rain was a sea photographer, a traveler who does not care for the city, but adores the Sea, the freedom of Light, the Air, the Sky and the forces of Nature. And at Star Rain, you’ve got it all there, as the view of the sky doesn’t let you miss the blue of the Ocean…
Design-wise, sophisticated taste and contemporary elegance collaborate to create a stylish and classy Star Rain interior. Leather, glass and wooden furniture team up to blend Vintage and Modern in seamless harmony.
With its glass walls and roof windows, the top floor acts as the daily mise-en-scène of two extraordinary spectacles – a parade of all Parisian miracles during the day and a sparkling starry show at night.
Thanks to its double exposure, the apartment showcases a fabulous panoramic view over Paris – from the Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower on the South side, and the Sacré Coeur and the charming rooftops of Montmartre to the North.
But when the sun capitulates for the day and the night comes to reign, Star Rain offers you one last amazing extravaganza before you go to sleep. With a mezzanine bedroom under the stars and the rooftop windows over your head, forget about practicing the old method of counting sheep in lulling yourself to sleep. Here, you’d better take the chance to count some real stars instead.
Sleeping under the open skies and being in the center of Paris at the same time is not something you’d experience every day. Yet here, these two normally unmatchable realities are married into one pretty much real union for your pleasure exclusively.
After being mesmerized by the views, you can explore the other universes lying in wait in the complex. A calm, intimate study for you to ponder or meditate…
Or a large Roman-style bathroom to enjoy and relax…
A few stairs below, the lower floor of the apartment reveals a surprising twist – when stepping into this recently refurbished space, conceived as a fancy deluxe boat cabinet, one feels like submerging into the unexpected world of the swinging sea.
Due to its exceptional shape and internal features, Star Rain can easily accommodate a total of eight people. It is a perfect choice for those, looking for a spaciously designed, yet cozy and intimate space to stay.
Last but not least, Star Rain is the perfect starting point for your exploration of the hill. Its ideal location permits you to discover the picturesque hill of Montmartre exclusively by foot.
You have the Sacré Coeur Basilica and the artistic Place de Tertre some 200 meters away, The Montmartre museum and eccentric composer Erik Satie’s house located on your very street and the amazing flights of stairs with a view over Paris on rue Mont Cenis, meters away from your doorstep.
Don’t hesitate to sip your sunset aperitif in the cult Maison Rose, which inspired painter Utrillo, or to pay a neighborly visit to the extraordinary Montmartre’s vineyards, both lying just around the corner.
Check Star Rain’s availability calendar on our website!