Seeing what we’re seeing?
Let’s demystify: these are not two pictures of Paris taken during two different seasons.
It is actually an objective report of those two seasons peacefully and simultaneously coexisting in Paris’ 15th arrondissement, a few streets apart.
So which season would you rather live in?
Spring or winter?
Amazingly, in Paris, this could be up to you…
So why not enjoy being the shadow weatherman and devise your personal weather forecast for a change?
Just two more weekends left before the holiday Christmas season of 2014…
Ready for the big day?
If you’re still feeling somewhat holiday-dazed and kind of lost in a sea of opportunities, then here’s some festive tips to fill your Christmas shopping carts with for the first weekend to come!
“Le Noel des Créateurs” is the event meant to inspire and ease your Christmas shopping! With more than 80 artists presenting their jewelry, fashion accessories, pret-à-porter and décor articles, this is the perfect place for you to find handmade, original and above all unique Christmas gifts – 100% “made in France”! (ESPACE D’ANIMATION DES BLANCS MANTEAUX, 48 RUE VIEILLE DU TEMPLE; December 14 th & 15th, from 11 till 20h)
For some tranquil pre-Christmas merry-making with carols, mulled wine and holiday treats, visit St. George’s Anglican Church this Sunday at 6:30pm (7 rue Auguste Vacquerie) – Xmas cheer-wise, they’ve got it all figured out!
The Luxembourg Gardens have been recently redressed in their new pretty little autumn apparel promoting the suave and subdued tones of the fall season – decorated with deep purple and beige soft fox tails, mingled with daring fuschia blooms and pensive duke blue florets, the gardens are a marvelous choice for an autumn stroll.
Take your chance to pay a colorful little visit and don’t forget to stroke the fox tails, it brings good luck, they say!
Sparkling water lovers of Paris, unite at 19 rue Neuve Tolbiac!
We’ve got the perfect summer treat for you!
Believe it or not, now you can choose with what to fill your “cup of tea” once in front of the Parisian Water Supply Headquarters.
At your disposal – warm water, cold water and – extravagantly enough – sparkling water!
Having a choice is always a good thing, especially when free!
So go fill your bottle (or cup! or handfuls!) with fresh jumpy bubbles – it’s imaginative, it’s fun, it’s practical and it’s the perfect new way to enjoy fizzy tap water differently!
(Another fizzy water fountain can be found at the Reuilly garden (12th).
In an expression of our ultimate manifesto treasuring aesthetics as a way of life, Eva Léandre has united forces with the raw talent of artist Jack Servoz to take over the passage des Abbesses for our latest artistic project, creating a rebellious re-make of the Hollywood concept of a “walk of fame” in the context of Paris, Montmartre.
Driven by the idea to promote and share art and beautiful ideas, Léandre and Servoz have breathed new life into the previously somber and somewhat insignificant passage des Abbesses, transforming it completely to create an animated and alternative art scene, showcasing a live exhibition of portrays of major world artists. This spiritual tribute to the artistic geniuses of Rimbaud, Hemingway, Kafka, Mondrian, Nick Cave, Camille Claudel, Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten, Janis Joplin and William Burroughs has rendered the passage both an ideological pantheon and a highly alive contemporary art scene.
In this interactive street art gallery, which changes every day as people tear down the posters and tag over or next to them, there’s this perpetual dialogue running between the spectators (who sometimes feel tempted to take a little artistic memento by trying to unglue the posters) and the artist Jack Servoz who tirelessly and selflessly patches them up, painting over the torn bits and changing the colors to enhance the expression of the portraits’ eyes or so. This has become a constant happening transforming this alley into a vibrant and convivial art scene.
Aspiring to liberate a traditional art exhibition and set its specimens free by permitting them to live their own lives, just like the birds, this artistic intervention transgresses walls and minds and breaks the chain between the artist and his interpreter, thus giving the “reader” the power of “unlimited interpretation”, in which every new pair of eyes adds their own layer of interpretation to the artwork and so changes it.
On his decision to represent these artists in particular, Jack states:
Certain great artists have left behind an indelible imprint in time. Yet in their time, they were seen as “fragile”, hyper sensitive, unstable, unpredictable, sometimes even schizophrenic. Like Antonin Artaud, an actor, a painter, a writer and perhaps our last great accursed poet “locked in the house of the dead” in the psychiatric hospital in Rodez. Or Camille Claudel, a genius sculptor, who – abandoned by all – wrote in her hospital bed in the South of France “Screaming out loud, I demand freedom!” Or else, Hemingway, the Nobel Prize winner who shot himself in the head after years of psychiatric treatment and electroshock…
For Servoz, it’s the artists “hors normes” that count – writers, painters, poets, musicians – the rebels, these cursed souls and turbulent spirits, prisoners of misconception separated by time, but united here and now by their radical, unruly and blazing ideas – in this meeting of the minds set in the unforeseen juncture of a 21st century passage in Montmartre.
Already featured as a highlighted stop-over in some of the hill’s guided visits, the newest metamorphosis of passage des Abbesses has started to lay the foundations of its reputation of Montmartre’s hottest artistic hub, with model Willy Cartier bringing it up in his social networks and “Le Figaro” using it as a backdrop for their cutting-edge fashion photo shoots.
As for the passage residents – those lucky few who are now on first-name terms with artistic majesties such as Antonin Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud and Camille Claudel – they have grown so attached to their new fellow passage dwellers, that they act as their fervent guardians and keepers who will scold any potential “poster thief” or vandal, thus ardently preventing the “extinction” of any Kafkas, Hemingways and Nick Caves inhabiting the passage.
“We know now that to dream is a biological necessity…” says William Burroughs in his opening quote in the upper end of the passage “I think that it is what make the artists – they dream for the others…”
A stroll in passage des Abbesses is just as much an invitation to dream, not for the others but for yourselves. Anyone tempted by getting lost in a crisp oneiric reverie for an indeterminate amount of time is welcome to visit.
Passage des Abbesses can be entered from 57, rue de Trois-Frères (just opposite our office) and 22, rue des Abbesses. Enjoy!
How desperate can a monkey get?
Pretty much, it turns out, especially as it comes across a species of the Araucaria araucana (otherwise known as “monkey’s despair” tree in France)! This fright of a tree has made many a monkey see all the colours of the rainbow, gape, gasp, stare in disbelief, then cry in awe and finish by biting its monkey fingernails smitten with despair! Located in the tiny park Square Boucicaut, just behind the Bon Marché and the Sèvres-Babylone metro station, a proud Parisian specimen of Araucaria Araucana is ready to freak out all potential monkeys in passing. Here’s what the fuss is all about:
First found in Chile in the 1780s, the tree has thick, tough triangular leaves with sharp edges and tip and no handy branches which our monkey friends could grasp and happily swing on. Having said this, if I were a monkey, I would be pretty desperate myself!
Named “monkey puzzle” in Britain, the origin of the tree’s name is just as curious. During its early cultivation in the UK in about 1850 when the species was still rare and not widely known in public gardens, the proud owner of a young specimen at Pencarrow garden in Cornwall was showing off his new acquisition to a group of friends, when one of them made the prompt remark “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that”.
And whereas in Britain, it would “puzzle” a monkey to climb “that”, in France the same monkey would be practically thrown into fits of despair.
What’s left for us is hope that there aren’t many loose monkeys jumping around the Parisian public gardens…
What’s the difference between “Du Rock” and “Duroc”?
Ask any Parisian and observe him/her raise a knowledgeable eyebrow and crack a jaunty little smile.
“Aaah, du rock, alors…”
Through this smart and very French underground wordplay, the classically named metro station “Duroc” has been temporarily renamed “Du Rock” (meaning “a little bit of rock”, or “some rock”) in honour of the rock festival “Rock en Seine” (“Rock on the Seine”), which takes place in Paris later this summer.
Pronunciation-wise, there’s no difference between “du rock” and “duroc”, but in terms of meaning, it makes all the difference, because right now there’s one Parisian metro station that really rocks the casbah for all the rock lovers out there!
Is he holding a gun? Is he on his way to the smokehouse? Where did he tie his horse?
And who on Earth is the mysterious Montmartre’s cowboy?
We don’t know for sure, but since yesterday the Wild West has officially settled in on the peaceful hill of Montmartre.
If you have any additional information on this modern wrangler’s identity, please inform the local sheriff.