Surrounded by shiny new blocks of office buildings, a huge medieval-looking graffiti-covered warehouse stands proudly whilst sticking out like a sore thumb. This is Les Frigos, a city-owned building-turned-artists’-squat in the 13th arrondissement not far from the Seine. Every spring, the annual Portes Ouvertes (open doors) weekend grants walk-in visitors a chance to visit the 90-or-so ateliers within its walls. The doors opened at 2:00, and already there was an impressive turnout: from the metro station, all I had to do was to follow the camera-toting crowd to find my way there. (more…)
We usually go to the cinema and let a film transport us into another world and time. But at The Grand Rex, simply entering its doors is a trip back to history in itself.
Mythical and extravagant, this huge Art Deco cinema was conceived by Jacques Haik, a Tunisian-born film producer and one of the pioneers of French cinema, known to have introduced Charlie Chaplin to the French film audience. Already the owner of the Olympia music hall, he had something grander in mind: a cinema that could seat thousands, in a space spanning 2,000 square meters. With the help of French architect Auguste Bluysen and engineer John Eberson, famous for his North American “atmospheric theaters”, The Grand Rex opened to the public in December 8, 1932. (more…)
If you’re looking for inspiration in the form of images, then I suggest you head over to the Parc de Bagatelle for Circulation(s): Festival of Young European Photographers, where the works of 40 or more up-and-coming, extremely talented young photographers are on exhibit in the park’s two spaces, the Galerie Coté Seine and the Trianon.
Circulation(s) has a knack for discovering the the best young photographic talents, with an aim to introduce them to the world of professional and contemporary photography. A jury of professionals are tasked with selecting participating artists via the world wide web. A call for online submissions gives every budding European photographer a coveted chance to exhibit their works next to those of professional photographers… definitely not a bad way to jumpstart one’s career!
As we springtime arrives in Paris, events start to bloom as well, so here’s a list of events in Paris for the month of March.
Paris Fashion Week
Up to March 6, 2013
Fashion Week hits Paris until the March 6, so check out the Ready To Wear Fall/Winter Collection schedules. Whether you have front row seats at the runway shows or just watching the Fashion Week goers from the sidelines, Paris Fashion Week is always a thrilling experience, and a great opportunity to bask in the world of fashion.
Visit the Place de la Republique Construction Site
March 7 – June 1, 2013
The Place de la Republique has been undergoing a major reconstruction since 2011, and has therefore been a big headache and eyesore to woeful Parisians as of late. But don’t be so irritated, because organized visits to the construction site will be taking place starting March 7th through June 1st! Only twenty people can visit the site on a first-come first-serve basis, and you can book your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org your preferred dates (check out the program schedule here). The new Place de la Republique is set to be unveiled in the spring.
The view of Paris from the Suite Eiffel of the Hotel Lutetia is breathtaking. Up seven floors, under the canopy of the hotel’s rooftop, the view from its windows shows you why Paris is a city that can sweep you off your feet. Not to mention the Hotel Lutetia’s incredily rich history in the first half of the twentieth century. But this evening, the view and the hotel’s storied past take a backseat to the Suite itself, designed and customized by sculptor-designer Guillaume Piéchaud.
If you think a jewelry store should be bare and minimal for the gems to stand out on their own, then I strongly urge you to head over to the Musée Carnavalet, a former hôtel particulier in the Marais, which charts Paris’s history in more than 100 rooms, and march straight to the replica of jeweler Georges Fouquet’s shop. It will leave you convinced that a store like this, just like the jewelry it sells, can be the star of the show.
It was designed in 1901 by the Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, one of the leading names in Art Nouveau. Having already collaborated on jewelry pieces together, Fouquet asked Mucha to design all the interior and exterior decorations of his chic 6 rue Royale shop. And design he did!
Every inch of the shop is bound to bowl you over. The relief of a woman greets customers at the entrance, her arms and neck thrown back gracefully. The lightings, the showcase tables and the ceilings are all decorated in flowing lines, swirls and themes of flora. A majestic peacock sculpture is spread out against stained glass windows, and another one is perched close to the ceiling, surveying the shop.
The entire room is from the original store designed by Alphonse Mucha; Fouquet donated his rue Royale shop in its entirety to the museum, and it was reassembled as it was. It’s a small room brimming with colour and grandiose, a completely preserved Belle Epoque work of art housed in one of the most interesting yet rather underrated museums in Paris.
And while you’re already there, take in all the Paris richness Musée Carnavalet has to offer: paintings and objects from the French Revolution, prehistoric canoes, scale model of Guillotines, a room filled with the original furniture of Café de Paris, and the famous cork-lined bedroom of Marcel Proust.
23 rue de Sévigné, 75003
Metro: line 1 (Saint Paul), line 8 (Chemin Vert)