Photo of the Week

Paris-Update-Giverny

Cherry blossoms in Giverny. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update What's On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Contemporary art fair

ArtParis300

 

"Le Port de Carnon" (2016), by Vincent Bioulès, at Galerie La Forest Divonne, Art Paris.

> Art Paris: 144 galleries. Grand Palais, Paris, March 30-April 2.

Celebrating crafts
> Artisans open their studios, hold exhibitions and give demonstrations of such crafts as jewelry-making or woodworking for Les Journées des Métiers d'Art. Various locations, Paris, March 31-April 2.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, March 23-May 28.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Thierry Fremaux's Lumière, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, March 31.

Documentary film festival
> Cinéma du Réel showcases documentaries from around the world. Various venues, Paris, March 24-April 2.

Suburban blues
> The Banlieues Bleues festival brings major French and international jazz acts to the Paris suburbs. Various venues, through March 31.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Hot Topics - C'est ironique !

 

Innocent Times

airport

Gone are the days when a traveler could sneak by security on the way in and customs on the way out.

Like all Paris residents, I think of Charles de Gaulle Airport as being part of the city, a kind of remote overcrowded neighborhood with bad restaurants connected to ...

airport

Gone are the days when a traveler could sneak by security on the way in and customs on the way out.

Like all Paris residents, I think of Charles de Gaulle Airport as being part of the city, a kind of remote overcrowded neighborhood with bad restaurants connected to Montmartre by a perpetual traffic jam. The last time I went to Roissy, as the French call it, was not actually to take a flight; I had to go out to formally identify a friend arriving from the States who had been detained by immigration (the authorities suspected him of traveling under a false identity because he calls himself “Doctor” but doesn’t actually have a doctorate in anything).

I thought this was petty in the extreme, but it started me thinking about how airport security has, for well-known reasons, changed over the years. Here’s an example: back in about 1986, after a flight from Chicago, I was walking around that circular corridor on the upper Arrivals level of Terminal 1 (the doughnut-shaped building), looking for the passport checkpoint with the shortest line, when I happened to notice, among the latticework of escalators coming up from the Departures level, one going down. Since I only had a carry-on bag and didn’t need to stay on the upper floor for baggage claim, I decided to take it. Forty seconds later I was outside the terminal waiting for the bus, having completely bypassed both immigration and customs. (Note to drug smugglers, terrorists and queue jumpers: you can’t do this any more. Just forget about it.)

Another example: once in the Nineties I was at Charles de Gaulle to get a flight to Rome. In front of me at the security check for my concourse was a tall, burly gentleman wearing thick multiple layers of clothes and carrying an infant in one of those elaborate baby backpacks with so many straps and buckles and metal clasps it probably weighed more than the kid. He was also carrying an attaché case, which he dutifully laid on the conveyor belt to the X-ray chamber, or whatever that thing is, before walking through the metal detector. Which lit up like the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s and beeped like the Périphérique at rush hour.

Whereupon the guy started gesticulating madly over his shoulder and yelling, “It’s the baby! It’s the baby!! It’s the baby!!! It’s the baby!!!!” as he grabbed up his attaché case and strode briskly away. And here’s what the security staff did: Nothing. Rien. Sweet Fanny Ardant.

I considered asking them why they didn’t recheck him, decided that it wouldn’t be worth the hassle they were likely to give me for telling them how to do their jobs, and went to my gate, making a mental note to check if the proud father, or kidnapper, was on my plane. I made it to Italy in one piece, and there were no bombings or hijackings that day, so I guess it really was: The Baby!!!!!

David Jaggard

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