Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-bicycles-courtyard

Bicycles in a Parisian courtyard. © Paris Update

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Stick up for science
> The Paris March for Science begins at 1pm at the Jardin des Plantes (Place Valhubert), April 22.

Silent films from Switzerland?
> They’re rare, but they do exist and can be seen at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, April 20-May 2.

Voices from the North
> The Pølar Festival celebrates Northern European culture with films, concerts, talks and more. Various locations, Paris, April 19-29.

Photo walk
> Eight Paris galleries hold special photography shows and events for Parcours Fotofever. Various locations, Paris, through May 1.

Photo shows galore
> Le Mois de la Photo has been moved from autumn to spring, with 96 exhibitions taking place all over the greater Paris area. See Web site for locations and dates.

Art videos
> The theme of this year’s Videobox Festival is “noise and movement.” Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 27-29.

Take home a winemaker
> Winemakers from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux come to Paris to offer tastings of their products in wine bars and private homes for the event J’Irai Déguster chez Vous. Various venues, Paris, April 20-22.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Nicolas Bedos’s Monsieur & Madame Adelman preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, April 21.

Polaroid pix
> The “Expolaroid” exhibition features Polaroid images by nine artists. La Maison des Ensembles, Paris, through April 25.

Binge-watching
> Festival Séries Mania shows TV series from around the world and holds debates, conferences and special guests like Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” all for free. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 23.

Travel yarns
> Travel fanatics get together at the Paris Travelers Festival to swap tales of their adventures. FIAP, Paris, April 22-23.

Street art indoors

ParisUpdate-UrbanArtFair-Felipe-Pantone-2
The gallery Art in the Game will be showing works by Felipe Pantone at the Urban Art Fair.> Some 30 galleries show street art at the Urban Art Fair. Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 20-23.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

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, through May 28.

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.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

Hot Topics - C'est ironique !

 

Eavesdropping

Paris cafe

In a crowd, you're just one of the overheard.

Walking down Rue des Martyrs the other day I crossed paths with a young father and his three-or-so-year-old son. A police car was racing up the street in the opposite direction, siren ...

Paris cafe

In a crowd, you're just one of the overheard.

Walking down Rue des Martyrs the other day I crossed paths with a young father and his three-or-so-year-old son. A police car was racing up the street in the opposite direction, siren blaring and lights flashing. When I passed the guy, I heard him saying to the kid, in a patient pedagogical tone of voice, “No, it's not a taxidermist. It’s the police.”

I love absurd julienne slices of life like that. To put it another way, I am an incorrigible snoop. For me, one of the advantages of living in a big city is having lots of opportunities to eavesdrop on strangers.

Here's another of my favorites: I was standing at the bar in one of those alleged “Irish pubs” that Paris seems to have on every block when I overheard the following exchange (in English):

Young guy (to bartender): I'll have a Guinness please.

Guy next to him: Hi! Are you Irish?

Young guy: No, American.

Guy next to him (shouting): I should f--ing kill you!

He didnt.

I should also admit that my unsavory curiosity extends beyond the audible. During last summers heat wave I went to my favorite butcher's shop on Rue Lepic to get a chicken. Since this was France, where butchers keep poultry carcasses whole until purchased, the bird had to be beheaded and befeeted and begutted and so forth, which takes a while, and since I was also very thirsty I decided to do my waiting at the café across the street in the company of a glass of something cold.

Once inside I immediately noticed two things:

1) I was in the now-famous Café des 2 Moulins, as seen in the hit movie Amélie – which I realized not so much from recognizing it as from ruling out any other explanation for the high density of Japanese tourists and wall-sized Amélie posters.

2) A fair number of the other patrons were would-be writers from out of town.

How could I tell? They were young, seated alone in a famous café with a notebook and pencil in front of them, staring thoughtfully and distractedly into the distance. Its the look, also quite common around Saint Germain, that says, “Heres me: writer. In Paris!”

I happened to be sitting just behind a young woman in the sidewalk (smoking) section who looked to be about the right age for Creative Writing 102. Her table held a ruled tablet open to the first page with two and a half lines scribbled on it, a brimming full ashtray and three empty coffee cups. She was nursing her fourth and, to complete the tableau, wearing a beret.
Being me, I was aching to see what she had written. To my delight she got up to go to the WC, giving me a clear look at her novel in progress. Here
s what she had so far (quoted in its entirety and translated verbatim from the French):

The telephone rang in the big apartment. Michelle, groggy after yet another long night of lovemaking,...

I guess she was drinking decaf, because that was it. And she didnt make any more progress by the time I drank up, paid up and went back across the street to pick up my dinner, so I never did find out who was calling Michelle and why. I like to think it was a taxidermist, phoning to say, “I should f--ing kill you!” If she could write her way out of that opening, she'd have a future in fiction.

David Jaggard

Reader Reaction: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to respond to this article (your response may be published on this page and is subject to editing).

Click here for more C'est Ironique! columns.

Support Paris Update by ordering books from Paris Update's Amazon store at no extra cost. Click on your preferred Amazon location: U.K., France, U.S.

© 2010 Paris Update