Photo of the Week


Cherry blossoms in Giverny. © Paris Update


Paris Update What's On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Contemporary art fair



"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.












Hot Topics - C'est ironique !


Paris Shop Signs, Part Five: Sex Edition

Some Streets (and This Piece)
Should Be R-Rated

Paris Update Layher-Scaffolding

It’s the biggest scaffolding contractor in Paris, with signs all over town, sending a not-so-subliminal message to the male population.

The City of Light has long been associated with a light-handed attitude toward morality. By some accounts, Parisians are a bunch of hormone-addled sex maniacs who see something suggestive everywhere they turn. And, judging from the material I collected for this fifth installment of a regular feature (see parts one, two, three and four), that’s quite an accurate assessment.

Consider this soft drink ad, which was spotted by gracious reader P.K. Munroe:

Paris Update Orangina-Ad

In France, even Bambi gets pearls, lash extensions and a Wonderbra.

Conclusion: this is a culture in which they can’t sell a bottle of orange soda without sexing it up. And, in some neighborhoods, it seems like the entire city is sexed up with sex shops, like this one on Rue La Fayette near the Gare de l’Est:

Paris Update Sex-Shop-Gare-De-L-Est

Judging from the blacked-out “x,” there must be something smokin’ hot going on in there.

And what exactly are they selling at that sandwich stand on the right?

Paris Update Hummeur-Buns

I still don’t know what “hummeur” means on a lunch menu — when I went in to ask, they told me to try next door.

I guess it’s a symbiotic arrangement: a confused customer could walk into either place, ask for a “hummeur” or “buns” and get some kind of satisfaction. And if he’s still not sufficiently sated afterwards, right around the corner is this perhaps aptly named hotel:

Paris Update Hotel-Hor

If they open a branch in Manhattan, it could be called the Hotel Hor NY.

Speaking of confused customers, I bet they get quite a few Anglophone guests who are sorely disappointed with the room service. They might find what they’re looking for at this place on Rue du Temple:

Paris Update Fanny-Fouks

If it quoaks like a douk...

Then again, they might not. It’s probably just an unfortunate choice of trade name. Speaking of which, there is a Vietnamese restaurant on Rue Descartes that used to be called...

Paris Update Dac-Phuc

This photo from Google Earth dates from a few years ago.

...but they apparently grew tired of the constant snickering of passing tourists, because the place was renovated last year and reopened with a new name:

Paris Update Hong-Phuc

Ah, yes. Muuuuuuch better.

Maybe they’ll open a massage parlor next door called “Hong Phood.” And maybe they also own this establishment near Pigalle:

Paris Update Yin Yang Massage

Since this is in the red-light district, isn’t there a “g” missing?

And maybe the plumber who Hong out this sign on Rue Maubeuge is a regular customer:

Paris Update Plumber-Sign-Close

Always nice to see a man who loves his work. And his tools.

My advice: if you hire this guy, don’t leave him alone in the bathroom. And you better hope that he — or any of the employees of Layher, Hotel Hor or any of the businesses shown here — doesn’t ride one of these scooters:

Paris Update Stalker-Scooter-Close

It doesn’t stop for red lights. Or restraining orders.

Seen a ridiculous (or ridiculously sexy) sign in Paris? Send a photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

David Jaggard

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