Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-ParisNight

The view from the Théâtre de l"Odéon at dusk. Photo: Françoise Deberdt-Meunier

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Left Bank gallery crawl
> Open house at 50 galleries for Art Saint Germain des Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Gold in galleries

ParisUpdate-CarreRiveGauche-Passage AH 0

“Passage” ((2017), by Aude Herlédan. At 1831 Art Gallery during Carré Rive Gauche.

> The Carré Rive Gauche, an association of Left Bank galleries, celebrates its 40th anniversary with an event called ExtrORdinaire, featuring gold in works of art. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Literary evening
> The Nuit de la Littérature in Belleville and Ménilmontant presents 20 foreign authors reading their work in French. Various venues, Paris, May 27.

 English-language theater festival
> Paris Fringe returns for its second year of English-language theater and comedy. Various venues, Paris, May 18-28.

Hollywood glam
> Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and more in classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age for the Glamour cycle. Forum des Images, Paris, May 3-31.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Etienne Comar’s Django, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 26.

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.

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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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