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 !

 

Christmas in Paris, Part Two: A Holiday Tale in Verse

’Tis Not Always the
Season To Be Jolly

ParisUpdate-MeanSantaGoran2

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But now’s not a good time. Art by Goran.

’Twas the night before New Year’s, and all through Paree
Not a creature was stirring, except for some three
Million revelers out for a festive soirée,
All waiting for midnight to shout, “Bonne année!”

The wife had just tucked in the children to sleep
(I had spiked their warm milk so they’d not make a peep),
As I laid out some oysters and popped a bon cru
In hopes to get lucky at midnight-oh-two...

When out in the street there arose such a roar
That I figured the winos were fighting once more.
Away to the window I flew like a snooper,
Expecting to see feisty bums in a stupor.

When what did appear, like some dumb déjà vu,
But a red minivan blocking off the whole rue.
The drivers behind it were screaming bad words
When the passenger got out and flipped them twin birds.

His white beard was scraggly, his red suit a ruin.
I hollered, “Saint Nick! What the hell are ya doin’?
You’re supposed to have reindeer, there’s supposed to be snow!
And you should’ve been here seven evenings ago!”

“Yeah, tell me about it!” the hefty man whined.
“I’m so behind schedule, I’m losing my mind.
My sleigh was delayed into Charles de Gaulle,
Where a strike slowed the baggage claim down to a crawl.

“The customs guys picked me to search, joy of joys,
And of course I was over the limit for toys.
The wait at the passport check seemed like a cent’ry,
Only to find out I couldn’t get entry!

“My North Polar visa was one day outdated.
So, stuck at the airport, I sat there and waited
For five days until my new papers came through,
With no change of clothes and with nothing to do.”

“But where’s Dasher? Where’s Blitzen?” I asked. “Where’s your crew?”
“In quarantine, dammit,” he sighed. “Reindeer flu!
No ‘top of the porch’ crap, no ‘top of the wall’ —
I had to call Uber to get here at all.

“The road into town was jammed bumper to nose...
But I’ve something to give you — enough of my woes!”
He said as he hauled out a huge, well-worn bag,
“Can’t fly without Rudy — I’ll toss you the swag!”

Despite advanced age and his kilos de trop,
I had to admit: that old codger could throw!
He flung up some foie gras, champagne and fromage,
Right into my hands on the second étage.

“Hey, thanks, dude!” I yelled, “You got time for a snort?”
“No, but rain check!” he said, “my list’s long, the night’s short.
Besides, I see gendarmes not far down the road —
I had best get a move on before I get towed!”

His chauffeur laid rubber and leaned on the tooter,
Ran a light and just missed some poor kid on a scooter.
But I heard Santa say, with his blithe nonchalance,
“Happy New Year to all, and to all Vive la France!”

David Jaggard

Note to readers: David Jaggard’s e-book Quorum of One: Satire 1998-2011 is now available on Amazon as well as iTunes, iBookstore, Nook, Reader Store, Kobo, Copia and many other distributors.

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