Photo of the Week

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Sunset over La Defense © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris

English-language theater festival

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

Pre-Edinburgh play
> Sugar Baby, by Anne Penketh and starring Holly-Rose Clegg, will play in Paris before moving on to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  La Chapelle des Lombards, Paris, May 20.

Annie in English
> The International Players present the musical Annie. Le Quai 3, Le Pecq, May 18-21.

Late-night art
> Museums stay open into the night for free and hold special events for the Nuit Européenne des Musées. Various locations. Paris, May 16.

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
> 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. Opening night: May 18. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

All that jazz...
> Jazz acts ranging from amateurs to big names at the Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 11-22.

Literary Latin Quarter
> Readings, book signings, storytelling, concerts and more at the Quartier du Livre festival. Various venues, Paris, May 17-24.

Emerging artists
> The Salon de Montrougehas been exhibiting the work of young artists every year for 62 years. Le Beffroi, Montrouge, through May 24.

Plays from all over Europe
> The Chantiers d'Europe festival presents theatrical performances from Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Croatia and the United Kingdom. Théâtre de la Ville–Espace Pierre Cardin, May 2-24

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

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.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Emmanuelle Cuau’s Pris de Court, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 19.

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 !

 
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LOVE LOCKS' LABORS LOST

“Love locks” have come to Paris. In case you’re unaware of this phenomenon, it has become a fad for lovers to solemnize their passion by inscribing their names on a padlock, snapping it onto the railing of a bridge and throwing the key in the water. To the dismay of the city authorities, who consider it a form of vandalism, this has become a thing to do on the Pont des Arts and the Passerelle Léopold-Senghor, footbridges across the Seine. The city cleared the Pont des Arts of padlocks in May, but I walked across it recently and saw dozens of new ones. The thing I don’t quite get, though, is their distribution. Seems to me if you’re going to go to the trouble of buying the lock and getting your names engraved on it and doing the little key-chucking ceremony, you’d want to be towards the middle of the bridge. But many of the locks are at the two ends, some quite near the steps that lead down to the sidewalk. Think about it: a lock in the center of the bridge says, “Darling, as we clasp this padlock to this bridge, linking the two banks of the City of Light, so shall our two hearts forever be linked, clasped in undying love. Kiss me...” whereas a lock at the mouth of the bridge says, “There! I love you, dammit! Now lose the dress.” David Jaggard

Reader Helene (Elaine) Breakstone writes: Au contraire, to my love and me, the locks are formidable. We placed ours during our annual Valentine's Day trip to rain-swept Paris this year. As we closed the lock, a rainbow suddenly appeared above us. And as he threw the key into the Seine, a barge passed by – bearing my name: Hélène. A double miracle!

Reader Celeste Manley writes: "My husband and I were in Paris in April, noticed the locks and wondered whether this was a kind of performance art, new fad, just what? We asked the very hip concierge at our hotel who always seems to be tuned in to the latest trends and he knew nothing. Question answered. Merci."

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