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 - Flash News

 

Place de la République

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VIVE LA PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE!

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Paris’s Place de la République, which should be one of the city’s handsomest squares, has long been a most unappealing and neglected place: noisy, with heavy traffic, parked tourist buses, smelly fast-food outlets, rats racing along the lawn of the unkempt little park on one of the center islands, garbage trucks parked on the sidewalk (yes, in the center of Paris!) being rinsed down by their drivers, etc. This is all supposed to change now that the city has approved a plan for its renovation (winning design by the agency TVK), which will add 50 percent more pedestrian space, widen sidewalks and plant more trees. A walkway will connect it to the nearby Canal Saint-Martin.

A little history: the square, created under the Second Empire, was so-named in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution, on the site of what had once been a promenade between Porte Saint-Denis and the Bastille built along the former city walls of Charles V during the time of Louis XIV. In 1759, public amusements and small theaters were authorized along the Boulevard du Temple (still home to the Cirque d’Hiver), giving it a festive ambiance for the next hundred years; the frightening spectacles performed in some of the theaters earned it the nickname “Boulevard du Crime.”

With an area of 37,000 square meters (60 percent of it currently taken up by automobile traffic, which the new design will reduce by 15 percent) and a monumental statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, in the center, it is the site of almost all of the many demonstrations held in this city where the citizens have long been in the habit of descending into the streets to make their demands heard. The inauguration of the new Place de la République is planned for spring 2013. We can’t wait to see its new, more peaceful and people-friendly (we hope) incarnation. Click here for more details.