Photo of the Week

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Bicycles in a Parisian courtyard. © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Stick up for science
> The Paris March for Science begins at 1pm at the Jardin des Plantes (Place Valhubert), April 22.

Silent films from Switzerland?
> They’re rare, but they do exist and can be seen at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, April 20-May 2.

Voices from the North
> The Pølar Festival celebrates Northern European culture with films, concerts, talks and more. Various locations, Paris, April 19-29.

Photo walk
> Eight Paris galleries hold special photography shows and events for Parcours Fotofever. Various locations, Paris, through May 1.

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.

Art videos
> The theme of this year’s Videobox Festival is “noise and movement.” Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 27-29.

Take home a winemaker
> Winemakers from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux come to Paris to offer tastings of their products in wine bars and private homes for the event J’Irai Déguster chez Vous. Various venues, Paris, April 20-22.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Nicolas Bedos’s Monsieur & Madame Adelman preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, April 21.

Polaroid pix
> The “Expolaroid” exhibition features Polaroid images by nine artists. La Maison des Ensembles, Paris, through April 25.

Binge-watching
> Festival Séries Mania shows TV series from around the world and holds debates, conferences and special guests like Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” all for free. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 23.

Travel yarns
> Travel fanatics get together at the Paris Travelers Festival to swap tales of their adventures. FIAP, Paris, April 22-23.

Street art indoors

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The gallery Art in the Game will be showing works by Felipe Pantone at the Urban Art Fair.> Some 30 galleries show street art at the Urban Art Fair. Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 20-23.

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.

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.

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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.