Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-SquareLouvois

The Square Louvois, with the Bibliothèque Nationale in the background. © Paris Update

© JR-ART.NET
© JR-ART.NET
 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

All-night art
> Nuit Blanche is an all-night festival of outdoor art events, plus special happenings in museums, which will stay open late for free. Various locations, Paris, Oct. 1.

Strange Happenings in St. Germain
> The exhibition Bizarro, with works by a number of artists, fills seven Left Bank galleries with “Bêtes de Scènes et Sacrés Monstres.” Don’t miss the Meta-perceptual Helmets by the Irish duo Cleary/Connolly
at the Librairie Alain Brieux, which allow the viewer to see forward and backward, for example, or the way a cyclops or horse would see. Various locations, Paris, through Oct. 30.

Two meals for the price of one
> Restaurants participating in Tous au Restaurant offer a second fixed-price menu for free. Various locations, Paris, through Oct. 2.

Feel-good films
> Classic movies starring the Marx Brothers, Peter Sellers, Cary Grant and more are sure to raise a smile at the festivalQu’est-ce qu’on Attend pour Être Heureux!, Forum des Images, Paris, through Oct. 2.

Indian films
> Indian film festival. Musée Guimet, Paris, through Sept. 30.

Chanson française
> L’Estival features singers performing in French. Various locations, Saint Germain-en-Laye, through Oct. 8.

Antique fair in a bucolic setting
> A visit to the Foire de Chatou antique market and regional products fair makes a great weekend outing. Chatou, through Oct. 2.

Contemporary arts festival
> TheFestival d’Automne presents leading talents in art, dance, film, theater and more from around the world. Various venues, Paris, through Dec. 31.

Classical, world, jazz & electronic
> The Festival d’Ile de France holds concerts in various locations in Paris and elsewhere, through Oct. 9.

Music & more in park bandstands
> Kiosques en Fête brings life to the bandstands in Paris’s parks with concerts, writing workshops, club meetings and even a square dance. Various locations, Paris, through Dec. 31.

Music on the beach
> Sandy beach and nightly concerts or DJs at La Plage de Glaz’Art. Paris, through Oct. 1.

Amazing gardens
> The popular Festival International des Jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loireis held annually in the park of the Château de Chaumont in Chaumont-sur-Loire, through Nov. 2.

 

Hot Topics - Flash News

 

Berges de Seine

paris_update_flashnews

TAKE BACK THE SEINE

banks of the seine, paris, floating cinema

Sketch of a proposed floating cinema on the Left Bank of the Seine, where the mayor wants to close a stretch of the highway to traffic.

One of the biggest urban-planning disasters in Paris’s history – along with the Forum des Halles and the Tour Montparnasse – was the building of highways along both the Right and Left Banks of the Seine in the 1960s, a project that destroyed the tranquility and environment of one of the city’s greatest treasures and one of Unesco’s 100 World Heritage Sites. Finally, that crime against Paris is about to be partially rectified. Last week, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë announced a plan to take the Seine back from the noisy, polluting cars that zoom along its banks – or sit in traffic jams there.

On the Right Bank, at least five traffic lights will be installed and the sidewalks widened in some places to slow down the automobiles. A café-on-a-barge will float on the Seine near the Hôtel de Ville.

On the Left Bank, the transformation will be far more spectacular. The Seine-side road will be completely auto-free between the Pont de l’Alma and the Musée d’Orsay (a rather short 2-kilometer stretch, but better than nothing), replaced by walking and cycling lanes, gardens, greenhouses and sports facilities. Artificial island parks will float on the river near the Port des Invalides, while a nightclub on a boat will be located near the Pont Alexandre III. Best of all, a floating cinema screen will be set up near the Musée d’Orsay, with bleachers on the riverbank. How cool is that?

This is part of the mayor’s overall plan to discourage the use of autos in Paris. The beauty of the project is that it is not one of those Pharaonic schemes French politicians love; the idea is to use easy-to-install infrastructure with a relatively low cost (the estimated budget is €40 million) that can be changed or moved if necessary. The city estimates that the work could be completed in two years.

As with all such projects, it remains to be seen how much of this will actually be realized (remember when former Paris Mayor Jean Tiberi promised to ban automobile traffic on the Place de la Concorde?). It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

Click here for more information.