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).

Strange Happenings in St. Germain

ParisUpdate-Cleary:Connolly:Meta-perceptual-helmet

The “Cyclops” helmet.

> 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.

Car-free Paris!
> On the Journée sans Voiture, motor traffic will be banned in a large part of Paris and discouraged in the rest of the city from 11am to 6pm. Sept. 25.

Top of the tower
> The 16th-century Tour St. Jacques in the heart of Paris is temporarily open for guided tours and splendid views of the city. Reservation required. Paris, through Sept. 25.

Nationwide food festival 
> Tastings, special menus in restaurants and more during the Fête de la Gastronomie. Various locations, Sept. 23-25.

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.

Whisky-a-go-go
> Whisky tastings, food pairings, cocktails and more at the Festival Whisky Live Paris. Les Docks-Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, Sept. 24-25.

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

Hitchcock’s silent films
> The festival Les Neufs Films Muets d’Alfred Hitchcock presents all the silent movies by the master of suspense. Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, through Sept. 27.

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, Sept. 23-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, Sept. 23-Oct. 2.

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

Free outdoor opera
> Opéra Côté Cour puts on live performances at 3:30pm and 5pm. Bercy Village, Paris, Sept. 25.

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.

Garden festival
> Meet the gardeners and landscape architects, take a gardening class, listen to music, etc. at the Fête des Jardins. Various locations, Paris, Sept. 24-25.

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.

Especially for kids
> The Festival les Pestacles offers concerts and other activities for kiddies age five and up. Parc Floral, Paris, through Sept. 28.

 

Hotels - Flash News

 

BLC Design Hotel

blc design hotel, paris

The BLC Design Hotel's all-white decor is surprisingly comfy and restful.

Since the just-opened BLC Design Hotel is located next to the Palais des Femmes, a refuge for women in distress in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, its designer, Carole Picard, chose “women” as the hotel’s theme and expressed the concept in an all-white decor.

When the sun shines into one of the hotel’s 29 white-on-white rooms, the effect can be blinding, but not to worry, each one is equipped not only with light-blocking window shades, but also a Night Cove, a fancy lamp/sound system that, based on a French hospital’s sleep research, promises to put you to sleep or wake you up gradually with special light and sound sequences that act on the body’s production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The only touch of color in the hotel comes from these lamps (designed by Patrick Jouin), which give off orange or red light when it’s time to go to sleep and blue light when it’s time to wake up.

The feminine theme is illustrated on each floor by a large photo of an ordinary woman (photographer Lise Laura Batifol found her subjects on the street), with a detail from the photo (an eye, for example) blown up in each room on that floor.

blc design hotel, paris

A blown-up detail of a photo of a woman decorates each guestroom.

While the oversized body parts are a bit much, the all-white decor makes for a nice change from the gloom of most designer hotels (especially any designed by Philippe Starck) and creates a surprisingly relaxing, comfy feel. It has the added advantage of immediately indicating whether the cleaning staff is doing its job properly.

Other unusual features of the BLC: the sink and mirrored showers are not walled off but can be concealed by (white, of course) curtains; there are no closets in the rooms – just drawers under the beds and big, graphic silver clothes hooks; breakfast is served at the (white) bar in the lobby, where guests can also help themselves at any time to drinks on the honor system or fill one of the attractive water bottles provided for free at faucets dispensing the hotel’s own eco-friendly bubbly or flat water.

blc design hotel, paris

Breakfast is served at a bar in the lobby, where guests can also help themselves to drinks any time.

The handsome (white) mosaic in the lobby is by Jérôme Clochard.

Those who like more color in their life might prefer the same group’s Color Design Hotel, also designed by Carole Picard.

The neighborhood is a bit off the beaten track but still has a “real” Parisian feel and is easily accessible from the center of town.

Heidi Ellison

BLC Design Hotel: 4, rue Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris. Métro: Charonne. Tel.: 01 40 09 60 16. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Free Wi-Fi. Plasma-screen TV. Rates: €175-205. Two wheelchair-accessible rooms. www.blcdesign-hotel-paris.com

 

Buy related books and films from the Paris Update store.

More reviews of Paris hotels.

Reader Reaction: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to respond to this article (your response may be published on this page and is subject to editing).

© 2009 Paris Update