About Secrets of Paris

Created in 1999, the Secrets of Paris is the oldest independent and locally-owned website about Paris in English, for both visitors and residents. Discover what you've been missing:

* Free Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events 
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Tours & Travel Planning

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

 

 

 

 

Calendar of Paris Events

November 5-13
The 41st annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €10, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010.  

Marchés de Noël - Christmas Markets are Here! 
Am I the only one who thinks it's wrong that the Christmas Market opens on the Champas-Elysées before Beaujolais Nouveau?  The two largest are opening mid-month this year.
- November 11-January 8 on the Avenue des Champs Elysées
- November 17-December 27 at the Esplanade de La Défense
Other Christmas Markets will be opening around Paris in December, see the full list (en françaishere.   

November 17 
Although it's rather low-key in France compared to the hype it gets in America, the annual Beaujolais Nouveau festival takes place in wine bars throughout Paris today. Read all about the history and the different varieties (good, bad, ugly) and where to celebrate in Paris in this excellent article by Aaron Ayscough, The Redemption of Beaujolais Nouveau (read the 2014 update here and his current on-location exploration of the Beaujolais region here). And for fun, here's a link to the little video I made at the Beaujolais dinner I attended in 2010 with Meg Zimbeck of Paris by Mouth and Bryan Pirolli.  

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

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Saturday
Mar282009

SketchCrawling in Paris

Contributed by Sue Nally

Calling all artists, secret scribblers, sketchers of all levels, the next SketchCrawl will take place over the Easter holiday weekend, Saturday, April 11th.

The brainchild of San Francisco-based artist Enrico Casarosa, SketchCrawl is a day devoted to observing and sketching your surroundings in good company. It began in 2004 when a day of sketching left Casarosa inspired and elated and eager to share the experience. He explains at www.SketchCrawl.com:

"The basic idea: to record nonstop everything I could around me with my pencil and watercolors... The crawl was more tiring than I imagined but also more fun and exciting than I had thought... needless to say I loved it. Giving yourself this kind of mandate for a full day changes the way you look around you. It makes you stop and see things just a tad longer, just a bit deeper .... I soon figured out it was much more interesting to do the marathon with a group of artists instead of all by myself! And so SketchCrawl turned communal."

In just a few years SketchCrawl has mushroomed, now attracting artists in cities around the world, and seeks to unite the drawing community across as many borders as possible. And of course Paris is the perfect city for an event like this, with its weighty artistic legacy, at turns inspiring and even a little intimidating. However you may experience it, this is the perfect opportunity to get out there, sketchbook in hand, and meet others who share your passion for drawing and Paris.

To find other SketchCrawlers in Paris, simply join the forum at www.SketchCrawl.com where you’ll find info on participation and uploading photos and drawings at the end of the day. If holiday plans prevent you from participating this time, not to worry: a new SketchCrawl is scheduled every two to three months.

And if you're looking for supplies...

Mini-colored pencils at L’Ecritoire

If you are coming to Paris with artistic aspirations, or if like a friend of mine, ahem, you can’t resist sketching fellow commuters to pass the time on the metro—don’t miss this pack of mini-colored pencils no bigger than your Pass Navigo. They are great for clandestine metro sketching, or adding a touch of color to quick sketches made on the go. The tiny set even comes with an eraser, and a micro-pencil sharpener.

While the miniature scale makes them impractical for serious large-scale drawing, and a wee bit tricky to manipulate, they are of respectable quality and line weight and frankly, just too cute to pass up. Personally, they’ve become indispensable and land in my coat pocket daily, after the Pass Navigo and before the cell phone.

You’ll find them for €8.00 and some change at L’Ecritoire, a shoe-box size boutique devoted to the lost art of letter-writing. Along with quill pens and inks, you’ll find stationery, stickers, wax seals and a great selection of affordable greeting cards in this little repository of all things paper.

L'Ecritoire
61 rue St. Martin, 4th
M° Châtelet or Hotel de Ville
Tel: 01 42 78 01 18

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