Secrets of Paris 
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About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Secrets of Paris Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

Through October 3
Don't miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €59) and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50. 

Through October 18
The 32nd annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on August 30th in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite).  

September 11-13
The annual Fête de l'Humanité is three days of live music (65 acts including headliners Manu Chao, Texas, and Juliette Gréco), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, a bal populaire, a book fair, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L'Humanité, whose motto is "Envie de Changer Le Monde" (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it's quite a leftie leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in La Corneuve (northeast suburbs), and three-day passes are just €32 (€35 at the door; camping and parking also possible). 

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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