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 Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

October 8-12
The theme for the 81st annual Fête des Vendanges, the grape harvest festival, is Montmartre Fête les Poètes. Events include a parade, grape stomping, the food & wine tasting village, cooking demos, live music, and tons of other fun stuff. Check out the entire program, the online boutique (get your commemorative bottles of wine!) and other info about the festival here.

October 12 
Stock up on fall reading material for a handful of euros and support the English-language SOS Helpline at their Autumn Book Sale today from noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices (31 ave Pierre Ière de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau). Paperbacks €1, hardcovers €2, all categories for adults and kids, as well as bake sale items. Those who want to donate books can drop them off during the sale.

October 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Mendelssohn and Brahms exquisitely performed by a brilliant ensemble of young professional musicians. At the Institut FInlandais (Latin Quarter, 60 rue des Ecoles, 5th) from 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited. 

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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