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

October 21-30 A bit like a smaller, cozier version of the Foire de Paris, the Foire d'Automne at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles is a trade show of food and wine, home decor, beauty and fashion, and all French arts de vivre. Open 10am-7pm, entry €9. 

October 27-29
The last big electronic music festival of the year, the Pitchfork Festival, takes place over three days at the Grande Halle de la Villette (Parc de la Villette, 19th). One-day passes €54,  three-day passes €120.

October 28 - November 1
Stuff yourself with all kinds of chocolately goodies at the annual Salon du Chocolat, at the Paris-Expo - Porte de Versailles (metro line 12), 10am-7pm. Entrance €14. You can get advance tickets online or ask at your favorite chocolate shop if they have any extra invitations. Avoid the weekend unless you're a masochist! Here are some Salon du Chocolat tips from a previous article by Secrets of Paris intern Tara Oakes. 

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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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.

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

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