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
* Travel Writing Workshops
* 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

April 15
Lost in Frenchlation presents French films with English subtitles on the big screen. This month see the feelgood film Rosalie Blum, tonight at 8pm at Studio 28 (10 rue Tholozé, 18th, M° Abbesses). Tickets €7.50. 

April 22-24
For all fans of street art, the world's greatest urban artists will be showing their works at the first Urban Art Fair - the Foire Street Art à Paris - at the Carreau du Temple, represented by 30 galleries. Entry €12. 

April 29 -May 8
The third annual Paris Beer Week celebrates local craft beers from the Ile de France region (Paris and the surrounding areas). Events, tastings, tours and more, with the grand finale on Saturday the 7th at La Bellevilloise with 45 breweries in attendance. For the full program see the website or facebook page. 

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


Elvis Tribute at La Scala


Last night I popped by La Scala "just for a moment" to see a few of the 26 bands performing Elvis hits in tribute to the King, who died 30 years ago this year. Hosted by the Ullmann Cabarock, there were quite a few performers I knew and wanted to see. Alas, as concerts always tend to start an hour (or two) late in Paris, I only got to see a few, including Nicolas' regular Kararocké band (in the photo above), Arthur H, Adanowsky (who happens to play Mathieu in the Julie Delpy film, Two Days in Paris), and Sheraff, who will be playing at the Fleche d'Or October 2nd. If they can play their own songs with even half the energy they had playing Elvis' "That's Alright", then they're more than worth the trek across town to see.

Sheraff singer Ben belting out his best Elvis.

Attacked by DJ Nikola Acin (of the Hellboys) on my way out...


Latest Dining Reviews

Check out the handful of new dining reviews I just added to the Resource Guide!


For all Kiwis and Rugby Fans

My Kiwi friend Claire asked me to invite all Kiwis (and friends of Kiwis) to join the France-New Zealand Association to watch the Rugby World Cup 2007 matches. The Frog Pubs will be organizing two pub crawls in Paris September 7 and September 12.

"Frog Pubs have pubs in four locations in Paris, so you’ll discover four different areas, and the crawls finish up in the very popular and busy areas of Chatelet and Odeon/St Germain.  Come along in big numbers, they’ll be great fun.  We expect to see both traveling kiwis and kiwis living in Paris, so it will be a great opportunity to meet new people and network.  Top-quality entertainment will be provided by Gary the magician… also brush up your haka skills, as the best hakas will win prizes!"

There will also be a friendly match organized and other France-New Zealand Association events during the World Cup. Visit the website for more info, and if you go be sure to say hi to the young and lovely Claire!  


Rock-en-Seine 2007: Day 3

Today is much drier, so it's possible to sit on the ground without a garbage bag seat.

The Lineup for August 26, 2007:

Housse de Racket
Bat for Lashes
The Horrors
Mark Ronson
Albert Hammond, Jr.
Kings of Leon
Bromheads Jacket
Just Jack
Enter Shikari
Craig Armstrong

All the way from Tennessee!
The Kings of Leon came highly recommended by Emilie (Le Mouv') and Nicolas (Ullmann), who had just been in Memphis, so I made the effort to get there on time. And they had a great "Strokes from the South" sound!
For the most part, the crowd did not turn into a mosh pit. In fact, people right at the front seemed annoyed if they were jostled. Sheesh. Isn't this a rock festival, folks? 
These crazy kids decided to create their own 3-person pit.
Bacl in the Mouv' studio in the VIP/Media section, the French band Nelson pull off an admirably British sound, en anglais.
I have to admit, I was badly prepared for Sunday (my brunch may have gone over schedule by a few hours) so I didn't have time to upload my photos from Day 2 onto my laptop, and therefore had no space left on the memory card to take new pics. These are all from my cell phone (which takes pretty crap pics despite being a cute pink Motorola Razor). I took some Björk video, sorry if the sound is a bit scratchy. You get the picture. Her show was fantastic, full of energy, and ending with a huge golden graffiti blast into the air.

Newsletter #79: August-September 2007

IN THIS ISSUE: * Heather’s News * Shopping: Rent a Gucci Bag * Shopping: Vintage Lingerie Stand Closes * Shopping Online: Girly with an Attitude * The Blog: Chanel, Rock Music, & Stars in Paris * Dining: New Reviews * Nightlife: Tango, baby! * Getting Around: Vélib’ Bikes, Part 2 * Naughty Paris : Postcards and a Novel * Naughty Nightlife: Régine’s is Back * Speaking of Naughty… * Outdoors: Come Run with the Hashers * Arts & Entertainment: Another Online Guide * Nightlife: Closings & Name Changes * Sightseeing: Gobelins Tapestry Manufacture * Sightseeing: Tours in a Historic 2CV * Bidding for Good: Win a Tour! * Heather Needs Help * Heather’s Tours and Vacation Planning * Are you on the list? * STILL Want to Change Your Subscription Address? Read this…

Click to read more ...


Rock-en-Seine 2007: Day 2

Day 2 is sunny and glorious! (of course now everyone is looking for a shady spot)

Saturday 25th August Lineup:

I Love UFO
The Fratellis
Hello Goodbye
Cold War Kids
Calvin Harris
Eric Truffaz
Jarvis Cocker
Terry Poison
The Jesus & Mary Chain
Les Ritas Mitsouko

The view of the second stage, Scène de la Cascade.

Amy Winehouse was supposed to perform today, but due to her rock'n'roll lifestyle, she cancelled her tour dates. Bummer. But these things happen. The lineup seems to change in content even at the last moment, and the schedule is so different that they have to hand out new schedules because they don't match what's printed in the festival guide. The schedule is really only important if you're not there all day (a lot of people don't actually arrive until the big headliners play in the evening; the 3pm concerts are less crowded).

The Grand Scène from the hillside, between shows.

Despite the sun, there is still some leftover mud. Ick.

The Levi's stand where you can win a pair of customized jeans.

Guiseppe Demaio, the artiste du jour (from Australia, despite the Italian name). 

This is the Music Library...you can actually sit in here and read books about your favorite rock stars. How very civilized!

It's okay. He's paid to graffiti. Another "live" artistic moment at Rock-en-Seine. 

One of the editors from Teemix.com asked to take my photo for the "fashion at the festival" blog. I tried explaining that the knee-high boots, chiffon top and big hat were chosen for practical purposes (ie the hot weather and the mud), but apparently she thinks this looks "très mode". Only when I'm not trying do I end up looking presentable! LOL I take a pic of her in return and try to continue enjoying the festival without wondering if I look like a fashion victim.

Jarvis Cocker attracts a huge crowd on the Grande Scène. He sang a special tribute to the late and great Lee Hazelwood.

Behind the stage, people in the VIP/Media zone drag all of the chairs out of the circus tent and into the grass to enjoy the sun.

French rock station Le Mouv' has set up their mini studio for the festival (here are DJs Emilie and Mac Fly, with nightlife guru Nicolas Ullmann smiling from the back). They're celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. Listen online!

French rocker duo Pravda (the blond on the left and the black bob on the right) live on Le Mouv'.

Fifteen minutes before Jesus & Mary Chain are scheduled to start, fans begin staking out prime spots in front of the stage.

Jesus & Mary Chain...one of my fave 80s bands. Unfortunately, their show really lacked energy. Disappointing. 

A peek at the giant moat separating the stage from the fans.

The wine bar packs out for Happy Hour.

Fans line up for the Tool concert, trying to avoid this GIANT mud puddle just to the left of the stage. I can't imagine those people standing right at the edge aren't going to get shoved in when the music starts.

I really love Tool, and saw them live in Minneapolis a few (okay, 12!) years ago. Unlike every other band, they don't have themselves singing on the big screen for those in the back who can't see anything. Instead they show their videos, which, if you've ever seen, are quite disturbing in a creepy way. Artistic, fascinating, but creepy. Maynard, the singer, does not come to the front of the stage once, nor is he ever spotlit. You can see his mohawk'd silhouette near the drummer, playing his keyboards on some songs. So there's basically nothing to do but focus on the music, since you can't really see the band. Clever. I try to record some video for you folks, but I'm so close to the speakers that the bass totally blew out the recording. Sorry!

The view of the stage during the Tool concert. That's Maynard on the right. Yeah, you'll just have to take my word on that one.

During the show, some guy taps me on the shoulder. I have to pull out my ear plugs to finally hear what he's saying. "Do you have any E?" Wow, a fashion icon and a drug dealer, all in one day. I'm seriously going to have to reconsider my wardrobe choices. After the show I head back to the VIP/Media zone and, having missed the restaurant serving time, I snack on a bag of carrots and cucumbers I have stashed in my bag (yeah, I'm so Rock'n'Roll) while chatting with a group of French music journalists. I ask why the presenter of the Arté Summer Tour TV show (which is being filmed as part of the summer festival series broadcasting September 7) hasn't taken his Ray Bans off yet, seeing as how it's almost midnight. Stupid question.

French journalist: "It's Philippe Manoeuvre. He's a legend in rock since the 70s. He never takes off those sunglasses."

Me: "You know, sometimes people need to evolve. Even John Bon Jovi finally cut off his hair."

French journalist: "You know, no one in France knows who Bon Jovi is."

Me (shocked): "How is it possible that they've never heard of Bon Jovi?! They know Hasselhoff!" 

So there you have it. The root of all French rock problems. They just weren't listening to the right music in the 80s.

Of course, they all seem pretty shocked that I had no idea who Marco Prince was. I was talking with him for a few moments about the Tool performance, and he mentioned something about opening for them once, so I figured I should probably ask someone who he was. "He's the singer from FFF!"

From the RFI music website: The story of FFF began back in the late 80’s when Marco Prince, a young singer and songwriter who had been brought up on a solid dose of soul music, met bass-player Nicolas Baby (better known as Niktub). The pair went on to form FFF -La Fédération française de Fonck- coining the term ‘fonck’ to describe their innovative fusion of rock and funk.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am not a rock journalist! I have a hard enough time keeping up with music from the US and the UK. Maybe I should be listening to Nostalgie Radio instead. ;)

Tomorrow: Day 3 of Rock-en-Seine....Björk rocks the park!