From Belleville's Portes Ouvertes

Belleville has more artists than any other district of Paris, and every May they open their ateliers to the public. Many of them are in squatted or temporary buildings, often surrounded by greenery and graffiti that you wouldn't find elsewhere in Paris. Here's a peek:

The entrance to La Forge on Rue Ramponeau, where a huge mural decorates the wall on the way to the building where over a dozen artists work.

The Miroirterie on Rue Menilmontant (at the crossroads of Rue des Cascades) is still an illegal squat, but several well-known artists use the old garages as ateliers (here, a sign by KTÜ).

Another view of La Miroirterie. On Sunday nights they've started hosting punk concerts. How long the neighbors will put up with that is anyone's guess...

Despite the symbols carved into the walls, the gang at La Miroirterie are actually very friendly. ;)



Photos from the Flea Markets

Here are some photos I took this month while strolling around the Marché aux Puces on a particularly lovely Saturday.

I started out at the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves on the south side of the city because it's only open until lunchtime (and I'm a late riser). These are all temporary stands set up along the Avenue Marc Sangnier and Avenue Georges Lafenestre in the 14th. Great bargains and bric-abrac to sift through, as well as some very fine antiques and collectibles of small (ie portable) size. At the crossroads a man entertained the shoppers with a bit of jazz.


Then I rode the metro all the way up to the north side of town to the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. This is the big one in the suburb of St-Ouen, just across the Paris ring road (périphérique) from the Porte de Clignancourt metro station. When you get out of the metro you're not yet "in" the Marché aux Puces. The temporary stands you see are selling new clothes, DVDs of dubious origin, incense and cheap jewelry. This is also know as the Theives Market because when you walk past on your way to the real Marché aux Puces you'll have more than one guy trying to sell you a Rolex or a Gucci bag. Move along, move along...

The Thieves' Market

When you reach the St-Ouen Marché aux Puces (after the  overpass),  you'll see signs pointing to all of the individual markets within. It's like a flea market city with little neighborhoods specializing in different kings of antiques. zpuces1.jpg

When the weather is nice,many of the stall owners put their wares out on the sidewalk. 


At the Marché Jules Vallès.

Garden fanatics will want to shop around the Marché Paul Bert. 

In the Marché Paul Bert.

A note on the market: get your cash in Paris; there are few cash machines on site and they are usually empty or out of order. 


Dining Reviews incoming....

The first of the Paris dining reviews are up...

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Heather's in the Grande Pomme

Just in case y'all thought I've fallen off the planet, I'm actually in New York all week, hanging out with the agent, partying, shopping, eating far too much food from street carts. See you back in Paris soon!


Orangerie Museum officially opening May 17

After years of renovation works, you can finally see Monet's Waterlillies at the Musée de l'Orangerie starting May 17. Other artists include Renoir, Cézanne, Rousseau, Matisse, Picasso, Derain, Modigliani, Soutine, Laurencin and Utrillo.

The new opening hours will be daily except Tuesday from 12:30pm-7pm, Friday until 9pm. Tickets are €6.50. 


Hédiard needs a new webmaster

Okay, so I mentioned in the April newsletter that the gourmet fod boutiqe Hédiard had opened a new location in the Gare de Lyon. And that much is true.

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