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

May 15-17
One of the biggest flower shows in France, Journées des Plantes de Courson, takes place this weekend at the Chateau de Chantilly, just 45 minutes north of Paris from the Gare du Nord. Entry €20 (or €17 if you get your tickets online before May 14).

May 16
Check out your favorite Paris museum at night during the 11th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées, when all over Europe museums stay open all night...for free! 

June 21
Celebrate Fête de la Musique in 17th-century aristocratic style at Château Vaux-le-Vicomte for their annual costumes dance event, La Journée Grand Siècle, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the original owner, Nicolas Fouquet. There will be an elegant picnic in the chateau gardens, live music and dancing, as well as carriage rides and sword-fighting shows. If you don't have a costume gown you can rent one on-site from €17. 

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

Entries in concerts (10)

Tuesday
May192015

Does anyone still read the Pariscope?

I was going through some old files this weekend and found a Pariscope I had saved from May 1996 (above left) with a page on classic films dog-eared (I like to think I was going to watch The Bicycle Thief since I was obsessed with Italian neo-realism in college, but it's more likely I was planning to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show). For some reason I imagined the Pariscope was no more, like the Minitel or the Bi-Bop mobile phone. But passing by the newsstand on the way to the market, there it was (above right), neatly stacked, and still a steal at just €0.70. So I bought one, and it was like traveling back in time.  

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, the Pariscope is a weekly print magazine, about half the size of a regular magazine, which has come out every Wednesday since 1965 to coincide with the film schedule (cinemas change the films every Wednesday, when premiers are shown; that's why sometimes you get big American blockbusters showing in France two days before the more typical Friday premiers in America).

Aside from a detailed schedule of every single movie showing in every single cinema in Paris (and until you see them all in one spot like this, it's hard to appreciate the variety, depth and diversity of the film offerings in Paris), it also has restaurant reviews, the latest festivals, theatre, conferences and trade shows, museum and gallery shows, children's activities, and music concerts and festivals of all genres. It's thorough yet succinct. Read through the black-and-white newsprint pages and you feel like you know exactly what's going on and where.

Unlike the internet, you don't have endless clicking through mazes of information, some out of date, cluttered with ads, blinking images and videos, and only partial listings. There is even, quaintly, a page of "Numéros Utiles" with emergency services, weather, traffic, airports, taxis, and pharmacies open 24/7. 

For some reason, it just seems more simple than Googling for this info and getting 7 billion results to sift through. In 1996 it was just 3 francs (about €0.45), and although the price has gone up and the little English section written by the TimeOut staff  is gone, it hasn't visibly changed at all since 1996. There is no website, but in one nod to modernity there is a free smartphone application if you're averse to shelling out €0.70 for the print version. 

To preserve some semblance of journalistic integrity I should probably mention the Pariscope's competitor, l'Officiel des Spectacles, is also still going strong (and has a website). But much like Coke vs Pepsi or Burger King vs McDonald's, once you pick the one you like, you never cross over to the other camp. 

Wednesday
Jan162013

Newsletter #123: January 4, 2013

French Price Hikes for 2013
A Taste of French Spirits
World Class Organ Recitals
Paris Dining Recommendations
The Real Faces of Paris
Escape Paris on a Budget by Train + Bus
Buy/Sell Concert, Sports and Train Tickets
Music at the French Cinema
Green Paris Shopping & Recycling
Getting in Shape for 2013
Latest Museum Exhibitions
Top January Events

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov052012

Discovering the Gaïté Lyrique

The Gaïté Lyrique is an elusive place. Not physically: the building is grand, impressive and situated an easy walk from the centre of town. It is what lies behind the façade that is not easily categorised. For the curious, however, it turns out to be one of the most individual tourist attractions in Paris: a forward-thinking haven of digital culture and modern music, currently welcoming art collective H5’s Hello™ exhibition as well as recent concerts by international groups from Maximo Park to Jagwa Music.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct252012

Newsletter #121: October 24, 2012

In this Issue:

Feeling Good to Support Breast Health
Cup Cakes for the Make-a-Wish
10k to Support Cancer Patients
Jazz at the Ambassador’s Residence
Soup Kitchen Needs Volunteers
Spooky Day of the Dead Events
Favorite Fall Museum Exhibitions
Disneyland Paris 20th anniversary show
Two Free Paris Apps
French Culture through Food & Wine

Click to read more ...

Friday
May062011

Free Live Gigs with Paris Undercovers

Updated on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

Looking for an insider's view of the Paris indie music scene? The Paris-based British journalist Mark Thompson of Gigs in Paris talks about his latest project to bring the music to the people, Paris Undercovers.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan192011

Gigs in Paris for February

Guest writer Mark Thompson writes about some of the best upcoming indie and rock music concerts in Paris for the end of January and coming in February, including punk goddess Patti Smith,  French Beatles tribute band The Rabeats, and Concrete Knives.

Click to read more ...