Sunday
Sep302018

What's On in Paris: October-November 2018

NOTE: Clocks in France turn back one hour on October 28th at 3am for Daylight Savings.

Fall Brocantes
There are a number of neighborhood Vide-Grenier (attic sale) or brocantes (antique sales) throughout Paris this month. For info on these sales and others in Paris for any given date check the website Info-Brocante

October 4-14
Celebrate Oktoberfest in Paris all week long in a huge Bavarian-themed tent at the Porte de la Villette (19th), tickets €24-€44, including €15 of drink tickets.  There will be music, Bavarian Cancan dancers, and plenty to eat and drink. Dust off the lederhosen and be ready for fun! 

October 5
Les Voutes is a cultural performance center under the valuted arches in the gardens of Les Frigos, a famous former-meatpacking-warehouse-turned-squat-turned-artist-ateliers in the 1980s. They have regular events, usually €10-25 depending on how big. Tonight is "Lumière de Paris", a music and dance performance with crystal "singing bowls", from 8pm, entry €10. 

October 6 Nuit Blanche
The annual Nuit Blanche  "White Night" festival starts at sunset on Saturday and goes all night, with a diverse set of artistic events and shows scheduled around the theme of "constellations", highlighting known and lesser-known cultural sites grouped by location: Invalides, Ile st-Louis, La Villette, Porte Dorée. Two of the things we like: if it's nice out, try one of the free yoga sessions with Serial Yogger and Nicole Marty on the Esplanade des Invalides (hourly from 7pm until 2am); if it's too cold to be outdoors, the free "musical marathon" at the Paris Philharmonic starting 7pm. Free entry. 

Through October 6
Don't miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €49), a luminous walking tour and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50.  

Through October 7
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 97th (!!) edition of the Foire de Chatou antique market. Formerly known as the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (Ham and Flea Market), this popular twice-annual market has a mix of over 800 stands selling antiques and bric-a-brac, with an entire section dedicated to regional French foods, particularly pork in all its varieties. The Ile de Chatou, just north of Paris, also known as the Impressionists Island, is accessible via RER A from Charles-des-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Open 10am-7pm, entry €6. 

Through October 7
The 34th annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on September 2nd in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite). Many events including concerts and pyrotechnica shows (Sept 1), and themes weekends like Disney Cosplay and Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

October 7 & November 11 
Have you ever participated in a Disco Soup event? The idea is to gather a group, gather bruised or otherwised unsold veggies from the open-air food market, chop them up while listening to disco music, and cook up a huge tureen of soup to share with your friends and the general public for free to oppose the useless waste of perfectly good food. You can join two Disco Soups this fall hosted by the City of Paris on October 7th at the Marché Porte Dorée (12th) and on November 11th at the Marché Jeanne d'Arc (13th) -- Heather will be here! Look for the Maire de Paris' "Atelier Cuisine & Santé" stand at the markets at 9:45am for a half hour atelier about how to combat food waste followed by the gathering, chopping and cooking with the group. Bring some containers to take some home with you! Free event, sign up here.

October 5-14
The annual Fête de la Science includes thousands of free events all over France, with many cool ones in Paris at the Musée Curie, the Institut Océanographique, Jardin des Plantes and the Grand Amphithéâtre of the Sorbonne. Theinfo is only in French, but you get access to places you'd normally never get to see (especially if you're a tourist...use Google translate). 

October 9
Best-selling author Cara Black will be speaking Upstairs at Café de la Mairie from 3-5pm. She is best known for her murder-mystery novels featuring the female Paris-based private investigator, Aimée Leduc. Free entry. 

October 10-14
Head up to Montmartre for the 85th annual Fête des Vendanges, the wine harvest festival (yes, there is an actual little vineyard in Montmartre, just behind the Musée Montmartre and across from the Lapin Agile Cabaret). This year's theme is "The 18th Celebrates Peace" for the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. There is grape stomping, food and wine tastings, fireworks, a parade, live music, and all kinds of fun throughout the "Butte". Many events are free, some you have to reserve a spot, so get to the website or stop by the little Montmartre Tourism Office at 21 Place du Tertre (18th).

October 12-14
The ephemeral street art temple Aerosole (I write about it here last year) is closing for good this weekend. Check out the last events, including clubbing nights, electronic music, live mural painting, and roller derby on Sunday. 

October 12-15
The 6th annual Yoga and Meditation Festival takes place at the Porte de la Villette. Free entry (sign up here). There are over 150 workshops workshops, conferences and a Master class given in English with translation.

October 10-14
See some of the best circus acts at the annual circus festival, "Village de Cirque 14". The shows take place under the big top on the Pelouse de Reuilly, Paris 12. There are 15 shows, 10 of them free to the public. 

October 11 & 25
The Jazz Club Etoile at Le Meridien Hotel (17th) is hosting free After Work "Apéro-Concerts" with live jazz music and happy hour pricing on select drinks from 7:30-10:30pm. On the 11th is the group "Kiss Me Tiger", and on the 25th "Haylen". A nice Thursday detour if you're on the West side of town.

October 14
The SOS Help English-language listening line is hosting its Autumn Book & Bake Sale today 12 pm to 4 pm at the American Cathedral (23 Avenue George V, 8th). Donated books in English are only 2€. They have books in every category, with a ton of general fiction, young adult, and children's books. Be sure to tell your friends about this great way to get inexpensive books, meet other people in the English-speaking community, and support this organisation. To donate books in good condition, simply bring them to the sale on Sunday. They will also have a bake sale where you can get all kinds of fabulous homemade sweet and savory goodies as well as perk up with a little coffee!

October 19-21
One of the biggest flower shows of the season, Les Journées des Plantes de Courson is taking place at the Château de Chantilly, just 30 minutes north of Paris by RER. Over 200 exhibitors in a stunning setting with pretty flowers and plants, what's not to love? Buy your tickets in advance online to get the €17 entry fee (€20 at the door) or the €45 Family pass. 

October 19-20
Book your seats now for the exclusive "Music by the Glass" evenings this weekend featuring the musical program above, as well as wine receotion with the musicians afterwards.  All events include:

•  Live performance by exceptional chamber musicians from the generation to come
•  Warm ambience of the elegant and historic settings like Musée national Henner and «Reid Hall»
•  A presentation of excellent wine & artisanal appetizers
•  An opportunity to meet the musicians and team behind Sinfonietta Paris
•  An elegant cultural and social experience

Tickets from €25, book here.

Through October 20
See the latest show by one of the most well-known street artists in Paris, Christian Guémy, aka C215, at the Galerie Mathgoth. It's in the 13th arrondissement, where you can see some of his works such as the huge blue cat mural just outside the Nationale metro station. The show is called "Perdus de Vue", with stencil portraits of the homeless Parisians who the artist has painted since his early street art career started in 2005. Open Wed-Sat, 2-7pm, free entry. Take the ooportunity to check out the other street art in the 13th while you're there! 

October 31 - November 4
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.

November 3-11
The 43rd annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 560 stands selling everything organic you could imagine: produce, meats, cheeses, artisan oils, wines, essential oils, herbs, teas, cosmetics, beauty products, household cleaning products, clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, books, gardening supplies, as well as stands for environmental tourism, different green activist groups such as Greenpeace, etc. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €10, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010.  

Through November 4
Street art fans can visit the 3rd annual Prix du Graffiti at the Eau de Paris pavillion in the 16th arrondissement (77 ave de Versailles, M° Javel or Mirabeau), featuring the winners chosen by a special jury.

November 6-10
The charity shop Emmaüs Alternatives is having a special sale of new "mercerie" lots, aka haberdasherie or sewing notions at their Davout location (105 blvd Davout, 20th) from 11am-7:30pm. 

November 11 Armistice Day (Bank holiday)

November 15
Although it's rather low-key in France compared to the hype it gets in America, the annual Beaujolais Nouveau festival takes place in wine bars throughout Paris today. Read all about the history and the different varieties (good, bad, ugly) and where to celebrate in Paris in this excellent article by Aaron Ayscough, The Redemption of Beaujolais Nouveau (read the 2014 update here and his current on-location exploration of the Beaujolais region here). And for fun, here's a link to the little video I made at the Beaujolais dinner I attended in 2010 with Meg Zimbeck of Paris by Mouth and Bryan Pirolli. 

Check back soon for the announced dates of the Paris Christmas Villages starting the end of November.

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism

Saturday
Sep012018

What's On in Paris - September 2018

September 5-November 4
Street art fans can visit the 3rd annual Prix du Graffiti at the Eau de Paris pavillion in the 16th arrondissement (77 ave de Versailles, M° Javel or Mirabeau), featuring the winners chosen by a special jury. 

September 8 
Le Grand Feu is one of the biggest fireworks shows in Europe, taking place on the edge of Paris in the Parc de St Cloud from 9pm-11pm. Tickets are €32 (lawn) to €59-89 (seated) and €258 for VIP area access. Get tickets at FNAC. See videos from previous years here.

September 7-9
Les Traversées du Marais is a three-day music festival with a "Counter culture" theme taking place throughout the historic courtyards of the Marais district.

Through September 9
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis -- on the Seine! Fun activities and plenty of space for lounging along the Right Bank quays and the Bassin de la Villette extended this year through September 9th. Free entry, 10am-midnight. Swimming pools at the Bassin de la Villette open 11am-9pm.

September 14-16
You'll find food specialities from Southwestern France at the 18th annual open-air food market on the Seine, Les Marchés Flottants du Sud-Ouest, for three days along the Quai Montebello (on the Left Bank, facing Notre Dame Cathedral, M° St Michel). Wine, armagnac, foie gras, saussages and sliced meats, cheese, olives, patés, tapenades, and -- each day from 10:30am-3pm -- fresh fruits distributed for FREE (the grapes and apples are amazing). There will also be live music, plenty of demonstrations and other activities. If the weather is nice, expect large crowds! Free entry. Open 10am-10pm (Sunday until 7pm).

September 14-16
The 83rd annual Fête de l'Humanité is three days of live music (60 acts including headliner Franz Ferdinand), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, a bal populaire, a book fair, a 10k with over 600,000 participants on Sunday, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L'Humanité, whose motto is "Envie de Changer Le Monde" (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it's quite a leftie leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in La Corneuve (northeast suburbs), and three-day passes are just €38 (camping and parking also possible). Free for kids under 15.

September 15-16
This weekend is the 35th annual Journées du Patrimoine, or Heritage Days, with the theme "L'Art du Partage".  Over 350 historic sites will be opened to the public in Paris, many which are only open for this occasion. See the full schedule at the website (an English version is available and clearly marked) Some of the obvious sites like the President's Elysée Palace will have long lines, but many other sites are happily free to visit or participate in a free tour. 

September 20-23
The Festival America in the Parisian suburb Vincennes is a festival introducing a predomininantly French audience to North American literary culture. This year Canada is the country of honnor, including Quebec Francophone authors. Four Pulitzer winning authors will be present this year: Michael Chabon, Jeffrey Eugenides, Richard Russo and Colson Whitehead. The events - debates, presentations, master classes, book festival -- take place throughout the town, easimy accessible by Metro 1 (get off at the Château de Vincennes). Tickets for events sold on the website. 

September 22
Get out your earplugs, it's time for the 19th annual Techno Parade de Paris! It starts at noon (so far location is a secret) and finishes at République for a huge party. Check out their FB page for better information on the practicalities.

September 21-23
The 8th annual Fête de la Gastronomie, now called Goût de France, takes place throughout the country, but with a number of excellent culinary events here in Paris, with a focus on local and vegan cusine. Check out the Food Temple at the Carreau du Temple (3rd) for banquets, a Sunday brunch, pop-up food events and other culinary surprises (reservations needed for the big meals). There are also a Bal Gourmande on the 21st at the Mairie du 9ème, a Village Internationale de la Gastronomie with food from 60 countries at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (look for the white tents), and street food at the street art cultural center in the 19th, Aerosol

September 22-23
The 11th annual Culture au Quai is a free cultural festival on the quays of the Bassin de la Vilette (Quai de Loire, 19th, M° Jaurès), including contemporary art stands, live music, live theatre and dance performances, and activities for kids from 11am-7pm. They'll be promoting and selling tickets to all of the best fall shows in Paris. Come on down for a stroll and check it out, plenty of surprises to discover! The program is here

September 28 - October 7
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 97th edition of the Foire de Chatou antique market. Formerly known as the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (Ham and Flea Market), this popular twice-annual market has a mix of over 800 stands selling antiques and bric-a-brac, with an entire section dedicated to regional French foods, particularly pork in all its varieties. The Ile de Chatou, just north of Paris, also known as the Impressionists Island, is accessible via RER A from Charles-des-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Open 10am-7pm, entry €6. 

September 28-29
September 28-29 
Book your seats now for the exclusive "Music by the Glass" evenings this weekend featuring the musical program above, as well as wine receotion with the musicians afterwards.  All events include:

•  Live performance by exceptional chamber musicians from the generation to come
•  Warm ambience of the elegant and historic Musée national Henner and «Reid Hall»
•  A presentation of excellent wine & artisanal appetizers
•  An opportunity to meet the musicians and team behind Sinfonietta Paris
•  An elegant cultural and social experience

Tickets from €25, book here.

September 29
A new square in Paris, the Place Jean-Michel Basquiat, will be inaugurated by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the Mayor of the 13th Arrondissement Jérôme Coumet in the presence of the artis's family. The event starts at 4pm, with dance performances by Compagnies Atipik, Dirty Lab and La Relève, followed by live DJs and at 8pm a screening at the neighboring MK2 Bibliothèque "Jean-Michel Basquiat : The Radiant Child". Free entry (limited space). The new square is between the Station F start-up incubator and the metro Bibliothèque François Mitterrand. 

Through October 7
The 34th annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on September 2nd in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite). Many events including concerts and pyrotechnica shows (Sept 1), and themes weekends like Disney Cosplay and Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

Through October 6
Don't miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings at the 
Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €49), a luminous walking tour and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50.

Through October 20
See the latest show by one of the most well-known street artists in Paris, Christian Guémy, aka C215, at the Galerie Mathgoth. It's in the 13th arrondissement, where you can see some of his works such as the huge blue cat mural just outside the Nationale metro station. The show is called "Perdus de Vue", with stencil portraits of the homeless Parisians who the artist has painted since his early street art career started in 2005. Open Wed-Sat, 2-7pm, free entry. Take the ooportunity to check out the other street art in the 13th while you're there! 

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism