Entries by Heather Stimmler-Hall (55)

Wednesday
Nov272013

Paris Events Calendar - December 2013

Christmas Villages, Ice Skating & Ferris Wheel


Through January 5
The annual Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysées includes over 200 chalets selling holiday gifts, local specialties, mulled wine, warm hats and gloves, toys, jewelry and every kind of sweet imaginable. There is also a fun Olympic-sized ice skating rink, amusement park rides for kids and Santa visits. There's a hand-made 11-meter tall Eiffel Tower and a "Village des Artisans" dedicated to handcrafted items made in France. A great place to wander with an appetite and a Christmas shopping list! I made a Christmas Village video three years ago, but this year's is much better in terms of quality and variety. Open daily 11am-11pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday). 

November 29-December 1
Get in the winter spirit in St-Germain-des-Près, where Rue Princesse and Rue Guisarde have been transformed into "Saint-Germain-des Neiges ski station", with snow, chalets and activities promoting skiing holidays in France. Free entry. 

November 15 - January 6
A small "Village du Père Noël" is set up outside Eglise St-Germain des Prés, open daily 11am-9pm. 

Through December 28
The largest Christmas Village in the region is the Marché de Noël de La Défense, on the Parvis de la Défense (line 1 metro), with over 300 wooden chalets, a Bavarian restaurant, and giant igloos housing créateurs...and don't miss the fabulous evening views over Paris! Open Sun-Turs 11am-8:30pm, Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm (until 6pm on Dec 24th). (closed Dec 25th)

December 7-15
The annual Féeries d’Auteuil takes place at the non-profit children's organization Apprentis d'Auteuil (40 rue Jean de la Fontaine, 16th, M° Jasmin or Eglise d'Auteuil) with a Christmas market, food stands, concerts, vintage carrousel and nativity scenes, from 11am-7pm.

December 12 - January 5
The "Trocadéro on Ice" Christmas Village in the Trocadéro Gardens has an Alpine theme with ice skating, snow shoe walks, and other wintery events (and a snow-maker). Stands selling food, drink and gifts, all with a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower. On the opening day there will be a special "Père Noël" performance at 6pm. Open daily 11am-8pm. 

December 14-22
The Marché de Noël "Paris Notre Dame" features French artisan crafts and gourmet regional foods at this market across the river from Notre Dame Cathedral in the  Square Viviani (Quai Montebello, 5th). Open daily 10am-8pm.

Through December 14th
The "Marché de Noël Alsacien" takes place at the Gare de l'Est celebrating specialties from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. 

Through December 24
A small "Marché de Noël" of a dozen stands set up outside the Italie 2 Shopping Mall at Place d'Italie (13th). 

December 4 - January 2
The "Marché de Noêl de Montparnasse" includes 40 wooden chalets of food and gifts at the foot of the Montparnasse Tower, open daily. 

December 21-January 5
All of the Manèges, aka Carrousels de Paris, in the 3rd through 20th arrondissements of Paris are free for children for the holidays (my favorite is in the Jardins du Trocadéro, but the lines are longest). See the full list here. Open daily 10am-7pm.

Through February 16
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel (and the largest Christmas Tree in France). Each enclosed "car" holds six people. €10 for adult, €5 for kids under 10, open daily 11am-midnight (Fri-Sat until 1am).  

December 20 - March 2
The Patinoire de Paris is a large ice skating rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. Free entry, €5 skate rental, gloves or mittens obligatory. 

December 26 - January 5
If you saw Midnight in Paris you'll recognize the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum of antique carnival and fair rides and decor in a stunning setting, open to the public for the holidays. Expect crowds, get there early and dress warmly! Open 10am-6pm, €12 entrance, €5 for kids under 12. 


Daytrips from Paris

November 30-January 5
The family-owned Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the 17th-century palace that inspired Versailles) becomes a Christmas wonderland in December, decorated from top to bottom, each room in a different holiday theme, fireplaces ablaze, and holiday music playing. And at night the château facade and the gardens are lit with festive lights. It's a magical experience, not to be missed! And this year there's a special Pinocchio show for the whole family. Open the weekends of November 30-December 1, December 7-8, December 14-15, and every day from December 21-January 5th (closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day) from 10:30am-6pm. Entry €14; entry plus Pinocchio show from €22. 

Special Shopping Events

November 26- December 2
The 11th annual Frimousse des Créateurs is a special auction of dolls decorated by famous designers and artists to benefit UNICEF. They will be on display (free entry) at Le Petit Palais until December 1st, and the auction takes place on December 2nd at the Four Seasons George V at 8pm.

November 29-December 1
The Maison Vintage Market takes place this weekend at 17 rue des Commines, 3rd, from 4pm-8pm on Friday, 10am-8pm on Saturday and 10am-7pm Sunday, featuring the largest collection of stands selling vintage home decor and furnishings from the 1920s-1980s. There are usually a few stands selling food/drink. Entry €3.

November 29 - December 1
The Designers de Mode at the trendy Docks en Seine at Quai d'Austerlitz (that big green thing in the 13th) is hosting a stylish Christmas Market with 100 créaturs selling accessories, home decor and gifts from around the world. Open Friday 3-10pm, Sat-Sun from 11am-8pm. Entry €5.  

November 30-December 1
Shop for local produce, meats, foie gras, dairy products, honey, oils, and other products directly from 50 local farmers at the Pari Fermier food fair, in the 15th on Rue St-Charles between rue de la Convention and le Rond-point St Charles. Open 10am-7pm, free entry. 

December 1
La Bellevilloise is hosting a Christmas Punk Market today from 10am-8pm, with punk books, clothing, music, entertainment, and other fun surprises for anyone who wants to embrace the punk spirit this Christmas. Free entry. Le Forum du Bellevilloise, 21 rue Boyer, M° Gambetta.

December 6-7
The annual Sol en Si Braderie is a special sale of VIP Mode (designer clothing) at rock-bottom prices to benefit the children's AIDS charity Sol En Si.  Entry €2. At La Bellevilloise. Opens 10am-6pm.

December 7-8
Artisan handcrafts and fun designs from young créateurs for sale in East Paris at Art Machine's Menil'fest & Allée des Créateurs, along the Boulevard de Belleville outside M° Ménilmontant, free entry, 11am-8pm.

December 8
Salon Toymania is the International Vintage and Antique Toy Fair at the Palais de Congrès (M° Porte Maillot). This year's focus is on toy advertising posters with a special exhibition. 10am-5pm, entrance €10, free for kids. 

December 8
Home decor and clothing by young desingers and  famous brands sold at a discount to benefit the homeless children's charity Promethée Humanitaire. At the Espace Commines, 17 rue des Commines, 3rd) from 10am-6:30pm. Entry €2.

December 11-22
The RATP is hosting a special pop-up boutique at station Franklin D. Roosevelt (line 1) selling Paris Metro merchandise for the holidays, including toys, model trains, coffee mugs, tote bags, playing cards, home decor, and other gifts with the iconic Paris Metro map and station signs. Open 11am-8pm on the platform in the direction of La Défense.

December 13-15
La Bellevilloise is hosting the 11th annual Grand Salon d'Art Abordable, the affordable art fair,  with 40 artists and over 200 art works on display (and for sale) in a fun and festive atmosphere; entry €5. Open from 2pm on the 13th, and from 11am on the 14th and 15th. 

December 13-15
The Noël en Bio organic market takes place at 58 ave Philippe Auguste, 11th (M° Nation or Alexandre Dumas), features organic and fair-trade products, toys, gifts and holiday decorations. Free entry, from 10:30am-7:30pm (until 6:30 on the 15th). 

December 14-15
"Le Noël des Créateurs", highlights up-and-coming designers and artisans selling ther crafts "Made in France". Come for original and unique holiday gifts! Hosted in several loations throughout Paris: Niece Piece, 76 rue Charlot, 3rd; 8 blvd St-Martin, 10th, noon-6pm; A Bout de Fil, 28 rue Traversière, 12th, 11am-8pm. Free entry.

December 21-22
La Bellevilloise and Fifties Sound are hosting the Vintage Marché de Noël this weekend 10am-8pm, entry €2. Expect rétro-vintage stands, crafts stands, jewelry, retro hair salon stand, clothing, furniture, home design, glasses, posters, vinyl records, burlesque accessories, etc. Live 40s and 50s music starts at 4pm. Loft du Bellevilloise, 21 rue Boyer, M° Gambetta. 

December 21-22
The Village St-Paul (entrances along Rue St Paul, 4th) is having its winter brocante (flea market) this weekend, with outdoor stands in addition to the antique and vintage shops and other fun shops in the cobblestone courtyards. 

December 17-22
A special créateurs clothing and accessories market selling direct to the consumers, the next Les Filles en Aiguille takes place at the Espace Beaurepaire (28 rue Beaurepaire, 10th), noon-8pm (Friday-Sat until 9pm). Free entry.

December 20-22
The Paris Lions Club is holding their annual Marché de Noël at the Espace Blancs-Manteaux (Marais, 48 rue Vieille du Temple) with toys, jewelry, decorations, artisan objects and gifts. Free entry, Friday from 2-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 11am-7pm.   

Exhibitions

November 26-December 7
The second annual Secrets du Chocolat, a Chocolate Museum in a Train with an exhibition, tastings and workshops, is taking place on a TGV parked in the Gare de Lyon from Nov 26-27, at Gare d'Austerlitz from Nov 28-29, Gare St-Lazare Nov 30-Dec 1, Gare de L'Est Dec 4 and 6, Gare de Montparnasse Dec 5, and Gare du Nord Dec 7. Free entry.

December 20-23
Come to the Galerie de la Cité Internationale des Arts (18 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th) to see 100 "covers" of The Parisianer, an imaginary magazine (based on the New Yorker), by 100 different renowned artists and illustrators. Open 10am-6pm, free entry. 

Through January 26
One of my favorite exhibits of the season, Yousuf Karsh: Icons of the Twentieth Century, with stunning black and white photos of movie stars, artists, writers, and world leaders over the past 60 years. At the Mona Bismarck American Center (a gorgeous Parisian mansion near Palais de Tokyo worth the visit alone). Entry €7. Open Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. 

Through January 2 (special late nights Dec 26-29)
Oh la la! The Musée d'Orsay is hosting a much-anticipated exposition Masculin/Masculin: The Male Nude in Art from 1800 to the Present. It's sure to draw large crowds, so be sure to get your tickets online in advance to skip the line, or better yet, book your own private Naughty Paris tour of the exhibition with Jean-Manuel Traimond, author of the Guide Erotique du Louvre et Musée d'Orsay. The two-hour skip-the-line tour is €300 for up to four adults (contact us to book your tour). NOTE: Special late night opening December 26th-29th, last entry at 9pm.

Through January 5
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, the most frequently performed opera composer. Learn all about this composer in a very unique setting, the beautiful Eléphant Paname. "Dedicated to culture and dance, this magnificent nineteenth-century jewel of a place, just steps from the Palais Garnier opera house, nourishes the romantic spirit in all its visitors. Laurent Fiat and Fanny Fiat, the two young co-founders and co-directors of this unique multi-arts centre, driven by their noble and far-reaching commitments as ardent lovers of culture, are thus giving Verdi a compelling homage, in a truly Parisian venue." Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am -7pm, Thursday until 9pm. Entry €9. Reserve lunch or dinner at Goust, the restaurant upstairs, to complete your visit!

Through March 30
For the inaugural exposition of the newly-opened Institut des Cultures d'Islam, Ici Là et Au-Dela features four artists who explore Islam and the spiritual identity of the Goutte d'Or district of Paris:  Abbas, Yazid Oulab, Patrizia Guerresi Maïmouna and Bruno Lemesle. Free entry, open Tues-Thurs 10am-9pm, Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday noon - 7pm. 

Through March 8
Brassaï, Pour l'Amour de Paris 
is a free exhibition about Paris as seen through the black and white photos of Brassaï, one if its most famous photographers, at the Hôtel de Ville (entrance at 3 rue Lobau, 4th), Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm.

Shows & Concerts

December 4-5
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Ravel, Debussy and Brahms exquisitely performed by SPCO artists Rika Masato and Askar Ishangaliyev for an engaging and sensational experience. Hosted in the intimacy of a beautiful private residence in Paris, this occasion is designed as an exclusive event for music lovers and generous patrons to promote the artistic growth of Sinfonietta Paris. Sit closely to the performing artists; afterwards, enjoy an excellent presentation of wine and mingle with musicians and fellow culture lovers. From 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited to 40 participants. 

Extended through December 22
Bartabas' amazing equestrian show Zingaro is back for another season with Calacas, a macabre Day of the Dead theme with the Grim Reaper and his horseback brigade of skeletal demons. At 176 avenue Jean-Jaurès (metro Fort d'Auberviliers), tickets €42 (€30 for kids). Book soon, these shows always sell out! (Note: Dinner is served in the main tent after the Sunday show if you book at the bar BEFORE the show begins).

Through January 5
Looking for a fun show? Porte-Jarretelles & Piano à Bretelles is a comedy burlesque at the Alhambra Theatre. It helps to know French, but it's still a fun show even if you just enjoy the moves. Tickets €27-42.

Through January 19
Cirque du Soleil are performing their new show Kooza in Paris through the end of January. Tickets from €44. 

December 26 - January 4
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passing of Frenchchanteuse Edith Piaf with sexy cabaret singer Caroline Nin's "Hymne à Piaf", a show using English storytelling and songs en français to remember one of the greatest French singers of all time. Shows are every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm at the intimate Essaïon Theatre (6 rue Pierre au Lard, in the Marais, 4th). Tickets are €20-€25. On December 31st the theatre will be transformed into a cabaret with everyone seated around little tables and served unlimited Champagne during the performance. 

 

 Through January 26
One of my favorite exhibits of the season, Yousuf Karsh: Icons of the Twentieth Century, with stunning black and white photos of movie stars, artists, writers, and worls leaders over the past 60 years. At the Mona Bismarck American Center (a gorgeous Parisian mansion near Palais de Tokyo worth the visit alone). Entry €7. Open Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. 

Volunteer & Humanitarian Events

December 1
Volunteers from the Croix Rouge (French Red Cross) are partnering with French museums this Sunday to collect donations (your loose change) for the Philippines Disaster Relief. Have your loose change ready and look for them if you're visiting the Musée du Louvre, Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet, Musée du Quai Branly, Palais de Tokyo, Musée Rodin, Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie, Château de Versailles, or the Centre Pompidou. Don't forget entrance is free the first Sunday, so it's an added incentive to visit and donate! 

December 5
Living in France and speak French? Become a volunteer! Sign up ASAP (through Dec 4) to attend the Bénévole Speed Dating event at the Hôtel de Ville from 4:30-6:30pm, where volunteers can meet and get to know a dozen different non-profit prganizations who need long-term volunteers. 

More Fun Events

December 12
Le Figaro magazine is organizing a festive Champagne tasting, Soirée Dégustation Champagnes Millésimés, featuring some of the most prestigious Champagne houses in France, at ArtCurial. Limited space, sign up online, €49/person includes Champagne and cheese buffet. From 8pm.

December 19
Longtime Secrets of Paris readers know the King of Paris Nightlife is none other than Nicolas Ullmann. Don't miss his special Christmas Kararocké Soirée (karaoke with a live rock band) at Bus Palladium from 9pm. There will be guest band Lafayette, special Grinch cocktails, dancing by a former Crazy Horse goddess, a Name that Tune contest, and other fun events. Free entry, dress up in your best Reindeer, Christmas Tree, Naughty Santa outfit! You can also dine upstairs in the restaurant, book their special Christmas menu. 

Literary Events

December 11 
Learn all about the world of eBook publishing in a conference/workshop E-Writing, E-Publishing: Risks and Rewards with a panel of experts including Ellen Hampton, Paris resident director for CUNY, lecturer at Sciences Po in history and culture, and author of the new eBook nove about life in Paris, Playground for Misunderstanding. The event is limited to 30 people, fee is €10. At the Mona Bismarck American Center from 2-5pm. 

December 11
Heather's college French professor Scott Carpenter will be leading a panel discussion with two fellow Carleton alumni Alecia McKenzie and Lantzey Miller about being First-time Novelists. At the American Library (10 rue Général Camou, 7th) from 7:30pm, free entry. Books will be for sale at the event through Shakespeare & Co. 

December 17
Cookbook author and former restaurant critic for L'Express and the International Herald Tribune, Patricia Wells, will be at WH Smith Paris tonight to present her latest book, The French Kitchen Cookbook from 6-8pm.   She won the James Beard Award for The Provence Cookbook, Patricia Wells at Home in Provence, and Simply French. The French government has honored her as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, recognizing her contribution to French culture. RSVP on the Facebook page.

Other Paris Calendar Links

Saturday
Oct192013

Paris Events Calendar - November 2013

Through November 2
The French actually celebrate Toussaint (or All Saints Day) on November 1st, which is more festive in Mexico. Join in the annual Mexican-style El Día de los Muertos at the Belleville art gallery Association pour l'estampe & l'art populaire on October 31st from 6pm. A tour of the artworks on November 1st, live music on November 2nd.

Through November 2
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). Headliners include The Knife, Hot Chip, Yo La Tengo, Disclosure, Darkside, Panda Bear, etc. One-day passes €49, two-day passes €79,  three-day passes €129.

Through November 3
If you don't have enough Halloween candy to put your body into diabetic shock, head over to the annual Salon du Chocolat, the city's largest fair dedicated to the delectable sweet in all of its formats, from bean to bar. It takes place at the Porte de Versailles - Paris Expo, tickets €13 (get the tickets in advance online to avoid lines). Open 10am-7pm. Note: eat a full meal before you go to stave off the munchies. There are enough free samples to make everyone blissfully ill by the end of the day. :-) 

Through November 3
Get your tickets now for one of the sexiest shows of the season, 
Chantecler Tango. Straight from Buenos Aires, Mora Godoy's excellent troupe combines theatre, dance and passion at the illustrious Théâtre du Châtelet. Tickets from €32-€88 available at FNAC

Through November 3
The Potager des Princes, the lovely gardens next to the Château de Chantilly, are selling the apples from their trees before closing for the winter. Varieties include Golden, Granny Smith, Cox Orange, Canada , and Belle Fleur, €2/kilo. The apples have not been chemically treated. Open every afternoon 2-5pm.

Through November 3
A bit like a smaller, cosier 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 €8 (or get two free tickets online with the discount code ANOUS, thanks to the A Nous metro magazine).  

November 1-30
Think you've got a novel in you just waiting for a bit of coaxing out? Join thousands of others in France for National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMoNanowrimo France has its own group and Facebook Pageorganizing different events around town to help participants get to that mythical 50,000 word count by the end of the month.

November 1-3
Shop for local produce, meats, dairy products, honey, oils, and other products directly from 120 local farmers at the Pari Fermier food fair, at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes). Open Friday and Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday until 6pm. Entry €6, or go to the website to print off a free invitation for two.

November 4-7
Artcurial, the auction house in the historic Hôtel Dassault on the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, is hosting a special sale "It's Only Rock & Roll" on the theme of Rock & Roll history from the 1950s through today, with 350 lots of rock memorabilia, electric guitars, signed platinum records, motorcycles, leather jackets, artworks, photographs and other signed objects. On display November 4-6, on auction November 7th. 

November 6-12
Want to become part of a collective art project? '"To mark the release of the film Inside Out project, about the trajectory of the larger scale participative project of the same name, JR is taking over the esplanade of the Palais de Tokyo for three days, letting visitors print and post their photographs in the public space as part of a monumental collective installation." Get yourself over to the Palais de Tokyo from November 6-8 between 1-7pm (they will stop letting people get in line at about 5pm). Then the exhibition will continue from November 10-12 at the MK2 Bibliothèque. Free. 

November 7-10
The Salon International du Patrimoine Culturel at the Carrousel du Louvre is a show of 350 stands from 15 countries representing those who work to preserve and promote cultural treasures around the world, including restoration artists, local and regional tourism offices, publishers, and museums. There will be artisan demonstrations each day. If you're in the hood have a peek, entry €11. 

November 9-17
The 38th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 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 €8, but you can get a €2 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010. 

November 9-11
The Château Vaux le Vicomte is hosting its annual Palais au Chocolat. The palace will be decorated with chocolate artworks created by some of the biggest names in chocolate, including a special homage to the French gardener Le Nôtre by the Japanese pastry chef AOKI. There will also be a series of demonstrations, chocolate-making workshops for adults, special ateliers for kids, plenty of tastings, a presentation on whine and chocolate pairings, and may more sweet surprises in a magical setting. Tickets are €16 (€13 for kids 6-18), which includes access to the château and gardens and exhibits throughout the estate; you can reserve them in advance online. Open 10am-6pm. To get there by public transport, take the RER D from Gare de Lyon to Melun (€7.90, leaves every 10 minutes, takes 25 minutes, about ) and then catch the ChateauBus shuttle (€7, going to the chateau at 10am, noon, 2pm and 3:30pm; returning to the station from the chateau at 1:10pm, 3:05pm, 4:40pm and 6:10pm). 

November 10
It's cold outside, perfect weather for a bowl of hot soup! Head up to Montmartre  on the Place des Abbesses for the annual Amoureusement Soupe festival of soup to profit the France Parkinson charity. From 11am-4:30pm there will be a dozen different soups available for €7/bowl, as well as different events like a blind cheese. tasting. 

November 10
Vintage clothing, vinyls, home baked goods, books, accessories, home decor, etc. at the Motel Flea Market , at Le Motel (8 Passage Josset, 11th), free entry.

November 12
Shop for vintage Hermès at Artcurial, the auction house in the historic Hôtel Dassault on the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, with bags, scarves, belts, ties and other items from Hermès. On display Nov 8-10, on sale November 12th at 10:30am and 2:30pm.

November 13-17
Shopping for some supplies for your creative projects? Head down to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles for the annual Création & Savoir Faire show. Scrapboooking, knitting, gardening, baking, sewing, crafts, and decorating ideas for the holidays. Entrance €12, open 9:30am-6:30pm (until 9pm Thursday). 

November 13-18
To raise money for AIDES charities, 80 contemprary artists, both famous (Robert Mapplethorp) and emerging (Secrets of Paris friend Marcus McAllister) have donated their paintings, photographs, sculptures and drawings for the exposition/sale ART IS HOPE, at the Palais de Tokyo. Here is the full catalog.

November 16 - March 2
See 25 years of Pixar Animation Art at Art Ludique Le Musée at Les Docks. Tickets €14. Original artworks from Toy Story", "Le Monde de Nemo", "Ratatouille" and "Wall-e".

November 18
The non-partisan lobbying organization Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO) is celebrating its 40th anniversary tonight with a reception and talk by Simon Winchester, author of "The Men Who United the States" at the Mona Bismarck American Center. Cost: 30€ for AARO Members and Family; 40€ for non-members.

November 21
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. 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. 

November 24
It’s time to get ready for the 4th annual Cup Cake Camp on November 24th in support of the Make-a-Wish Foundation in France. Register to donate your own homemade cupcakes (lots of prizes to win for the best in different categories), or sign up to attend and shop for the sweet delights with all profits going to Make-a-Wish. Last year there was record attendance and some really fabulous cupcakes, so this year they’ve moved into a larger venue, Café A 148 rue du Faubourg St-Martin, 10th) from 3-5pm.  

November 26-December 7
The second annual Secrets du Chocolat, a Chocolate Museum in a Train with an exhibition, tastings and workshops, is taking place on a TGV parked in the Gare de Lyon from Nov 26-27, at Gare d'Austerlitz from Nov 28-29, Gare St-Lazare Nov 30-Dec 1, Gare de L'Est Dec 4 and 6, Gare de Montparnasse Dec 5, and Gare du Nord Dec 7. Free entry.

November 29-December 1
The Maison Vintage Market takes place this weekend at 17 rue des Commines, 3rd, from 4pm-8pm on Friday, 10am-8pm on Saturday and 10am-7pm Sunday, featuring the largest collection of stands selling vintage home decor and furnishings from the 1920s-1980s. There are usually a few stands selling food/drink. Entry €3.

November 29-30
The annual food bank collection for La Banque Alimentaire takes place this weekend all over France at participating supermarkets. Add a few dry and canned goods to your shopping cart and drop them off after checking out to the volunteers in flourescent orange vests. This is the only public collection that takes place each year for the food bank, so please donate what you can afford, or better yet, become a volunteer for a two-hour collection shift. 

November 29 - December 1
The Designers de Mode at the trendy Docks en Seine at Quai d'Austerlitz (that big green thing in the 13th) is hosting a stylish Christmas Market with 100 créaturs selling accessories, home decor and gifts from around the world. Open Friday 3-10pm, Sat-Sun from 11am-8pm. Entry €5. 

November 29-December 1
Get in the winter spirit in St-Germain-des-Près, where Rue Princesse and Rue Guisarde have been transformed into "Saint-Germain-des Neiges ski station", with snow, chalets and activities promoting skiing holidays in France. Free entry. 

November 30
The Halle Freyssinet (55 blvd Vincent Auriole, 13th, M° Nationale) is hosting a Grande Vente de Noël holiday market today from 10am-6pm to benefit the children's charity Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque Enfants du Monde. There will be good deals on perfume and cosmetics, books, toys, jewelry, home decor, clothing and accessories, porcelain and gourmet foods. Free entry. 

November 30-December 1
Shop for local produce, meats, foie gras, dairy products, honey, oils, and other products directly from 50 local farmers at the Pari Fermier food fair, in the 15th on Rue St-Charles between rue de la Convention and le Rond-point St Charles. Open 10am-7pm, free entry. 

November 30
Best-selling British author Stephen Clarke is signing his latest book, The Merde Factor, today at WH Smith Paris (248 rue de Rivoli, 1st) from 3:30-5pm. 

November 30
The public is invited to attend an artists' open house featuring the prints of Marie-Laure Genelot and the ceramicist Amanda Jayne Pouillot,  today from 2pm-midnight at the home of Marie-Laure and Olivier Geneot (6 rue Mizon, 15th, code 61973). Tea and cake from 4pm; wine and cheese from 7pm. RSVP to amandajayne_2@hotmail.com 

December 4-5
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Ravel, Debussy and Brahms exquisitely performed by SPCO artists Rika Masato and Askar Ishangaliyev for an engaging and sensational experience. Hosted in the intimacy of a beautiful private residence in Paris, this occasion is designed as an exclusive event for music lovers and generous patrons to promote the artistic growth of Sinfonietta Paris. Sit closely to the performing artists; afterwards, enjoy an excellent presentation of wine and mingle with musicians and fellow culture lovers. From 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited to 40 participants. 

Through January 5
Looking for a fun show? Porte-Jarretelles & Piano à Bretelles is a comedy burlesque at the Alhambra Theatre. It helps to know French, but it's still a fun show even if you just enjoy the moves. Tickets €27-42.

Through January 26
One of my favorite exhibits of the season, Yousuf Karsh: Icons of the Twentieth Century, with stunning black and white photos of movie stars, artists, writers, and worls leaders over the past 60 years. At the Mona Bismarck American Center (a gorgeous Parisian mansion near Palais de Tokyo worth the visit alone). Entry €7. Open Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. 

 

Other Paris Calendar Links