Category Archives: ideas for a walk

Spring 2009 in Parc de Sceaux : a walk between past and present

Eugene Adget, who had started a carreer of photographer in 1890, spent a good deal of time during year 1925 strolling along the yet quite forlorn alleys of Parc de Sceaux, taking pictures.

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This spring, eleven posters of his pictures are set on the very spot they represent, proposing a dreamy walk between past and present.

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Adget took this picture of a vase standing along the allée de la Duchesse in April 1925 at 7 AM. In March 2009, there is no more vase around.

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And the alley looks very different

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from what it was in June 1925 at 6 AM.

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This walk takes you in remote places of the garden, like this pool near pavillon de l’indépendance, which has’nt change that much.

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and nearby you get to the lovely pavillon de l’Aurore

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Pavillon de l’Aurore in may 1925 at 7 AM,  by Eugene Adget

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and March 2009, 5 PM

This walk takes you through wooden paths with daffodils

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and down the imposing stairs towards the great pool and canals.

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A good idea for a sunny afternonn.

Parc de Sceaux, parcours Eugène Adget (entrance on castle side) RER B station Parc de Sceaux. Open up to 7PM till the end of March, then up to 8 PM (usually up to sunset).

March 2009 in Parc de Sceaux

It’s been a long cold winter in Paris, but we can feel spring will be coming soon, so March could be a good time to go for a walk in Parc de Sceaux, and visit a great outdoor exhibition.

affiche Images & Magies d’Architectures offers a delightful  journey through a hundred year time and all around the world.

Great photographers shooting great buildings

rdward-steichen-the-maypole1The Maypole by Edward Steichen

…or historical places  :

cartier-bresson-mur-berlinBerlin Wall by Henri Cartier-Bresson


le-corbusier-lucien-herveLucien Hervé made an almost abstract image of a building by Le Corbusier


rene-burri-chapelle-le-corRené Burri gives an enchanting look to this chapel by Le Corbusier

… and  makes a Mexico Farm look like a painting :

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gustave-le-gray-karnak-18671Gustave le Gray took this picture of the ancient ruins of Karnak in 1867

emile-luidr-parvis-defenseand over a century later, Emile Luidr made a work of art of Paris dull (but photogenic)  Parvis de la Défense

Its interesting to see an ancient mosque and a futurist museum side by side mosquee-et-musee

Good photographers create beautiful images out of bad architecture

robert-doisneau-ivry1 Ivry seen by Robert Doisneau

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Stéphane Conturvi took this picture of a Korean modern building in Seoul in 2000, and just across the alley is a picture of Courbevoie by Rémi Lidereau :

remi-lidereau-courbevoieWhich shows that French suburbian architecture is just as dull.

hotel-dubai1But this Dubai Hotel by Frank Gehry is magic, as his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

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An anonymous artist gives us this picture of Paris during the International Exhibition in 1900 :

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and another one this great example of 1925 style in architecture :

immeuble-fritz-hoger-1924Fritz Hoger building in Berlin 1924

And if, just like me, you love Alfred Hitchcock‘s films as well as architecture and photography, this is for you:

eric-de-mare-pont-de-forthEric de Mare took this picture of Forth Bridge in Scotland, which plays a major part in the 39 steps ( great english film of 1935)

… as well as this gorgeous house by Frank Lloyd Wright  : Hitchcock made a copy of it near Mount Rushmore to be the home of the bad guy in North by Northwest (great american film of 1959)

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Images & s d’architectures, up to March 31, Parc de Sceaux, open daily from 7.30 AM up to 7 PM, free entrance. RER B station Bourg-la-Reine and Parc de Sceaux.

Paris october 2008 : opening of the 104, a major cultural event

Last Saturday, October 12, after two years of work and suspense, a great new artistic center, the Centquatre, was finally opened to public.

Part of the event is that it is located in a somewhat derelicted area in Paris 19ème arrondissement. It is named after its address : 104 rue d’Aubervilliers.

Built in 1873, this beautiful glass and iron structure was closed since 1997 after being Paris Municipal Funeral Service headquarters for a century.

Now it’s dedicated to all forms of living art, and its opening was a great success. During the afternoon, it got so crowded that a huge file had to wait in the street to come in.

Actually, the place is made of two glass halls, and has another entrance on rue Curial # 5.

On the rue Curial side, you can look at a large picture showing “the chaos” during the renovation made by the architects of Novembre workshop

Now, on two levels and 39000 m2, there are 18 artists workshops, two rooms of 200 and 400 hundred seats, besides the glass halls.

There are organized children activities, and on the opening day, many plaid with a scale model.

Among the many works in progress on that day, some will be going on:

Nicolas Simarik offers you to recycle your old keys, or to make a double of the one you carry with you. Then you get in exchange another key, the key of the centquatre . This key opens one of the boxes along the wall, composing an After Calendar, where you’ll find a surprise : an invitation to discover some unusual place in Paris.

Key gathering goes on up to December 31, Wednesday to Sunday from 12 to 20.

On both sides of the halls are long narrow English courtyards, transformed into evoluting gardens by Coloco, a group of three landscape architects. People of the neighborhood have been collecting local plants which now grow in these courts.

Convex mirrors on the wall give distorted reflects of the place.

Composer Gerard Pesson has created for the occasion Pompes/Circonstances, several musical pieces which will played on each new moon.

On Saturday 12, a musical action was performed by  Spat Sonore

They will be part of the first performance of Pompes/Circonstances, on October 28 at 19.

And next performances will take place on each new moon evening up 2010.

There is also restaurant and a bookshop, where of course you can find Pompes Funèbres by Jean Genet.

Le Centquatre is opened everyday, Tuesday to Saturday from 11 to 23, Sunday and Monday from 11 to 20. All information, program, history of the place – also available in english version – on www.104.fr .

104 rue d’Aubervilliers and 5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris. Metro Riquet. Entrance is free, but concerts, exhibitions and some events are 5 or 7 € . Information and reservation at 33(0)153 35 50 00 Monday to Friday  14 to 18, or on www.104.fr. You can also buy tickets on the spot.

Paris October 4 : a colorful wakeful night

If you stay in Paris next week-end, save your Saturday evening, and may be the whole night, to walk around Paris and discover the seventh Wakeful Night.

This year’s edition is mostly dedicated to video and film.

If you choose east Paris, on metro line 14 between Cour Saint-Emilion and Gare de Lyon stations, an editing of space conquest footages by Artavazd Pelechian will make feel like taking off at Bercy railway station :

and in front of Gare de Lyon, you’ll can watch the shooting of a Bollywood Film directed by Shaad Ali:

And if you’re in a romantic mood, go back towards the center, near Bastille, and stop at La maison Rouge 10 bd de la Bastille, to take part in Christian Boltanski’ work les archives du coeur, and have your heartbeat (and your sweetheart’s too ) registered on a CD.

From there, you may go towards Marais and see the Saint Jacques tower in a day and night light, thanks to Gu Dexin :

and though I have no preview of it, I would suggest, if you are walking in this area, to stop at the Museum of Judaism Art, 71 rue du Temple, and see snow falling all night : Gute Nacht by Christian Boltanski, Franck Krawczyk and Jean Kalman.

Many things to see and listen too around Montparnasse and Saint-Germain. For example, if you feel home sick, go to Saint-Germain Church  to listen to Patti Smith:

Many places to visit around Gare Saint-Lazare and Champs-Elysées, as Brillant Noise by the British  SEMICONDUCTOR, as well as around Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, where Pierrick Sorin might ask you to pose for a family portrait.

More information to plan your night trip on : http://www.paris.fr/portail/Culture/Portal.lut?page_id=6806

And if you’re travelling with kids, there is a special program made for you and them by Paris Mômes, including Nabaz Mob, cour Saint-Emilion, a choir of a hundred of Nabaztags composed by Antoine Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Birgé (starts at 20 PM) :

and crossing the Seine by passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, go up to rue Paul Klee, to watch “la danse de la fontaine émergeante” (the dance of the uprising fountain) :

For more information, you can upload this program on http://www.parismomes.fr/surprises/page_surprises.php?id=43

Let’s hope that weather will be on our side!

Have a great Nuit Blanche , and I’ll be back next week with some pictures and my report.


Walk among glittering crystals in Paris Parc de Bagatelle

Bagatelle is a beautiful ancient romantic garden, created in queen Marie-Antoinette’s time, and located in Bois de Boulogne. It is famous for its gorgeous roses, but this fall, all great French historical crystal trademarks have joined their talents to change Bagatelle into crystal gardens

On a beautiful day, it’s a lovely destination, but forget it if it’s grey.

Ever lasting water lilies glitter in the sun.

Palm trees are heavy with shimmering glass fruits,

or blue flowers,

and fountains look frozen.

Walk in the Trianon to look at more traditional crystal works, like this chandelier.

Outside, crystal swans float along with their shiny transparent reflection,

but it takes more to to disturb living swans.

All these dreamy pictures were taken by my friend Anne Marie Dumas.

Jardins de Cristal à Bagatelle, every day 10 to 18 up to November 8, entrance €3.

Bagatelle garden is route de Sèvres, Bois de Boulogne. Metro Pont de Neuilly + bus 43 up to Neuilly-Parc de Bagatelle (end of the line). But you can also take bus 43 from Gare du Nord, or Gare Saint Lazare and ride all the way by bus. It might take a little longer, but it’s a nice trip through Paris.

Enjoy the beach in Paris : Paris Plage

Paris Plage has been going on since 2002 : every summer, Paris river banks are covered with sand, parasols and desk chairs.

If you go for water sports, you’ll find some activities for adults and for children as well around Bassin de la Villette : on Quai de Loire, adults can take a small boat or ride on a pedal boat (from noon to 8 PM), and 10 years old children can go sailing (9 AM to 11.30 and 13.30 to 17). Over 12 can also row (from 9AM to 11.30 and 17 to 20)

And if you feel hungry, why not have a pic nic on the water front?

Care for a dance ? Go to the other bank, to 45 quai de Seine, Balapaname is open everyday 17 to 20.30, up to 22 on week ends.(Metro Stalingrad)

If you want to play golf, go to Paris town hall

In front of it, you’ll find a nine holes mini golf. Metro Hôtel de Ville.

And nearby, at Pont-Marie, children over 7 can take a bath. But to take a swim on the Seine, go to Josephine Baker outdoor swimming pool.

photo Marc Vernhille

It’s just below the Great Library, on quai François Mauriac, Metro Quai de la Gare ou Bibliothèque François Mitterrrand. All informations on : www.paris.fr/portail/Sport/Portal.lut?page_id=6085

And if you care for music, up to August 17, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 5 PM up to Midnight, Indétendance offers free concerts on Pont Sully. (Metro Sully-Morland). For program, go to :http://www.fnaclive.com/blogs/lefestivalfnac -

And if you’de rather just rest  a while, please do.

Paris Plage is running up to August 21, more information on : www.paris.fr/portail/ete/Portal.lut -


Paris Parc de la Villette : a place to visit this summer, for art, outdoor films and concerts

This summer, there are a lot of good reasons to go north up to Parc de la Villette, the largest of Paris gardens, offering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities.

The art event takes place in the beautiful glass Grande Halle :

Up to August 17, come in and discover a giant installation by Yayoï Kusama, who has been working on dots for forty years.

This artist, who was closed to Pop Art and Andy Warhol in the sixties, takes this pattern both light and seriously, declaring “My life is a dot lost among other dots”.

Tuesday to Sunday 14 to 22, free entrance.

And it goes with a workshop on dots for kids (from 2 years old). July Sunday 20, Wednesday 23 and Saturday 26 at 16.30. It’s one hour long, with a drink at the end, and costs € 7.  But you have to make a reservation, dialing 33(0)1 40 03 75 75.

Up to August 17,  you also have the opportunity to watch a film (in original version) sitting on a lawn, at Prairie du Triangle, Tuesday to Sunday at nightfall. Price € 2  . For € 5 you can book a deck chair and a blanket. Program on : www.cinema.arbo.com/index.php3?p=tous_films -

World musics every Sunday up to August 24 at Folie Belvédere : it’s scènes d’été (Summer Stages), July 20 and 27, August 3,10,17 and 24, one concert at 17.30 and one at 19.30. Free. Program and information on 33(0)1 40 03 75 75.

For all information on these events and detailed programs go to : www.villette.com/

Parc de la Villette, 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, Metro Porte de Pantin or Porte de la Villette