|The Independent Traveler's Newsletter PAGE TWO|
|ICI ET LÀ|
in France or France-related events taking place in the United States
between now and the publication of our next issue.
o Terminal 2E at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris will offer free baby strollers! These will help families with young children maneuver through the airport and customs without having to bring their own stroller. Forty strollers will be available 24 hours a day located at two points just beyond security. This service will soon be expanded to Orly Airport. More child-friendly services are being offered such as games, changing tables, and nurseries with free coloring kits for children on vacation with their families. For more information http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr.
o Don't miss . . . Galerie de l'Opéra de Paris, the new concept store opened by Galeries Lafayette at the Opéra Garnier. It is a stylish boutique carrying the finest brands in apparel and accessories, and see the Aïtali 'Opéra de Paris' chair, commissioned for the opening. An area just for children called Enfance de l'Art provides costumes, toys and educational games to keep them busy while you shop or browse. Open every day at 8, rue Scribe in the 8th arrondissement. (We were there in October while it was under construction...if the crowds at Galeries Lafayette were any indication, the boutique will do quite well.)
o A double of President Barack Obama was brought to the Grevin Museum in Paris on Monday, February 15th, after an unveiling at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. This effigy joins such heads of state as Germany's Angela Merkel, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and almost all US presidents since the end of the nineteenth century including Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
o France in the News:
o Festival Banlieues Bleues will take place from early March to early April in the Seine-Saint-Denis region in the north of the Île-de-France. This is the 26th edition of the annual Jazz Festival to be held in various cities throughout the region. Information in French only at http://www.banlieuesbleues.org.
o Montpellier's Musée Fabre (Languedoc-Roussillon) will host Jean Raoux (1677-1734) through March 14. Raoux is, along with Sébastien Bourdon, Joseph-Marie Vien, François-Xavier Fabre and Frédéric Bazille, one of the great French artists born in Languedoc. The painter, a contemporary of Antoine Watteau, actively participated in the revival of French painting during the Regency. Virtuoso, sensual, elegant, Jean Raoux truly merits that his home town dedicates a major exhibition to him. More details at http://www.museefabre.com.
Paris's Musée des Arts Décoratifs presents Kate Moss
through April 24th. During her 15-year career, Kate ‘Twiggy’ Moss
has become one of the world's most prestigious and photogenic super models.
She is famous for having ushered in the ‘waif look’, but it was in advertising
that she first made her name. She was still unknown when she signed her
first exclusivity contracts for Calvin Klein campaigns and suddenly became
the most in-vogue face worldwide. Les Arts Décoratifs is celebrating
the Kate Moss myth and its creation by some of the greatest photographers
of the last twenty years. Visit http://www.museums-in-paris.com.
o Lourdes is the location in early April for the 21st Festival of Sacred Music, held in several locations including the Basilique du Rosaire the Saint-Savin Abbey and Tarbes Cathedral. Information at http://www.lourdes-france.com
o The French government is planning a central online login service to help protect web users against identity fraud. Called IDéNum, it will allow people to log on to government web sites, do their online banking, and access mobile phone accounts with a secure USB device that plugs into their computers and will generate a PIN to enter on the web sites they visit. A government spokesperson says having one PIN will "avoid the nightmare of having 1,001 different passwords". The program is expected to launch in 2011.
o Menton (Riviera) hosts the Fête du Citron through March 3rd. This 76th Annual Lemon Festival includes the golden parade of fruit-filled floats and citrus decorations in the Biovès gardens. Visit http://www.feteducitron.com.
o A recent poll revealed that Camembert cheese has lost its status as France's favorite! The new Number One is Emmental, according to the French newspaper, Le Figaro. Apparently, although French consumption of cheese was up 2.9% in 2009 from the year before, less than half the French are now eating cheese with their meals. They are, however, consuming cheese as a snack, in salads or using grated cheese.
o Jazz in in the Rhône-Alpes. . . the Grenoble Jazz Festival, both in the city and nearby, will take place from March 10th to 28th. More details at http://www.jazzgrenoble.com (French only).
o The Midi-Pyrénées region will host Derby des 3000, March 20th and 21st - a mountain ski contest in the Pyrénées (Open International de l'Alpinisme), from Gavarnie et Luz. Information in French at http://www.derby3000.fr.
o The City of Lyon will host its annual fair, Foire de Lyon, from March 27th to April 6th. The French only site for further information is http://www.foiredelyon.com.
o Late March and early April (Easter Weekend) at Cabriès-Calas (Provence) is the time for the Benediction des Chevaux - the annual blessing of the horses to be held on the esplanade of the 5th century chapel of Notre-Dame de la Salette perched on the Calas hill. Featured events include the blessing of over 600 horses, bull races and games, riding exhibitions and a street ball. Held every Easter since 1958 in the small village of Cabriès about ten miles south of Aix-en-Provence. Visit http://www.cabries.fr.
o April 11th is the date of the 34th Paris Marathon. It begins at 8:45 AM on the Champs-Elysées and ends on avenue Foch. Route and other details can be found at http://www.parismarathon.com.
o Orléans will be the setting from April 29 to May 10 of the Fêtes de Jeanne d'Arc, Commemoration of the liberation of Orléans from the English siege in 1429 by Joan of Arc. Day 1: commemoration of her arrival May 1st in Orléans; Day 2: cathedral illuminations with sound and light show; Day 3: religious ceremonies in the cathedral followed by processions and military parade. See http://www.fetesjeannedarc.fr (French only) for more information.
o May 1st is the Finale de la Coupe de France, the final game of the French Soccer Federation's season at the Stade de France. information at http://www.fff.fr/cfra/calendrier/700 in French only.
In the US . . .
o Cartier and America - About 200 objects, including drawings and jewelry, will be on exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco through April 18th. Some items are from the collections of the Duchess of Windsor and Gloria Swanson. More information at http://www.famsf.org.
o A set of 390 alabaster 'mourners' from medieval times will tour the United States, reaching Los Angeles in 2011. Commissioned in the 15th century to adorn the tomb of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, the white robed figures standing 16 inches tall, were completed in 1457. They are housed at the Dijon Musée des Beaux Arts, which is currently undergoing renovations, and they will end their US tour at Paris' Cluny Museum before being returned to Dijon. They can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York between March 2 and May 23, at the St Louis Art Museum between June 20 and September 6, at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art - all between May 8 to July 31, 2011 - and finally at San Francisco's Fine Arts Museums and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond before returning to France.
o Memphis, Tennessee's Dixon Gallery and Gardens will host Monet to Matisse: French Masterworks from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Some thirty paintings and pastels from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries by Degas, Renoir, Gauguin and Cézanne are also included in the exhibit. Until April 4. Details at http://www.dixon.org.
o Monet's Water Lilies is the show at New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) until April 12th, offering the museum's complete Monet collection from the artist's late period when his work was primarily of his gardens at Giverny. See the 42 foot wide triptych 'Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond'. For times and other information visit http://www.moma.org.
o A Celebration of Henri Matisse: Master of Line and Light is the exhibit scheduled from February through April 18 at Florida's Tampa Museum of Art. Some 150 works by the artist are brought together to show all the techniques he used over fifty years of work. Both paintings and sculptures will be on display. Details available at http://www.tampamuseum.org.
o On loan from the National Museum Wales is Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces for the Davies Collection until April 25 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. The exhibit contains works included in the 260 items donated to the museum by Welsh heiresses Gwendoline and Margaret Davies who had the largest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in Great Britain between 1908 and 1923. Information can be found at http://www.corcoran.edu.
o Philadelphia's Museum of Art will host Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris through April 25th. The show follows his work between 1905 and 1945. Some work by his contemporaries is included in the show. More details at http://www.philamuseum.org.
o Renoir in the 20th Century offers visitors a look at some 80 painting, sculptures and drawings completed by the artist during a time in his career when he suffered from crippling rheumatoid arthritis. Also works by Picasso, Matisse, Bonard, etc., are included in the exhibit. Through May 9 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Information at http://www.lacma.org.
o The Normandy Coast is the subject of works in an exhibit entitled, The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850 - 1874. Normandy's fishing villages inspired painters and photographers, and this exhibit examines both forms through oils, watercolors and pastels by artists such as Courbet, Monet and Manet, among others. Through May 31 at the Dallas Museum of Art. Times and schedules available at http://www.dallasmuseumofart.org.
o The Lyon Opéra Ballet visits the United States performing a selection of works in a five-city tour. The last three cities' performances are March 2 at the Mondavi Center, UC Davis, California; March 5 and 6 at NOCCA/Riverton Lupin Hall, New Orleans, Louisiana; and March 9 through 14 a the Joyce Theatre, New York City. More information at http://www.opera-lyon.com.
o If you are in Boston, you might want to visit the Museum of Fine Arts for the exhibit entitled, Café and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris, through August 8. More information at http://www.mfa.org.
o Sèvres Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation in Porcelain, 1750-2000, is an ambitious exhibit that includes 90 pieces that include 18th century dessert services as well as Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Through May 30 at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington, DC. Information available at http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org.
o The Baltimore Museum of Art will host the exhibit Cézanne and American Modernism through May 23. The exhibit will include pieces by Man Ray, Arshile Gorky, as well as Cézanne's paintings and works on paper that inspired later artists. Visit their web site at http://www.artbma.org for more information.
PARISIAN RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
by Arthur Gillette
who visit the French capital on their own
Nouveau master architect Hector Guimard, designer of the famous Paris Métro
entrances, married an American painter, Adeline Oppenheim. She happened
to be Jewish, a fact that, in 1913, encouraged Guimard to design this synagogue,
one of the very few Art Nouveau religious buildings in the world. It is
much more sober than his more fanciful creations and was dynamited by anti-Semitics
in 1941. Later restored, it has been listed as a historical monument since
idea of building a mosque in Paris was first mentioned around 1895, but
it took the deaths of 50,000 Muslim French soldiers during the battle of
Verdun to move it towards reality. Inaugurated in 1925 following the style
of the ancient mosque at Kairouan (Tunisia), it was a World War II center
of Muslim partisans who not only helped Allied parachute troops but also
gave refuge to persecuted Jews, and it is today the largest mosque in France.
of http://www.netprof.fr, a free educational
site on which you
Gillette on one of his historic explorations of Paris.
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who has visited France seven times since 2000. We hope you enjoy it!
RENTING AN APARTMENT IN FRANCE
Choosing to rent an apartment for a week in a little-known French town affords us a chance to pretend we are natives ~ at least partly. When we were so graciously hosted by Dirk and Isabelle at their gîte in Carpentras, we were charmed by the accommodations.
Our half of the stucco-covered bungalow was decorated in blue, white and sunny yellow romantic Provençal style and included fully equipped living, dining and kitchen areas, as well as bedroom, bath and laundry facilities. The covered porch contained a barbecue and outdoor dining set for four. A well-kept pool was a stone's throw away, and we were invited to use it freely. Apricot trees heavy with fruit were near the road, and we were encouraged to take full advantage of them as well as the flowers and herbs growing near our door.
But the most luscious treat was the view. Our porch was less than ten feet from a vineyard ~ the farmer's pink, two-story house with worn blue shutters at one end of the vines, and the hazy purple form of Mt. Ventoux in the distance set against the bright blue sky.
was hot in Carpentras; the cicadas' songs rang from the trees like they
were programmed to 'come on' during precise hours. My husband joked
that since no one ever saw the cicadas, they were probably really just
speakers, put in the trees to broadcast a recorded sound as part of a massive
plot to fool the tourists into buying cigale souvenirs!