some November events in Paris, including American photography exhibit at the Jeu de Paume


This is a Garry Winogrand photo entitled El Morocco New York, 1955.  See info below.

For anyone coming to Paris and wondering what’s going on, here are some events that your Parisienne correspondent (me) will be attending –

Le Salon du Chocolat – The 20th year of the Salon du Chocolat will take place in a huge exhibition space entirely dedicated to chocolate and cocoa.  Aside from chocolate offerings, there will be happenings, culinary workshops and artistic performances.  Years ago it was in a much smaller venue, but due to popularity it now takes place in the Porte de Versailles exhibition center.

Re-opening of the renovated Picasso Museum after a 5-year closure – The Musée Picasso, an art gallery located in the Marais district, is dedicated to the work of Pablo Picasso.

The Natural History Museum exhibition entitled “Night” (this is great for kids) – The Grand Galerie of Evolution at the Jardin des Plantes (Natural History Museum) in the 5th arrondissement is hosting an exhibition that explores the night in all its aspects from scientific to imaginary, presented in four sections: the night sky, nocturnal life in the natural world, a night of sleep, and myths and monsters of the night. Hurry though, because it ends November 3rd!

Author readings at The American Library in Paris – Depending on who the author is, I like to go here after work.  The library is located in the 7th arrondissement on the Left Bank – you don’t have to be a member to attend their activities (they also have regular book sales and movie nights, among other things.)  If it’s a clear night, I love the walk home. I stride up the Avenue Rapp (crisp, cold nights are best for this) then cross the Pont de l’Alma.  At precisely 9 pm the Eiffel Tower bursts into glorious sparkle for 10 minutes (every hour on the hour).  Blasé Parisienne that I am, I still find it thrilling to stand on the bridge….in the dark, under the stars….and watch La Grande Dame do her twinkle act.  It’s a free show.  I then walk briskly up the avenue George V to the Champs-Elysées, jump on the metro and I’m home in 10 minutes.  Author Celso Gonzalez-Falla will speak about his novel My Lost Cuba and the Cuba of his youth on Tuesday November 4 at 7:30 pm.

Dance of the Vampires musical at the Mogador Theater – this is a smash hit staged by 81-year old Roman Polanski.  81?  Wow, when did that happen?

A MUST SEE!! – Photography exhibition at the Jeu de Paume – November is the month of photography in Paris and I’m excited about this particular exhibit showing at the Jeu de Paume gallery in the Tuileries Gardens. Garry Winogrand, born in the Bronx, is a renowned photographer of New York City and American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s.  Known primarily as a street photographer, Winogrand is often associated with famed contemporaries Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander.  A retrospective of Winogrand just closed last month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

NYC, 1960s.Gary 2Gary oneGary three

Last Tango in Paris

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Remember Bertolucci’s controversial film, Last Tango in Paris?  Wildly sophisticated for 1972!  Here’s the bridge that Marlon Brando walked across in the opening scene while the sublime Maria Schneider, only 19 at the time, strode past wearing that great fedora hat.  Love that scene.  Both Brando and Schneider are now dead, but nothing has changed, architecturally speaking, since 1972.

In the late 1990s I lived near this bridge and walked across it twice a day.  It’s called the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.  One end is located at Bir Hakeim metro station in the 15th arrondissement, the other end at Passy metro station in the 16th arrondissement.  Below is the shot from the opening scene of Last Tango.  Bertolucci could have panned the camera more to the left to catch the Eiffel Tower in the background.  But he didn’t.

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Here’s the wooden footbridge (below) that Schneider walks across.

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Here’s the door that Schneider stands in front of and then rings the bell because she sees a small note advertising an apartment for rent.  This is the door to the apartment building where they met for their trysts.  In the film, the fictional street name is rue Jules Verne, but in reality the name is rue de l’Alboni, steps away from Passy metro station.

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Here’s the café from where Schneider (Jeanne) telephones her mother.  It’s located directly across from the apartment building.  Abandoned and boarded up now.

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I love visiting film locations of my favourite movies.  If you plan to visit Paris, this is a nice area to explore. The Eiffel Tower is 20-minutes away on foot, the Seine River is right there and there’s a wonderful produce market twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday mornings) on the boulevard de Grenelle, etc.

Everything I’ve mentioned above is here in the opening scenes. Take a look –


Chocolate heaven

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The good news is that Chapon Chocolatier is located far from my apartment. Far away on the other side of town. Across the river on the Left Bank.  (I live on the Right Bank.)

The bad news is….well, there is no bad news.  Other than the fact that Chapon Chocolatier is closed on Monday mornings.

Patrice Chapon has won numerous awards for his chocolate concoctions.  But the placing of four big bowls of rich, silky mousse in his shop window deserves the biggest prize.  As I stood in the hankie-sized shop, at least 8 people pressed their faces to the window to gaze inside.  Each mousse is made from the cocoa beans of a different region: Madagascar, Venezuela, Ecuador….and each mousse has varying degrees of sweetness and intensity.

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Does chocolate make you happy?

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Here’s my euphoria:  buying some Chapon chocolate, crossing the street to the café, standing at the counter to order a double espresso and then slowly savouring the blend of coffee and chocolate.

Cocoa and coffee bean heaven.   Amen.

69 rue du Bac
Paris 75007 (7th arrondissement)
Metro: Rue du Bac

Paris coffee shops

photo courtesy of Sprudge

photo courtesy of Sprudge

As a serious coffee-lover (I drink black espressos, unsugared, all day long), I’ve been wanting to do a post on the Paris coffee scene for awhile.  

Below are two articles that wrote the post for me.  One in Sprudge, the other in The New York Times.  Now all I have to do is visit these places.  Top of my list is The Fondation Café located in the Marais that serves lemon muffins with passion fruit curd.

Studies show that drinking coffee is actually good for you, can you believe it?

Drinking coffee is associated with lower risks of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.