So you want to build your own Eiffel Tower. Then you'll need 7,300 tons of iron, 2.5 million rivets, and some blueprints. (You may also need a copyright lawyer.)
5bis rue du Verneuil is the home of Serge Gainsbourg in Paris. This short film peels off the layers of graffiti left on the wall there.
Christopher Moore has been to Paris lately, and has decided to share some of his vacation snaps, and, most amusingly, teach us a bit of French.
Pianist, producer, and songwriter Gonzales (real name Jason Charles Beck) is currently attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest solo concert. He's aiming for 27 hours, and at time of writing has around six hours left to go. You can follow the attempt live online. [more inside]
Paris: Ville Invisible. "This work seeks to show how real cities resemble the 'invisible cities' of Italo Calvino. As cluttered, saturated, and asphyxiating as it is, one can breathe more freely in Paris, the invisible city." The renowned French sociologist Bruno Latour presents a "virtual sociological book" that explores the limits of social theory for the understanding of urban life. The Flash interface is somewhat rickety, but there is a text-only PDF of the English version. (via)
The Gare de Lyon in Paris has Le Train Bleu. Grand Central Staion in New York has a superb Oyster Bar; Washington Union Station has this neo-classical wonder; while Prague this prime example of art nouveau; Helsinki, meanwhile, offers something suitably democratic. With cafes as good as this, railway stations become destinations in themselves.
Sex: wot's the big deal is a sex exhibition for kids currently taking place at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. Pre-teens can learn about love, puberty, making love and making babies, and they can also experiment a little bit. The show is based on Willies: a user's guide (in French: Le zizi sexuel) by Swiss comics creator Zep, and features the rising star of French playgrounds, Titeuf (NSFW unless you're a French preteen)
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
I know what you're thinking. What could be better than a below-low-budget sci-fi/horror hypersexualized movie based off of a musical, with a playwright who also decided to star in both stage and screen adaptations? Well, then, what if we up the ante! It's also a socially-conscious cyberpunk movie musical, written, directed, scored and costumed by people in 2008 who have decided that 1996 is as far as the future goes, thanks... so it's also a goth/raver socially conscious cyberpunk movie musical, complete with blue-streaked hair, muppet-fur and clunky vinyl boots! No? We need to aim higher to do better? Well, here comes the kicker, the one element that will immortalize this film: Starring Paris Hilton. Singing. In S&M gear. And a wig. Doing drugs. Lo, I bring you REPO! The Genetic Opera! (The film.) NSFW or self respect.
The Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is being held in, well, Accra until Thursday, three years after the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. [more inside]
Paris Responds John thought he would be clever and use Paris in his campaign ad... Paris one-ups him with an even BETTER ad..(slyt) maybe NSFW if females in bathing suits are frowned upon..
An interactive audiovisual tour [flash, audio] of the student protests in Paris in May 1968. Part of a larger look at 1968. [Previously]
Paris Changing Photographer Christopher Rauschenberg rephotographed the Paris images Eugène Atget around 100 years later for his book Paris Changing.
Louis Stettner: Atmospheric black and white photos of Paris and New York by Brooklyn-born photographer who now lives in France. Some are sexy, some amusing, some poignant. A series on Penn station in the 1950s is especially nice, and a big contrast to the candy colored Mad Men palette. Beware mispelled main url. via.
Untergunther, a chapter of the Parisian cultural guerilla organisation UX (most memorably responsible for setting up a secret theatre in the catacombs under the Seine in 2004), unveil their latest project - a clock-restoration workshop hidden in the Pantheon dome! The group's own report and pictures here.
Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris, 1900. Approximately 200 antique photographs of Paris at the turn of the 19th century, mostly from the 1900 Paris World's Fair. French CG artist Laurent Antoine is reconstructing the Exposition in Maya 3D. Bienvenue!
With the French embrace of Pixar's Ratatouille, one of the movie's locations has become an unlikely tourist attraction. "Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles" reads the sign above the door of Aurouze, where the bodies of rats 80 years dead hang suspended by iron traps in the storefront window. Meanwhile, American scientists tickle rodents to record thier tiny gales of laughter. Viva la difference!
Photographs of the dancers, actresses, cafe-life figures and prostitutes who were the subjects of Toulouse Lautrec's paintings, including such luminaries as Sarah Bernhardt, "La Goulue" (Louise Weber; remember this?), and Jane Avril, who was the model for this last, iconic, Lautrec poster. View pages of the art matched up with photos, here, here, and here, and go to this page to rummage around in even more collections that include photos of Lautrec, his friends and family, street and location scenes, and lots of other tidbits. [Spanish language site; NUDITY]
Deyrolle: The Strangest Shop in All of Paris. "Paris has many unusual shops, but one of the most unusual has to be Deyrolle."
Amongst the many companies with offices in Manhattan is a multibillion-dollar French conglomerate that handles "diversified commodities, energy, shipping, real estate, manufacturing, and communications." The owner, Gerard, is one of the richest men in the world, and, at 75, his children and grandchildren stand to inheirit a tidy sum of perhaps half a billion each upon his passing. Unless you've been in a cave for a few decades, one of them has — given syndication, perhaps even daily — been making you laugh for a long, long time. A heiress and princess who you first met live from New York (where she met her husband), then a yuppie in a movie of Christmas indignities, and finally in a small, barely aired show about, er, nothing ... meet
Elaine Julia, the multibillion-dollar heiress, Northwestern dropout, Emmy-winning actress, and even a distant relative of Richard Dreyfuss. And then compare her to a certain other celebrity heiress.
The artist who explored the beginning of life last year presents his meditation on the end of life, designed to teach kids about the hazards of underage drinking.
Shakespeare and Company, the first English/American bookshop and lending library in Paris, may be the most famous bookshop in history.
Romaine Brooks (1874-1970), American expatriate artist known for her haunting portraiture and striking palette, suffered a childhood so dark that she entitled her (unpublished) memoir "No Pleasant Memories." She went on to become an important figure in early twentieth century art and earned the Legion d'honneur in 1920 for her contributions to France in World World I. A pivotal figure in the Paris lesbian salons, Brooks was the model for characters in novels by Radclyffe Hall, Compton Mackenzie and Djuna Barnes. Although said to be "fully herself only when alone," she had a fifty year relationship with Natalie Clifford Barney. Her art has enjoyed a reappreciation in recent years and her work has been featured in exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Berkeley Art Museum. Her life and work have been the subject of several books and have a startling contemporary resonance.
Kiki de Montparnasse aka Alice Ernestine Prin was a French country girl down on her luck in early 20th century Paris. She would however become a great muse of the avant-garde art scene of the Années Folles, posing for and befriending the likes of Chaim Soutine, Moise Kisling, Amedeo Modigliani, Utrillo, Foujita, Calder, Per Krogh, Pascin, and, most famously, Man Ray, with whom he entertained a steady (if not particularly monogamous) relationship before Lee Miller. During their tumultuous eight-year romance, Kiki was the model for several of his most famous works (with some Surrealist art films thrown in for good measure). She also competed with Jean Cocteau for the affections of sailors in Southern France, was a good friend of Tristan Tzara and received letters of support of Aragon and Desnos when she was jailed for public disorder. A life of excess that ultimately led to her early death in destitution in 1953 also provided stuff for several biographies (the latest one, appropriately enough, a graphic novel), as well as a Hemingway-prefaced autobiography which was banned for obscenity in the US until the '70s, and the odd art exhibition...
In The Air Tonight. Acapella R&B group Naturally 7 perform their version of the Phil Collins classic on a Paris Metro.
(flickr slideshow), subject of a documentary by Chris Marker. Enigmatic expression of Paris youth. Symbol of..? Les chats with copyright symbols have meaning for me. Flickr pool here.
The Trash Princess: Why Americans love to hate Paris Hilton. "You don’t need to share Osama bin Laden’s view of America to see that Paris mirrors us at our contemporary worst. But something still doesn’t compute: Why, if Paris says so much about us, do Americans—not just college professors and the commentariat but celebrity watchers and tabloid junkies—hate her so much? And why, if she is so offensive, is she so ubiquitous?"
The UBS Bank calculated how long it takes an average worker around the world to earn enough to buy a Big Mac. Workers in Tokyo were the fastest: Tokyo 10 minutes, New York 13 minutes, London 16 minutes, Hong Kong 17 minutes, Paris 21 minutes, Moscow 25 minutes, Rome 39 minutes, Beijing 44 minutes, Manila 81 minutes, Jakarta 86 minutes. Is this a fair comparison? Is it something that will change people's perspective about the rest of the world?
In May 1968 a general strike broke out across France. The strike started at the University of Nanterre and spread to the streets as 80,000 students, teachers and workers demanded the fall of Charles de Gaulle's government, and they were joined by many other people protesting the brutality of the police. Timeline. Reports shown in cinemas. An eyewitness account from Solidarity. This revolt also gave rise to some amazing posters, printed by the 'Popular Workshop' at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Also of note was the graffiti sprayed about the city, many taken from Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle and the Situationalist International. 1968, it seems, was an interesting time to be around. Boredom is counterrevolutionary.
Paris to Kabul. They won't be the first, or the only to embark on such adventures, but Manu (photographer / technician) and Sophie (journalist) are on a great adventure from Paris to Kabul in a very small car.
He has cavorted naked with Charlotte Rampling [this is VERY NSFW] and covered himself in caviar for Marc Jacobs, but Jürgen Teller thinks "fashion is a wank". Teller's first solo show in Paris is entitled "Nurnberg", it consists of a sequence of images (annoying Flash site, sorry) taken at the infamous Zeppelintribune parade ground, site of Nazi propaganda rallies, which was designed by Hitler's favourite builder, Albert Speer. Over several months, Teller (.pdf) has photographed the monument, the podium and the steep, ruthless steps, all of which have been left to decay. Or not. "It wasn't really maintained, but if there was a broken step, or a smashed wall, it would be mysteriously replaced with a new one." Teller's photographs show the delicate weeds, flowers and lichen [NSFW] that have grown up around the stone blocks. "In Germany, there is a saying about letting the grass grow over things, meaning that events will eventually be forgotten".
At Dans Le Noir ? you can "experience the unique interaction between clientele and guides as your food and wine are served in total darkness". Is it really a pitch-black dining room? "Yes it is ! The room where the dinner takes place is completely dark! We aren't used to completely dark environment since you hardly find this level of darkness in daily life as, we are used to small rays of light from the streetlights or moonlight but in the Dans le Noir ? restaurant there is no light at all!" Worried about going to the loo? Don't be, because "the toilets are fully lit".
The Riot of Spring. Théâtre Champs-Elysées, Paris, May 29, 1913. Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Proust, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy are among those present at the premiere of The Rite of Spring (the score is here), written by Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by the great Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. The music and the choreography shocked the audience with its daring modernism, ripping up the rulebook of classical ballet with its heavy, savage movements. Many in the audience promptly booed, then yelled, insulting the performers and each other. Then fistfights broke out. The police was summoned, but was unable to stop an all-out riot. Now the BBC has made a TV movie about that night. More inside.
Rephotographing Atget: Eugene Atget photographed Paris from 1888 until his death in 1927. Christopher Rauschenberg retraced Atget's steps in 1997 and 1998, photographing the same scenes, and documents his project in a gallery at Lens Culture. The gallery includes an audio discussion of the project. [more inside]
Pilot's eye view of a three day trip [Youtube]. A pilot at American Airlines made this video of his three-day trip from Boston to Paris and back so his young daughter could see where he worked. It's all shot from the pilot's perspective so there's plenty of eye candy for the aviation and gadget geeks. On his day off, fly4fun catches a cruise on a Bateux-Mouches river boat, sees the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, and grabs a few pints in Parisian pubs (including the expat bar, Le Mazet, where the last official sighting of Jim Morrison took place). It's all edited with iMovie and set to U2's Vertigo. [more inside]
This utterly stunning panorama of Paris by night (WARNING! 15000x520 image, 1.8mb) is almost too good to be true. You can see so many landmarks it's ridiculous - this version has them labelled for your convenience. I traced it back to Arnaud Friche's gallery of panoramic photographs of Paris, churches and cathedrals, and other cities. There are so many beautiful hi-res photographs here that I won't waste any more of your time talking about them.
Joblessness is a major motivating force of these riots, which is why the politicians and the press turn endlessly around the question of job creation in the banlieues. [...] An injection of vigorous enterprise, a big deregulating kick, and racial discrimination would evaporate in the tremendous, creative release of market forces. No race riots in an untrammelled market economy: that’s what Sarkozy really means. It’s an ingenious, high-pressure sales pitch for the ‘Anglo-Saxon model’ – indeed, it’s bordering on blackmail. Jeremy Harding in the London Review of Books goes among the arsonists in Paris and offers some insights on the economic factors and political consequences of the riots.
Quitting France: French Jews are leaving the country in ever-growing numbers, fleeing a wave of anti-Semitism. They are moving to Israel, the United States, and increasingly, Montreal -- where the mostly English-speaking Jewish community is preparing for its greatest demographic change in decades. An interesting if slightly anecdotal look at the situation for Jewish people in France from Canada's National Post.
Part 1 - Barricaded in Paris, Part 2 - Taking leave of 'the fear', Part 3 tomorrow deals with the impact of the influx of French Jews in Montreal.
Part 1 - Barricaded in Paris, Part 2 - Taking leave of 'the fear', Part 3 tomorrow deals with the impact of the influx of French Jews in Montreal.
The riots in Paris have becomes such a popular topic for bloggers that even the BBC have noticed, even going as far to produce a TV news package (H.264 video, AAC audio, in MP4 container) about blogging.
Why Paris Is Burning Officially, the French state doesn't recognize minorities, only citizens of France, all of them equal under the law. But that republican ideal has seemed especially hollow over the past week as the children of impoverished, largely Muslim immigrants from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa fought running battles with police throughout the banlieues, or suburbs, to the east and north of the French capital...
Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes this morning while on the Eiffel Tower. They've been in the news a lot since they first got together. and more than one person has suggested that this is all too staged and too much of a marketing thing. After all, who really holds a press conference 2 hours after you propose to announce it?
Mythmaker of the Machine Age. In the statue erected above his grave in Amiens, in Picardy, Jules Verne, who died exactly 100 years ago, resembles God. He is, after all, the second-most-translated author on earth, after Agatha Christie. To celebrate the anniversary, there's a Verne exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Paris, one of a series of events from Paris to the western city of Nantes, where Verne was born on Feb. 8, 1828, to the northern town of Amiens, where he died on March 24, 1905. His many fans, some of them quite famous, will be treated to exhibits, concerts, films and shows in Verne's honor. “Underground City”, a lost classic written by Verne and never before published unabridged in English, emerges this month in not one but two new unique editions. 100 years later, questions remain about his life: Why did he have two homes in Amiens? Why did he burn all his private papers? Why was he shot in the foot by his nephew, Gaston, in 1886? Gaston was locked in an asylum for 54 years after his attack on L'Oncle Jules. Was Gaston, in fact, Verne's natural son? More inside.
The Theatre du Grand-Guignol was a French theatre that was famous for one thing: bloody awful plays. The theatre produced gory plays that gauged its success by the amount of people that fainted in the audience. unfortunately due to the excessive amount of violence in their plays, they became a parody of themselves. People lost interest and the form of gore theatre was lost. until fairly recently.
gameboyzz orchestra project, live @ paris. Don't be put off by the first track of the Paris set - that's just a warm up.
Browsing at my local library, I just came across a display of the winners of this year's Canadian Awards for Excellence in Book Design. I was blown away by the design and content of The Gryphons of Paris, a limited edition collection of black-and-white photos of surpassing beauty. This led me to the web page of the photographer, Ronald Hurwitz, his city vignettes and remarkable portraits. A good reminder that not everything of value can be found on the internet.
You may not have heard of Jansenism. But on May 1, 1727 one of its more prominent members, Francois de Paris, died. He was a popular fellow for his charitable works and lots of people visited his tomb. That's when things got weird. At first it was just a bunch of people claiming to have been cured of things like "cancerous tumors, paralysis, deafness, arthritis, rheumatism, ulcerous sores, persistent fevers, prolonged hemorrhaging, and blindness." Then things started to get really weird.
...The mourners also started to experience strange involuntary spasms or convulsions...the 'convulsionaires,' as they came to be called, displayed...the ability to endure without harm an almost unimaginable variety of physical tortures....These events lasted years and were witnessed by thousands as well as commented on by the likes of David Hume and Voltaire. Louis-Basile Carre de Montgeron investigated it for the Paris Parliment and published La Vérité des Miracles in three volumes detailing the events. The tortures were asked for by the convulsionaires. Montgeron details one time when while having an iron drill hammered into a convulsionaire's stomach he, "maintained an 'expression of perfect rapture,' crying, 'Oh, that does me good! Courage, brother; strike twice as hard, if you can!'"