That Intoxicating Pink
Rose champagne is the intoxicant of choice for courtesans and kings. Beautiful, expensive, and rare, it was beloved by the grandest of the grandes horizontales of nineteenth-century Paris—and the men who could afford to love them. In Second Empire France, the Countess Henkel von Donnersmarck—known to historians of the libido as La Païva, and earlier as Esther Lachmann, late of the Moscow ghetto—demanded magnums of it as a “gratuity” while entertaining clients in the boudoir of her ill-begotten Hotel de la Païva on the Champs-Élysées. [more inside]
In 1971 Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou began to dream of a radio station that could calm even the drivers stuck on the Paris Périphérique. It would play wonderful, unexpected music chosen by people who knew their onions. The tracks would be drawn from diverse genres and chosen to seque enchantingly. There would be no jingles, commercials or self-aggrandising DJs - not even defined programs - just some announcers chosen for their mellifluous voices but paid to mostly stay quiet. The result was - and is - FipRadio
. Fans have included residents of Brighton in the UK who enjoyed an illegal re-transmission of the station
for many years - and journalist David Hepworth who describes the thrill of hearing "a voice you want to marry whispering words you can't understand
! [more inside]
The Siege of Paris
, during the Franco-Prussian War, lasted from September 1870 to January 1871
. As the Prussian army blockaded the city, Parisians turned to ever more desperate
. Like the zoo animals
. And other animals not normally eaten
In the new game Avant-Garde
, you play an up-and-coming artist in 19th century Paris, a contemporary of Manet and Bouguereau. Carve and sell allegorical statue groups! Get snubbed by Napoleon III! Subsidize Gustave Courbet's drinking! Compose and promulgate your own aesthetic manifesto!
In July 1939, French authorities started building a 120m² bomb shelter under the Gare de l’Est (East Railway Station) in Paris so that traffic controllers could keep on working if the station was attacked. However, it was not completed in time and the Germans used it instead. The bunker, which includes a pedal generator, is still there, in near perfect condition
. Other images
(in French). Bonus underground Parisian bunker: this Cold-war era bunker under the Ministry of Transportation
(equipped with tandem
pedal generators) will become a datacenter early 2014.
Paris in Motion
is a beautiful time-lapse stop-motion video by Mayeul Akpovi.
Two Flickr sets of 295 illustrations
and 103 illustrations
each (plus three more illustrations
), by French artist Chéri Herouard
who is most famous for his work for "naughty French magazine" La Vie parisienne
from 1907 to his death. You can find some high quality scans from La Vie parisienne and more information about the magazine at Darwination Scans
. Quite a few of the images are not safe for work. [via Kate Beaton]
Telerama Concerts Privé, recorded live in Paris: Wilco
- Bonnie Prince Billy
- The Shins
- Jonathan Wilson
In Bed With Invader
One night in Paris with street artist Invader (SLYT)
This stealthy undertaking was not an act of robbery or espionage but rather a crucial operation in what would become an association called UX, for “Urban eXperiment.” UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris. - Wired.com "The New French Hacker-Artist Underground
Evan Osnos joins a tour group from China as they traverse Europe. In the front row of the bus, Li stood facing the group with a microphone in hand, a posture he would retain for most of our waking hours in the days ahead. In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. “Everyone, our watches should be synchronized,” he said. “It is now 7:16 P.M.” He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. “We flew all the way here,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.” [more inside]
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?!
That's right. The Late Late Show
's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer
-- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences
(including the iconic animal puppets
by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance"
by Irene Cara, "On the Floor"
by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka"
by Shakira, "Men in Black"
by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant"
by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
by Wham!, "It's Raining Men"
by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)"
by Tino Rossi.
Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious
-- he responded to Arthur's "homáge
" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage
which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.
The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
Paris Metro's cheaters say solidarity is the ticket.
Scofflaws who jump the turnstiles or enter through the exits of the Paris public transit system have formed mutuelles des fraudeurs
— insurance funds that pay the fine if they get caught.
“But I decided on the Mona Lisa, which was the smallest painting and the easiest to transport.”
“So there was no chance,” asked the court, “that you decided on it because it was the most valuable painting?” - From Vanity Fair, the twisting, engaging story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen in broad daylight in 1911. (via)
Around the time of the flooding in Troyes a plant in the south-east of Paris which supplied compressed air to the owners of ‘pneumatique’ equipment – lifts, ventilation, industrial machinery – was submerged. Parisians were fond of compressed-air technology. It was how the postal service delivered mail from one office to another in small brass shuttles propelled along a network of tubes. It was also used to keep the clocks ticking on the streets of the city and, by subscription, in private apartments. When the plant went underwater during the night, pneumatic time stopped dead. Pavements Like Jelly
is an article by Jeremy Harding describing the 1910 Great Flood of Paris which started 100 years ago today. Photo exhibition with 1300 photographs
focusing on Paris. Even more photos, taking in the entire Seine
. Both sites are Flash heavy, for a smaller selection of non-Flash pictures go here
. [1910 Paris Flood previously on MetaFilter]
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.
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
(NSFW unless you're a French preteen)
An interactive audiovisual tour
[flash, audio] of the student protests in Paris in May 1968. Part of a larger look
at 1968. [Previously]
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
, it seems, was an interesting time to be around.
Boredom is counterrevolutionary.
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.
- 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.
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...
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
As the Wiki
Insecula: L'encyclopédie des arts et de l'architecture is a French language art website containing images and descriptions of thousands of works of art from major museums and collections in France and elsewhere, including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Palace of Versailles, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA.
But it's not just museums and art. It's got Mayan ruins
, and of course lots of Paris streets
. I can't believe plep hasn't posted this already...
Paris is not actually in Paris
according to French archaeologists last month. It appears that the ancient capital of Gaul, named after the Celtic tribe Parissi, is not buried under modern-day Paris but under its unremarkable neighbor Nanterre
. "It's an unprecedented attack on the French national identity and the greater glory of Paris by a group of dirty-fingernailed parvenus
." Spare the dirty archaeologists and blame it on Julius Caesar who gave inaccurate descriptions of the location, returning from the grave causing fresh Parisian identity consternations.
French-fried cars for New Year
In Detroit, it has been a custom to fire guns during New Year's celebrations. Perhaps we should put aside our current dislike of the French and borrow this fine way to usher in a brand new year. After all, it is the French who have given us taste, culture, refinement, and the liberty of self-expression.
The Vertically Inclined Photographer:
Shooting Paris, Rome, the French Riviera and the Loire Valley from a low-flying plane is Patrick Durand's
photographic obsession. It's an interesting flat
alternative to Horst Hamann's
[click on "Gallery" and go to "New Verticals"
] tall vertical New York
. There's something very exciting about looking at familiar sights from an unfamiliar point of view. [Both sites very, perhaps too Flash.
You probably remember him best for his famous green devil
, tempting you with the esoteric delight of evil absinthe*
, or the familiar image of the jester pushing the pleasures of Bitter Campari
. Called by some the "father of the modern poster", and even the "father of advertising
", Italian-born Leonetto Cappiello
created over 1,000 memorable posters during his 40-year career in belle-epoque and fin-de-siecle Paris, and a quick look at a collection
of his work quickly reminds us how enduring both his images and his basic concepts have been. (more...)
Parisian Attack Monkeys
used by thugs in place of guns. What would Charlton Heston say?