Archive for July, 2009

About the Gallic origins of Paris

The modern day city of Paris is built on the Roman remains of Lutecia, for which there is ample evidence everytime one digs around the Ile de la Cité or the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (which can’t be practical when one is trying to get new buildings built). It was also believed that when the Romans had arrived, they had settled in the chief city of the Parisii, which was called Lutetia.

But now archeologists have found new evidence in Nanterre (while digging to build a highway) that things may not have been this way: among the remains and items that were found, some hint that, at the location of modern day Nanterre, there might have been a big Gallic city, bigger then what might have been on the Ile de la Cité and around.

So now nobody can be sure of anything: were there 2 cities? Which one is the Lutetia mentioned by Cesar in his writings to the Senate? Etc. etc. There is still lots of mysteries to be solved for sure.

I wonder whether they’ll start digging like crazy around Nanterre now?

For all I know, the scientists have known these questions for a long time already, I’m only just finding out through an article in LeMonde

The full story in French here.

On a slightly related note:
Les grands monuments de Lutèce” is an exhibit at the Crypte archéologique du parvis de Notre-Dame until the 31st of January 2010 about the main Roman buildings in the city.

A couple shots from the Eiffel Tower 14-juillet fireworks





Er… where’d the tower go? (Part of the finale)


Cinéma en plein air 2009


The open air movies are back at Parc de la Villette and this year, it’s free once again (after the disastrous fee-paying season last year) to encourage cultural appreciation of world cinema.

This year, the season runs from 15 July to 16 August, daily except Mondays. Movies start at nightfall, around 10pm-ish. Here is the programme for this summer:

  • Wed 15.07.2009 – Le Nouveau Monde (aka The New World) – 2h16 – USA (2006)
  • Thu 16.07.2009 – Hana-Bi, feux d’artifice (aka Fireworks) – 1h43 – Japan (1997)
  • Fri 17.07.2009 – Pirates des Caraïbes / La malédiction du Black Pearl – 2h20 – USA (2003)
  • Sat 18.07.2009 – Profession : Reporter (aka The Passenger) – 2h04 – Italy-France-Spain (1974)
  • Sun 19.07.2009 – Vera Cruz – 1h35 – USA (1954)
  • Tue 21.07.2009 – Les Promesses de l’ombre (aka Eastern Promises) – 1h40 – USA (2007)
  • Wed 22.07.2009 – Voyage en famille (aka Familia Rodante) – 1h43 – Argentina (2004)
  • Thu 23.07.2009 – Le Mariage de Tuya (aka Tuya’s Marriage) – 1h32 – China (2006)
  • Fri 24.07.2009 – L’Aigle des mers (aka The Sea Hawk) – 2h02 – USA (1940)
  • Sat 25.07.2009 – Into the Wild – 2h27 – USA (2007)
  • Sun 26.07.2009 – Little Sénégal (aka Little Senegal) – 1h38 – France-Algeria (2000)
  • Tue 28.07.2009 – L’Épouvantail (aka Scarecrow) – 1h52 – USA (1972)
  • Wed 28.07.2009 – Capitaine Achab – 1h45 – France (2007)
  • Thu 30.07.2009 – Planète interdite (aka Forbidden Planet) – 1h38 – USA (1956)
  • Fri 31.07.2009 – Broken Flowers – 1h45 – USA (2005)
  • Sat 01.08.2009 – Le Secret de Brokeback Mountain (aka Brokeback Mountain) – 2h14 – USA (2004)
  • Sun 02.08.2009 – Buud Yam – 1h37 – Burkina-Fasso (1997)
  • Tue 04.08.2009 – Mulholland Drive – 2h26 – USA (2006)
  • Wed 05.08.2009 – Golden Door (aka Nuovomondo) – 1h58 – Italy-France (2006)
  • Thu 06.08.2009 – Little Miss Sunshine – 1h40 – USA (2005)
  • Fri 07.08.2009 – America America – 2h48 – USA (1963)
  • Sat 08.08.2009 – Trois enterrements (aka Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) – 2h – USA (2005)
  • Sun 09.08.2009 – Le Grand Voyage (aka The Great Voyage) – 1h48 – France-Morocco (2004)
  • Tue 11.08.2009 – Le Fanfaron (aka The Easy Life) – 1h45 – Italy (1962)
  • Wed 12.08.2009 – Macadam à deux voies (aka Two-Lane Blacktop) – 1h42 – USA (1971)
  • Thu 13.08.2009 – In This World – 1h28 – UK (2003)
  • Fri 14.08.2009 – Monsieur Schmidt (aka About Schmidt) – 2h05 – USA (2002)
  • Sat 15.08.2009 – Amistad – 2h35 – USA (1997)
  • Sun 16.08.2009 – Fitzcarraldo – 2h37 – Germany (1982)

For more information, check out the official website at Parc de la Villette. Also, don’t forget to check the weather forecast before heading out. ;-)

Surprise surprise

I know metblog is not about my own personal adventure in Paris, but for once I will not follow that rule…

Yesterday we, Parisian metblogger (Lil, Bij and me) , met for a picnic lunch at “luco” (=luxembourg garden in parisian language). I was told the day before that I might be kidnapped… So I was ready.

It happens that Lil decided to make me a surprise for my birthday…  and the girls took me to the subway and to Andre Citroen Park… When we arrive in the park I still thought that Lil wanted to visit a park she has never seen before.

And guess what’s was the surprise? tickets

We were about 10 persons taking place in the nassella and as soon as everybody was in, the “baloon” was starting to move.

The experiment is quite hard to explain, the movement is smooth, there’s almost no noise, and the view is incredible. A little disturbing actually, since we were all used to see Paris from point like Montmartre, Hausmann or Montparnassse…

Eiffel Tower & Sacré Coeur

You can walk around above the park (150m high!) and have a 360° view on Paris.  The experience was great but too short ! (as always when you’re having a good time). Lil was expected some comment about what was in sight, but none were displayed… We asked for nothing but I guess the pilot might have answered our questions.

baloon over the park

If you also plan to surpise a friend with that experience, I send you to their website (in french). And good news, if you’re living in Paris and you child is less than 12, it’s free for him/her (you need to justify your adress and the child’s age).

Other view of Paris?

– Eiffel Tower (of course!)

– Montparnasse Tower

–  Montmartre

– last floor of Printemps and Gaeries Lafayettes (department stores on Bd Haussman)

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