Archive for November, 2009

Museums under attack?

I found out recently when going to the Tiffany exhibit at the Musée du Luxembourg (which was great btw) that the museum is about to close! That exhibit could be the museum’s last with a planned closure in January 2010! Employees suggest that you sign their petition to protest against the closure of such a historical museum. After all, this museum first opened in 1750 and it was the first art museum to be open to the public in France! (Among other achievements) A better written post about this topic (in French).

Meanwhile, the Centre Pompidou is closed to visitors because the people working there are on strike! A post in French, one in English, to explain the main reason behind this strike: half the people going into retirement won’t be replaced starting in January 2010 and as many employees there are over 50, this means very soon the number of employees will crash… Such measures should also impact other cultural places such as the Louvre or Versailles. This is not going to get better soonish with a general call to strike for next Wednesday…

A coincidence? Or is “someone” bound on destroying Paris’ image of a culture-rich capital?

Metlinks OTW : 27.11.09

The week went by so fast! Now, fingers crossed the week-end goes at a more leisurely pace!


A Swedish Christmas in Paris?

Tis the season for all things Christmassy (and so much more). A lot of people are out there shopping for all the niceties needed to celebrate. If you’re looking for some Swedish specialities, be they food or decorations, don’t miss the Swedish Christmas market this week-end at the Swedish church! Walk about with a mug of glögg and stock up on your marinated salmon…

Eglise Suédoise
9, rue Médéric
75017 Paris

Opening hours:
Vendredi 27 novembre 11 h – 20h
Samedi 28 novembre 11 h – 19 h
Dimanche 29 novembre 12 – 18 h

Also, soon it will time for the Swedish to celebrate Saint Lucy (December 12th). Have you ever tried Saffransbullar? It’s a kind of brioche made with saffron and while the result is a striking yellow colour, it’s really good!

Metlinks OTW : 19.11.09

Golly, Christmas is really making its presence felt. It’s exactly 5 weeks and 1 day for the big ol’ celebration, so you have exactly 5 weeks of shopping days left. Have you started? Or are you just making lists right now, what to buy for whom? Or will you be making some gifts yourself, especially edible ones? (I love edible gifts, yum yum)

Christmas baubbles

Tales of Christmas

  • There’s nothing prettier in winter in Paris than Champs Elysées all decked up in festive illuminations and the lights will be turned on coming Monday, 23 November at 6.30pm, with help from Charlotte Gainsbourg. And there’s something different this year too – fuschia (instead of white) lightings are awaiting instead!
  • Christmas market at Champs Elysées opens its doors on Friday 20 November and there will be some 170 vendor huts in place. If you’re there on the 9 and 10 December, note a change in the hut designated for Ateliers de Paris. Until 28 December; open daily from 10am to 10pm, and to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

In the News: Last Week

  • I’m sure by now everyone have heard about the riots and disturbances after the cancellation of Mailorama money giveaway. Videos from news outlet and civilians (such as this) show the damages sustained. I can understand the disappointment, but to start attacking other individuals who were in the same position? That’s just so not cool.
  • France is through to the World Cup in South Africa next summer. They won the first leg of the World Cup Qualifier against Ireland in Dublin, and they drew 1-1 with Ireland during the second leg match in Paris. Winning 2-1 by aggregate, it is not without controversy. Ah, the hand of Thierry (not Maradona, not God) struck this time. Is there a glory in such a win?
  • An article was published last week on the Guardian, of this extraordinary tale of a former captain of French football team, who betrayed his country and his people, during the World War II.

Foodies’ Goodies

  • We at Paris Metblogs love bagels but hunting for good bagels is really not easy. We’ve tried a few so-so ones so far. Ann Mah has recently found I <3 Coco Bagel Store and thinks it’s pas mal du tout.
  • A croissant tasting session certainly sounds a lot of fun. And for the record, the Ispahan croissant from Pierre Hermé may be unconventional but it tastes soooooo good.
  • Le Fooding Guide 2010 is now out! Get it from your nearest newsagent, for €9.50 each.

Coming Up: Next Week in Events

  • Ok, technically, this is not upcoming. It is currently taking place. Salon Créations & Savoir-faire is just the place to go for anyone big into arts and crafts, get some tips and inspirations, and just in time for the home-made Christmas gifts idea to take off.
  • Michael Schürmann of Paris Movie Walks will be leading an hour-long free tour of Paris film locations on 25 November at 4pm. The tour starts and ends at the bookshop Shakespeare & Co. (37 rue de la Bucherie, 5ème). A book signing follows the end of the tour. A quick book take if you’re interested in knowing further.

That’s it for today. I know it’s delivered a day earlier than usual, but I’m travelling tomorrow and wouldn’t want to miss writing this edition. Oh, don’t forget, it’s Beaujolais Nouveau day today – chin chin!

Oh my, Tokyo is the new gastronomy capital!

The launch of Michelin Tokyo Guide 2009 (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

The launch of Michelin Tokyo Guide 2009 (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

A new Michelin Tokyo Guide will be on sale this weekend and at the launch/photocall it is revealed that Tokyo is now the new world capital of gastronomy. Oh la la. C’est catastrophe pour Paris?

According to the new guide, Tokyo now has 11 3-stars restaurants compared with 10 for Paris. Not only that, Tokyo has also garnered a whooping total of 261 stars, shared by 197 restaurants. In comparison, Paris is looking at 70 restaurants which share 106 stars between them.

This is really quite a change of gastronomic fortune for the Japanese capital. The first Michelin guide to Tokyo was published a mere two years ago, in 2007. After some controversy over the use of non-Japanese inspectors (“how can they adequately judge Japanese cuisine when they’re not Japanese?”) Michelin said that for this latest edition, only Japanese inspectors were used.

Now, before detractors of French cuisine try to score some points based on this guide, remember that Tokyo is much bigger than Paris and it also has four times more restaurants (some 160,000 in Tokyo versus about 40,000 in Paris). Furthermore, France overall still have more 3-stars restaurants than any other country, with 25 compared with Japan’s 18.

Come on Paris – let’s up our game before the next French Michelin guide in March 2010! ;)

Metlinks OTW : Week 11, 13.11.09

Had you noticed today is a Friday thirteenth? Do you think it’s a lucky day? Or rather unlucky? Or maybe just like any other day… Funny thing is, apparently, there is necessarily at least 1 such day every year!

dome institut de france

This week:

Coming up:


  • A giant tunnel is being built along the Seine, in order to have a bigger storage capacity for rain water and avoid flooding in the city
  • Now in Paris? Wish you could stroll around? Find out about virtual sightseeing of the city…

Pictures from concert place Concorde

As mentioned previously, there was a free concert and light show at the Place de la Concorde yesterday, to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here are a couple shots to give you a feel of it:



There are also a couple videos on youtube, which might give you a better idea (what with having sound and mouvement as well…).

Metlinks OTW : Week 10, 06.11.09

What with the daylight savings time change and now November upon us, it’s getting difficult to pretend winter is not getting closer. The weather has also been trying to drive the point home as it’s been raining on and off and drizzling in the mean time… But there are also highlights to autumn:

Autumn colours along the Seine near the Louvre

  • More fall foliage pictures in Paris
  • An interesting way to walk around the city: Paris Movie Walks suggests 10 walks following different movies shot in the city of lights! (camera! action!). Sounds ideal for any movie buff looking for an excuse to walk around!
  • Paris, the city that sleeps? A petition by artists seems to hint that Paris is indeed likely to become the European capital of sleep, after a number of laws make it harder to organise music events at night in the city. The petition (in French)
  • Some three-star chefs have gone cooking in the metro, wish you were there no?
  • So the French are slow to pick up on Twitter? But they get artsy about it: a graphic designer has made a poster of his 1000 first tweets and they are now visible on some street walls in Paris
  • Apparently, ordering café is more complicated than I thought. Here are nine types of coffee you could order in Paris. I never drink coffee so I don’t know about this but I was definitely surprised to hear the basic coffee is made out of chicory…
  • Up until the 10th of November, it’s National French week in the US and this led me to find this nice article explaining what is verlan
  • An interesting view of what NOT to do when you come visiting Paris, which does make a number of good points
  • An open air (free) concert on the place de la Concorde will take place next Monday in order to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall
  • Also next week is the 11 novembre bank holiday commemorating the armistice of 1918. Check out all the events that have taken place on that day over the years on Wikipedia from a French point of view (differences with the English version are interesting as well)

Monsters in the garden

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a Metlink to Sunrise East, an installation by Ugo Rondinone at Jardin des Tuileries. A few days later, I went along for a visit at the park just after sunrise.

Here are the photos that I’ve taken on the rather chilly morning of what I think are rather loveable monsters. And since I don’t know which of these totems are supposed to represent which month of the year, I’m labelling them as hours on the clock, as per their position in the garden, where sun rises on the east (the Louvre side) at 12 and sets on the west (the Place de la Concorde side) at 6. ;-)

Ugo Rondinone at Jardin des Tuileries on an autumnal morning

Ugo Rondinone at Jardin des Tuileries on an autumnal morning

Tilting at 1 o'clock, with cheesy grin at 2

Tilting at 1 o'clock, with cheesy grin at 2


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