A Paris Overload of the Visual Sense

FIAC 2006 at the Grand Palais

A Paris Overload of the Visual Sense

Parler Paris…
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Monday, October 30, 2006
Paris, France

“17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved to Paris”


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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

While some Parisians were breathing in the intoxicating aroma of chocolate at the annual Salon du Chocolat this past weekend, I was soaking up art in many forms and flavors. There is simply so much of it to be absorbed this season that one might be concerned about overload of the visual senses.

The 33rd edition of the FIAC 2006 (Foire International d’Art Contemporain) is taking place in two venues this year — the Grand Palais and the Cour Carée du Louvre. The first time I visited the FIAC was long before moving to Paris; one of the last years to have taken place in the Grand Palais before it closed for renovation. FIAC boasts of having re-inaugurated the Grand Palais in 2005 only days after it reopened. This year it hosts 98 galleries on two levels in the overwhelmingly magnificent structure built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in stone, glass and steel architecture.

It was thrilling for me to walk through the main doors of the Grand Palais once again after such a long hiatus. The Art Nouveau architecture of this building of 240 meters long and 40 meters high with a glass roof of 15,000 square meters is an incomparable backdrop for the annual fair. While one is looking at the art on the temporary walls of the galleries and the sculptures on their pedestals, it is impossible for eyes not to be drawn to the stunning domed metal and glass window to the sun or star-lit sky, the elegant staircases and the massive power of the structure itself.

As my accompanying friend, with a history of the art industry in New York, remarked about the art, “There are lots of ‘old friends’ here,” meaning art and artists’ work with whom we are already familiar. True, and with that work we were made to feel comfortable and at home, yet, a few new and innovative breaks from tradition caught our attention. My three favorites were each very different — a photo/painting of what MUST be an American woman donning the grin that seems to be on the faces of most first-time Paris visitors’ with the tag line “I can’t believe I’m in Paris. I just can’t believe I’m in Paris,” a convex structure on which are painted doors that when photographed appear concave — a corridor down which to walk lined with doors leading to where know not and finally, a sculpture of about 2 feet long of a beautiful nude woman straddling a large cigar.

This is the first year that FIAC installed a itself in a second venue at the Cour Carrée of the Louvre in an “ephemeral transparent structure” of 5200 square meters in the center of the courtyard, housing 71 exhibitors. Lack of time prevented me from visiting it and today is the last day to visit either venue, and only until 5 p.m. If you are a fan of contemporary art, and enjoy the creative spirit and humor of the work as much as I do, then mark your calendars now for FIAC 2007 scheduled for October 18 -22. (Consult http://www.fiacparis.com for more information.)

In a completely different spirit, being a serious afficionado of photography, Sunday we headed to the Jeu de Paume on the northwestern corner of the Jardin des Tuileries to see Lee Friedlander’s photographs capturing the workaday side of American cities and daily life from the 1950s to now — a 50-year career expressed in 477 black and white photographs and six color images. This major retrospective was originally organized by the Museum of Modern Art of New York made possible by the William Randolph Hearst
Endowment Fund and presented at the Jeu de Paume under the auspices of The International Council, with the support of Neuflize Vie and the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre and in partnership with Télérama and France Info.

It would be tough to choose a favorite, as the work is filled with humor and an amazing clarity of what passes most of us by on a daily basis…but a close-up of a young Aretha Franklin (1968) begged me to take her home and hang her on the wall. Since that, unfortunately, wasn’t possible, instead, back home with friends, I took out my favorite Franklin CD, popped it in and turned up the volume so that with that image in my mind, I could imagine her and Lee Friedlander here with me in Paris.

The exhibit is on until December 31st of this year. (Consult http://www.jeudepaume.org/ for more information.) November marks the 14th edition of the biennial celebration of the photo as art known as “Mois de la Photo.” More than 101 exhibitions will take place throughout the month. In coordination with that, coming this November 11 – 14 at the Carrousel du Louvre will be the 8th Annual Paris Photo, the world’s leading photography fair with 105 galleries from 16 different countries. (Consult http://www.moisdelaphoto-off.org/ for more information.)

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. Happy Halloween and reflective Toussaint, November 1st (All Saints Day), a holiday here in France. The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group will be open tomorrow night (Halloween) at La Pierre du Marais, but closed Wednesday for Toussaint. (Consult http://www.parlerparlor.com for more information.)

P.P.S. Rent the studio “Le Provençal” between November 16 and December 19 at special last-minute rates. Scroll down or visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html for more information.

Peace of mind for your Paris pied-à-terre…


* Concierge Services… French Property Insider Consultation now offers a range of Concierge Services. You can trust our team of professionals to help you take care of your Paris property investment when you’re not in France. /frenchproperty/consultation/concierge.html

French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation

Paris Property Sales Down, Prices Up
By Adrian Leeds


This Week in French Property Insider…

The property price figures for Paris and the Paris region (Ile-de-France) are reported quarterly by the INSEE, the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (http://www.insee.fr/en/home/home_page.asp). Earlier this month, the statistics were released for the end of second quarter 2006, almost four months after the closing of the monthFPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.


Right now, get the FREE 10-page report “17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved to Paris”… By Adrian Leeds when you subscribe for two years to French Property Insider! Plus, save 20% off the regular subscription price!

But hurry! Offer ends tomorrow, October 31, 2006

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

Dine near the Eiffel Tower
…without the Eiffel Tower tourists

Traditional French, Arrondissement 15

Don’t be fooled by the line-up of restaurants along avenue de La Motte Picquet thinking all of them are good or all of them are bad. Francis Mouchet’s La Gitane is the one to choose. Absolutely classic, homey, lace curtained, with tiny tables on top of one another, you’ll find the locals, not the Eiffel Tower tourists – old and young alike, even couples with babies from the neighborhood. Service is friendly, joking, lig

hthearted. Pickles on the table await you. The menu is enormous, classic. The portions are generous…for more delicious details, see the guide…

Yes, you can have a great three-course meal with wine and coffee in Paris for between $15 and $40 including tax and tip! Take Adrian’s advice…and discover more than 200 of the best-kept restaurant secrets in Paris. Get your copy of Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants now. http://www.insiderparisguides.com/restaurants/index.html

Discover 82 Easy Tips for Taking Holiday Photos You Can Sell

If you’re like most folks, you pull the camera out more this time of year than any other. But just because you’re snapping more shots, doesn’t meaning you’re taking better photos. Now you can. And fast. All you need to get started is a point-and-shoot camera.

Find out how to… snap professional-quality family portraits… transform standard-issue Thanksgiving dinner shots into heirloom pictures… capture natural shots of kids in the snow, opening presents, giving Grandma a kiss… get amazing photos of holiday lights, and even turn your photos into cash.

Here’s how: http://www.thephotographerslife.com/phch/parlerparis

You can trust the team at Parler Paris Apartments

Email: [email protected]

Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!

Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

“Le Provençal” Studio: LAST MINUTE OFFER

Rent Le Provençal between November 16 and December 19 at special last-minute rates: 125€/Night, 800€/Week or 2000€ for 4 weeks or entire period of 36 days!

Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.

Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:

The next gathering is November 14, 2006

So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.


Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

* Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003
3rd arrondissement, Paris
Métro Temple, République or Arts et Métier

* Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and
* Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

13 passage Dauphine (entrance between rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine), 6th arrondissement
Métro Odéon, Saint-Michel, Pont Neuf


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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, /


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