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“A “”Nouvellettre”” for a “”Nouvel Etre”””

Today is a “nouvellettre” of Parler Paris for a “nouvel an.” I’d been searching for a French equivalent of “newsletter” for a long time until clever “word smith,” “Tim Smith” coined the new word over cocktails at his 5th district apartment Saturday night.

Do a Google search, you won’t find it anywhere else, except now at the top of our masthead. So, please don’t call Parler Paris a “blog” or an “e-zine” or even a “newsletter” — ‘no siree Bob’ — it’s a “nouvellettre” from now on.

We also discovered that if you spell the word differently, such as “nouvel être,” it takes on an even more profound meaning, as in a new being, a rebirth or a recreation. “Merci,” Tim, for this new “point de vue.”

“Merci” also goes to the dozens of people who wrote in response to the tribute to Polly Platt. Her passing evoked all sorts of stories and memories from those who knew her, or didn’t know her and wished they had, to people who were touched by her writings and those who planned to discover them. The letters are a delight and pleasure to read and will be passed on to her family for all to enjoy. Many “mercis.”

Friday evening Espace Commines (17, rue Commines, 75003 Paris) offered a “nouvel point de vue” on “l’Art du Nu” — the art of the nude. With the works of 45 artists, from painting to sculpture to photography to forms of art we didn’t know existed, clearly every artist has his own interpretation of the “the nude.”

The work was (in my humble opinion), exceptional, and one of the most exciting private exhibits on today’s art scene. The work of friend of Parler Paris, Kathy Burke ( ), was among the paintings on display.

While making the rounds to enjoy each artist’s rendering, I had this ‘fantasy’ of someone, nude, to wander among the crowd, as a ‘live’ performance, to which my friend said, “Let’s just hope it’s not you who decides to do it!” Sorry, folks…it was just a fantasy left unfulfilled!

The exhibit only lasted through yesterday…sadly, but luckily, it’s accompanied by a book of all the works, available for purchase for 56€ TTC + 8€ handling by contacting “Editions Patou,” 14 bis, boulevard Voltaire, 92130 Issy les Moulineaux, Tél:

Saturday a different kind of

art struck nerves at the new “Centquatre.” Centquatre is Paris’ newest artistic center open to all forms of art in a 39,000 square meter space where “the artistic dynamic pushes back the boundary between art and the public.” It is a place of production with provision of technical, financial and human resources for creating works of any and all kinds.

Built in 1873 as a State Funeral Home, so that every person had the right to a ceremony regardless of religion, status or circumstances of death. In the height of its usefulness, the building boasts of having had more than 27,000 hearses leave the premises each year with 1,400 employees in the capacity as woodworkers, cabinetmakers, coachbuilders, mechanics, seamstresses, painters and masons. The site was comprised of offices, stables, a registry office, workshops, a canteen, a hairdresser’s, a polisher, accommodation for staff on call, warehouses for poles and curtains, and more.

Today is a “nouvel être” for the “104.” Located in a part of Paris most tourists don’t see between rues Aubervilliers and Curial in the 19th arrondissement, it’s free to enter and explore. Participation in various “ateliers’ and other events is inexpensive at 3€ and 5€. Coffee was being served free as long as we noted our definition of “war” on a large tablet of paper.

The sign on the door gave us a chuckle — was it purposely incorrect to spell “wander” as “wonder?” So, we entered a dark space, “wondered” around and discovered our silhouetted selves on free-standing canvases. And is it simply an age-old mistake in French to write “Informations” instead of “Information?” When will they ever get that right?

My friends chose to walk home to the Marais from the 104, along the beautiful Canal Saint-Martin, on a sunny, but very cold day, while I chose to take the Métro to Place de la République. Little did I know that tens of thousands of people had the same idea, but not for the same reason. I was simply headed home, but the hordes of kafia-wearing pro-Palestinian protestors had taken to the streets to vent their anger at Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Immediately I thought of any sign on me that would signify my Jewish roots, although my “Semitic punim” goes just about anywhere in a crowd like that. Riot police were on guard at every cross street of the boulevards which span from the “place” to La Bastille. Thirty minutes earlier than my arrival on the scene, a friend who was there among the protestors said they weren’t allowing anyone to cross their lines into Le Marais at that time.

The “art” on the street was quite different than what we had seen at “L’Art du Nu” and “Centquatre” — written in Arabic and French, the messages pretty clear…”Stop the Holocaust in Gaza” and “Freedom for Palestine.”

And I thought about the free coffee at the Centquatre in exchange for a definition of war: war = ? How would you have answered that question?

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris



P.S. See you tomorrow afternoon at Parler Paris Après Midi for drinks, conversation and fun! Visit Parler Paris Après Midi for details.


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